Trevor Noah is poised to take The Daily Show throne next week and the South African comedian says his biracial and cultural background will impact and inform his perspective as host.
"It just gives me a different perspective. I feel everyone has their perspective because of where they've come from," Noah told NBCBLK. "I've never been ashamed to say, nor do I shy away from that fact that I am black. I've grown up black, black is the only existence I've ever known. But it's strange when you live in a world where people go 'OK but biracial—then which piece of this, which piece of that?'"
Noah grew up under Apartheid in South Africa to a white Swiss father and a black South African mother. While his comedy is often unapologetically about race and racism, he is careful not to equate the racial tensions in the United States to the divisions and tensions in South Africa.
"Racial tension is something you can always compare anywhere in the world, so it doesn't matter if you're in America or South Africa, or the UK, it's just different degrees of the same thing," said Noah. "I just understand racial tensions because I come from a place where we have some of the worst racial tensions and restrictions in the world."
So how will the show be different?
Noah joked that the main difference would be that the host is "a little bit younger and a little bit more black" and went on to tout the new producers and writers that would bring a fresh perspective to the age-old formula.
"We're dealing with similar subject matter. The world is still the world, the news is still the news, it's just how we disseminate that information that we get from it," said Noah.
Diversity in television has been a major topic as a recent Vanity Fair cover came under fire for illustrating the late-night landscape as all-male and majority white, with the exception of Larry Wilmore and Noah.
Comedy Central did not give specifics on the make up of the staff but Noah said that he took the process of identifying a qualified and diverse staff very seriously. Splitsider has posted the names of the 17-person writing staff.
Noah's first guest will be funnyman Kevin Hart when the series debuts on Monday, September 28 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central. Other guests include Whitney Wolfe, founder and CEO of Bumble, Governor Chris Christie, and musician Ryan Adams who will perform on the show.