“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” finally nabbed the Emmy for talk series Monday night, breaking the winning streak of “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” which dominated the category since 2016.
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” won the prize at the 75th Emmy Awards after receiving 17 nominations spanning the last five years.
An elated Noah, who has since moved on from hosting the Comedy Central series, accepted the award on behalf of the show. “I told you! I told you we would beat John Oliver if he wasn’t in our category,” joked Noah. “We did it. We got rid of John Oliver.”
“Can I just say this? This story has been so long. It’s been so crazy. It’s been so wonderful,” he continued. “I start by thanking the crazy Africans who followed me to this country, David Kibuuka, Joseph Opio, thank you so much, David, Maya, my partner in crime. And then the writers on the team Roy Wood Jr. from the very beginning. Jordan Klepper‘s flight got canceled. Showrunner, Jennifer Flanz — this woman rode with me through the trenches.”
Noah then thanked “crazy genius” Jon Stewart, who invited the South African comedian to take over the host chair of the influential comedy talk show in 2015 when Stewart moved on. Noah signed off from “The Daily Show” in 2022, after seven seasons with the show.
“It was a wild journey,” Noah said on his show. “The craziest journey I didn’t predict, I didn’t expect.”
Being Black and not from the U.S. — or the U.K. — made him a rarity in late-night TV. Noah said that when he started hosting after Stewart’s wildly successful 17-year run, Comedy Central was unable to fill the seats in the studio audience.
Noah pivoted to more global coverage in the show (early in his run he memorably made historically biting comparisons of Donald Trump to African dictators). While ratings for “The Daily Show” declined, as viewers moved away from watching traditional TV in favor of streaming, the median age of the program’s audience got younger while Noah was at the helm.
Younger viewers likely got to know Noah through social media sharing of his clips. As a result he developed a strong following that will continue to fill concert arenas and drive streaming numbers for his comedy specials.
“I don’t take it for granted ever,” he said.
Times staff writer Stephen Battaglio contributed to this report.