On Monday evening's Daily Show, host Jon Stewart publicly put his full support behind Comedy Central's decision to hire Trevor Noah as his successor. "I’m very excited about it," Stewart said. He made no effort to ignore last week's controversy, in which some of Noah's years-old tweets were dug up and slammed as anti-Semitic and overly offensive. Comedy Central quickly came to the comedian's aid — and Noah himself expressed disappointment that people were judging his character and views on a few misfired jokes that crossed the line or leaned on lazy stereotypes. But Stewart, the face of Comedy Central and The Daily Show for the past 17 years, offered the strongest defense yet.
"I do hope you give him an opportunity to earn that trust and respect."
"I know there was a large kerfuffle on Twitter," he said. "But I can say this. I think without hesitation, Trevor Noah will earn your trust and respect, or not. Just as I earned your trust and respect, or did not." Stewart's been in the host's chair for more than a decade, and is keenly aware of the divisive response he gets across political lines. "It kind of just goes that way. The only thing I would say is, I do hope you give him an opportunity to earn that trust and respect," Stewart added. "Because my experience with him is that he is an incredibly thoughtful and considerate and funny and smart individual. And man, I think you give him that time, and it’s going to be well worth it. I’m excited for where he’s going to take this thing. And I’m going to watch. I’m gonna set my DVR."
Jon Stewart and Comedy Central haven't yet formally announced the date of Stewart's last appearance as The Daily Show's anchor. But even before that day comes, the current host is clearly excited about how Trevor Noah will leave his mark on the show.