Trevor Noah announced his Daily Show exit without warning during episode taping, staff say

REVEALED: Trevor Noah blindsided Daily Show staff and writers by announcing his exit without warning during taping in front of 200 studio audience members

  • On September 29, Noah announced his intention to quit during episode taping
  • Daily Show staff say they were stunned by the unexpected announcement
  • After a seven-year run, Noah’s final episode will air on December 8  

Trevor Noah, the outgoing host of The Daily Show, stunned colleagues when he announced his departure from the show during a taping in front of a studio audience, according to a new report.

Noah, who has hosted the Comedy Central program for seven years, announced his intention to depart during taping for the September 29 episode, taking the audience and the show’s staff by surprise.  

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Monday, showrunner Jen Flanz said she and head writer Zhubin Parang were sitting together at a desk just off camera when Noah delivered the news to the camera. 

‘He starts talking and talking, and I look at Zhubin like, ‘What is he doing? We’re going to have to edit this,’ recalled Flanz. 

Flanz, who has been with the Daily Show since Craig Kilborn was host in the late 90s, said that as they realized what was happening, she and Parang ‘lost all feeling in our bodies.’ 

‘Did you know?’ Parang whispered to her, and she replied, ‘Does it look like I knew?’ 

In September, Noah broke the news to his audience that he was ending his stint at the program, telling viewers, 'There's another part of my life that I want to carry on exploring'

In September, Noah broke the news to his audience that he was ending his stint at the program, telling viewers, ‘There’s another part of my life that I want to carry on exploring’

Showrunner Jen Flanz

Head writer Zhubin Parang

Showrunner Jen Flanz (left) said she and head writer Zhubin Parang (right) were sitting together at a desk just off camera when Noah delivered the news to the camera

Noah explained to THR that he decided to announce his departure in front of the audience because it was the best way to let everyone at the show know about his decision at the same time.

‘Part of the reason I did it that way is because I didn’t want anybody to be the person who then tells somebody else, who then tells somebody else, who then tells somebody else,’ said Noah. 

‘And this is where we create the thing. [The show] is where we’re together, our space, and so for me, it felt like the most natural way to tell everybody at the same time,’ he told the outlet.

Noah said in the new interview that the strains of producing the show during the pandemic had begun to weigh on him, saying he was ready for a new chapter in life.

‘Maybe this comes with not being raised in America, but I believe that everything should end,’ he said. 

‘A lot of American business and American media is just like, ‘Keep it going as long as possible,’ but I think it’s healthy for things to end when they’re still in a good place. I want to leave before I’m burnt out, because there are many other things I’d like to do,’ added Noah. 

Noah’s final episode with The Daily Show will air on December 8, and the comedian plans to quickly launch his next act with a 28-city stand-up comedy tour.

The show, Off the Record Tour, will launch in January – just six weeks after he signs off from the Comedy Central news-satire program.

The tour is being produced by Live Nation, which says Noah will begin his run at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on January 20. 

Thus far, announced venues include theatres in Santa Barbara, California and San Francisco, as well as stops in Austin, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago and New York.

The South African comedian says he will also eventually swing through his home continent and grace audiences in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria with his set.

Tickets for Noah’s forthcoming tour are currently on presale on the comedian’s site before they go on regular sale on November 18.

Noah will also release an original stand up special on Netflix on November 22 titled I Wish You Would. He previously released a special on the platform in 2018 called Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia.

In September, Noah told his studio and viewing audience, ‘I realized there’s another part of my life that I want to carry on exploring. I miss learning other languages. I miss going to other countries and putting on shows. I miss just being everywhere, doing everything.’ 

Noah, pictured here days after announcing his sudden Daily Show departure in September, is looking to sell his valuable New York City real estate. It is unclear if he plans to remain in New York after his stint at The Daily Show ends

Noah, pictured here days after announcing his sudden Daily Show departure in September, is looking to sell his valuable New York City real estate. It is unclear if he plans to remain in New York after his stint at The Daily Show ends

Noah, 38, has presided over the late night comedy-satire show as it steady shed millions of viewers. When he took over the show in 2015, its ratings sat at around 900,000 - but in recent months, numbers have slumped below 400,000

Noah, 38, has presided over the late night comedy-satire show as it steady shed millions of viewers. When he took over the show in 2015, its ratings sat at around 900,000 – but in recent months, numbers have slumped below 400,000

It is unclear if he plans to return to television or even stay in New York City, where he bought a multi-million dollar two-floor apartment in the famed Stella Tower several years ago.

The midtown penthouse recently hit the market for just under $13 million. 

Noah is departing The Daily Show desk after seven years as anchor, during which time the once celebrated show’s numbers have dwindled considerably.

When Noah, 38, took over the show in 2015, its ratings sat at around 900,000 – but in recent months, numbers have frequently slumped below 400,000. For those figures, Noah was reportedly compensated upward of $16 million annually. 

During his predecessor Jon Stewart’s tenure behind the desk, viewing figures were typically around 1.5 million an episode – and rose as high as 2.5 million in 2013.

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