by Anubhuti Kumar
The newly crowned host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah again demonstrated his standup chops in a biting, sarcastic, and relevant Comedy Central special entitled “Lost in Translation”. It aired Sunday, November 22 and dealt with issues from terrorism to police brutality in a more clear and concise way than most politicians running for president would.
Noah started the set light, with an analyzation of the roots of the word “woohoo” in society to express happiness and seamlessly transitioned to how it’s not as natural a sound to the black population as white women because it starts to sound like police sirens after a while. A killer joke about the terror black people feel when pulled over by the police was when he told a story about how he was pulled over on the highway and was so convinced he was going to die that he ended up freaking out the cop worse than himself. The real reason he was pulled over: racism? Nope, speeding.
Not only did he present an insightful look at his personal perspective and fear of the consequences of racism, but he managed to get the whole audience laughing hysterically at the ironies and realities of life he depicted, even on the most serious topics.
With just as much insight and humor he drew a picture of the plight of Muslims in today’s society. Another personal story exemplified this situation as he narrated the difficulties he faced traveling from his home of South Africa to any other country during the Ebola scare. He would get stopped and questioned by airport law enforcement about whether he had been in contact with the deadly disease, as if anybody would admit it or travel if they had, and how strange that was until everything went back to normal and again only Middle Easterners were randomly stopped and questioned. It was just as sudden a shift back as a shift away after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
Noah’s candid and appalled demeanor as a witness to the blatant racism in the world around him helps him portray the realities of the ridiculousness with which minority’s are stereotyped. These caricatured characters, along with hilarious details to the stories that laws to an uproar of uncontrollable laughter in the audience. A memorable moment of funny detail included him stating how he was growing more and more upset as he watched the cop approach in his side mirror because “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.”
This talk show host’s talent in being able to find the humor in even the most serious of subjects serves him well in finding a common ground for the audience to which to relate. His retelling of personal story along with national and international politics uses comedy and turns it into a teaching moment for a broad audience without losing an ounce of laughter. If this special is any indication for the rest of his career as the host of “The Daily Show,” viewers have much to which to look forward to.
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