The Daily Show’s host Trevor Noah is set to perform on campus for a stand-up comedy show in the September, hosted by Cornell University Programming Board.
CUPB Selections Chairperson Emma McGirl ’19 said that CUPB chose Noah to perform because of the different perspective he brings to political tensions, especially in consideration of the current presidential administration.
“There is a majority in Cornell that would be more on the opposing side of our current administration I guess or might just be upset in general about the way our country is being run,” she said. “I think Trevor Noah’s content right now brings a lighter mood to what is going on and I think it is a nice opportunity to look at serious issues in more light-hearted way while still getting people to think about it.”
CUPB Executive Chairperson Emerson Sirk ’19 told The Sun that the show could appeal to people from a variety of different backgrounds because of Noah’s style.
“Even if people don’t necessarily agree with [Noah’s] points, a lot of the times he puts stuff in a way so that even if you don’t agree with some of what he says, you can still appreciate where he’s coming from,” he said. “He’s going to be able to reach a broad audience in that sense.”
Sirk and McGirl expect a large turnout for Noah. According to Sirk, Noah recently did a show at Ithaca College that sold out with widespread positive reviews.
Noah, who joined The Daily Show in 2014, is the most successful comedian in Africa and has been nominated for Writers Guild Award, according to a press release from CUPB.
“Trevor Noah is on the up and up,” Sirk said. “This is the time to see him while you can. It’s going to be a great show.”
The event will be held in Barton Hall, which CUPB has not used since 2011 when they brought John Stewart, the former host of The Daily Show. Since no current CUPB member was at Cornell at that time, Sirk identified that logistical issues could potentially pose a challenge.
“In terms of the production of it, it’s going to be new and a challenge to work with the people who know how the show is supposed to go production-wise and make sure that everything runs smoothly,” he said. “But it’s not something that we see as a big challenge, it’s more of like what you have to go through to put on a big event like this.”
Sirk also said that CUPB generally tries to focus on bringing comedians to campus, particularly because no other organization has that same mission.
According to McGirl, Noah was originally considered as a possible speaker for this semester, but was not able due to scheduling reasons. However, CUPB later got a call from Noah’s agent and decided to host Noah in the fall after deliberating with the general body of the organization.
Praising Noah as “a rising star in the political commentary world,” Sirk said he is very excited to have him on campus in the fall. More detailed information about tickets will be available early next semester.
“In terms of Trevor Noah, I think he’s just on the rise, he’s at the very early stages of his career and I think he can only get bigger,” McGirl said. “In the future, when he’s a huge name, you’ll get to say, ‘I saw Trevor Noah at Barton Hall.’”