WASHINGTON - Comedian Trevor Noah, host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, said he was going to leave the program after hosting it for seven years, indicating he wanted to dedicate more time to stand-up comedy.
The 38-year-old comedian - who moved to the United States in 2011 and was born in Johannesburg, South Africa - had big shoes to fill when he took over in 2015 after the exit of longtime host Jon Stewart.
He quickly established himself with his own brand, suited for an era where online influence was often greater than that of content on cable.
His reign on The Daily Show required him to delicately cover some crucial moments in American history, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2021 attacks on the U.S. Capitol.
"I spent two years in my apartment (during COVID-19), not on the road. Stand-up was done, and when I got back out there again, I realized that there's another part of my life that I want to carry on exploring," Noah told his studio audience late on Thursday. The Daily Show posted a clip of Noah's remarks on social media.
"We have laughed together, we have cried together. But after seven years, I feel like it's time," Noah said.
He ended his remarks by thanking his viewers as his studio audience stood up to applaud him.
Noah, who roasted U.S. politicians and the media at the White House Correspondents Association dinner in April, did not mention his exact departure date in his remarks on Thursday. It was not known who would succeed him.
The key to addressing current affairs through a comedic lens lies in a comedian's intention, Noah said in a 2016 interview with Reuters, adding that he learns from his mistakes.
"I don't think I would ever have been ready, but that's when you must do it, you will not be ready," the comedian told Reuters in the context of having succeeded his legendary predecessor.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Gerry Doyle)