So let’s get this out of the way: Like the majority of the American public, I didn’t really know who Trevor Noah was before the bombshell announcement that he was the anointed successor to Jon Stewart’s epic run as host of The Daily Show. Like the majority of viewers of color, I was pumped that Comedy Central now had two black hosts back-to-back, Noah and Larry Wilmore, in two of the most coveted timeslots on TV, the ones vacated by Stewart and fellow legend Stephen Colbert.
And like pretty much 99 percent of the Twitter-using public, I cringed, groaned and otherwise reacted with visible and audible disappointment to the “bad tweets” that surfaced within 24 hours of the announcement.
The tweets weren’t funny to begin with—tired old hacky stand-up material we’ve all heard before—jokes about rich Jews, beer goggles, etc. They were also hacky in the way that’s given stand-up a bad reputation of lashing out at easy, low-hanging targets whose lives are hard enough without constantly being the butt of bullying humor.