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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hello, world: This is your Alligator opinions editor, David, chiming in on Trevor Noah’s set. Now, some of you might be wondering why this editorial’s being written in the first-person rather than from the perspective of the entire staff. Well, most of us stayed put at the office to turn out this paper for you, so it’d be a little strange for me to represent an opinion we don’t all necessarily have. And secondly, as with any relationship, be it boyfriend and girlfriend, spouse and spouse, newspaper and audience — you know, the truest of romances — a little spontaneity and new energy can be revitalizing. So, without further ado: How about that Trevor Noah set?

This show and Noah’s comedy style in general offer so much to audiences of all types. From devout comedy fans to those complete strangers who at first mention of the words “Trevor Noah” think you’re referring to two separate individuals, Noah’s work proves nothing short of prophetic. Just look at one of his many great phrases: “Traveling: the university of the world. Traveling is the antidote to ignorance.” Is he Buddha reborn as a comedian?  

I could rehash endless quotes and material from him, but, above all, his take on racial tensions cannot go unmentioned. Amid the widespread racism against Mexican-Americans and the anti-immigrant timbre of Trump’s rallies, Noah points to the inherent hypocrisy of the entire situation. He addresses how Americans speak so negatively about Mexicans, on how they steal our jobs and need to get out of the country, but then are like, “Taco Tuesday!” as if to say, “It’s OK to hate Mexicans, but let’s keep their good food and beautiful women.” This kind of social commentary and satire through comedy doesn’t just grow out of the ground; it’s a gem that highlights the discussions we all should be having about the silliness of our society’s ills.

Underneath all the humor and collective smiles, Noah also taught us the importance of bipartisanship. And those who would dismiss Noah and “The Daily Show” as comedic pandering to liberal agendas would be happy to hear that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is currently Noah’s favorite guest he’s had on “The Daily Show.” On Graham, Noah admitted although they clearly differ in political views, he views Graham as a decent man, and to achieve any progress in the country, we all need to acknowledge the human beings behind the political views before we dismiss the entire package. What does it say about our country when a comedian offers infinitely more bipartisanship and about as many dick jokes as our presidential candidates do in their debates?

Clearly I’ve found a new life role model, but regardless of how you feel about him, let’s all take a moment to acknowledge we had a comedian agree to perform at a university. As Accent Speakers Bureau Chairperson Kevin Gerson addressed in his post-show interview with Noah, comedians like Bill Maher and Chris Rock have publicly refused to perform at college campuses because of political correctness in colleges.

Yet here we have a man who acknowledges the concerns and political divisiveness of the country but deliberately chooses to reach across the aisle and strike up a conversation. Say what you will, but my heart rests very much at peace to see Jon Stewart’s “War on Bullsh—t” alive and well through comedy in Trevor Noah.

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