Trevor Noah talks politics, racism during his comedy show at State Farm Center



Trevor Noah accepts Best Host for ‘The Daily Show’ on the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

By Isimar Murillo, Contributing writer

Trevor Noah, the South African comedian and host of the The Daily Show” on Comedy Central was greeted by sonorous cheers as he took the stage Friday night at State Farm Center.

Known for discussing current political and racial issues in a charming and charismatic way, Noah stayed true to his comedic style as he imitated and discussed his opinions of President Donald Trump. He also talked about meeting and interviewing former President Barack Obama, the rising racial tensions in America and trying tacos for the first time.

Noah’s comedy is comparably different than comedian Angelo Lozada, who opened the show by getting to know the audience on a more personal level. The Puerto Rican from New York asked attendees to shout for their collective demographics, after which he asked a few members of the audience about themselves and teased students about their prospective majors. His lively personality earned a lot of laughs for the night and, undoubtedly, new fans.

Noah began the show by jumping right into a discussion about Chicago crime. He talked about how drive-bys are disrespectful by nature because they are so impersonal.

“I don’t like the idea of someone killing me as if they have other plans. I don’t like that,” Noah said. “I want to feel like I was something special in your day.”

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The comedian’s dark humor covered many topics, though not all political. He talked about his naivety upon first coming to the United States and how cultural misunderstandings make for a tear-jerking stories. Upon first trying tacos in the United States, he was asked if he wanted a napkin, and hilarity ensued as he described that in South Africa, napkins are actually baby diapers.

Though Noah joked about political issues, like how he was terrified by the uncertainty of Trump’s presidency. He admitted he finds Trump hilarious and terrifying, and compared the president to an asteroid.

“It feels like there’s a giant asteroid headed towards the Earth, but it’s shaped like a penis. I think I’m going to die but I know I’m going to laugh,” Noah said.

Noah was recently in Chicago and talked about the first time he encountered racism in America. While he experienced racism before in South Africa, he was still disappointed by it. His mother is a black South African woman and his father is a European man, and growing up he heard racial slurs pointed at himself and his family. His mother taught him to love, and so he said he tries to turn that negativity into love instead.

“My mom always used to say to me, ‘Trevor you can’t control what people do to you but you can control how you react.’ She always said, ‘Don’t give a racist person the pleasure of seeing your pain,’” Noah said.

Jhania Perkins, senior at Urbana High School, said she loves Noah because of how open he is about his political views when other public figures are not, and how his politics mirror hers.  

“I believe in him the most. Because at this point, especially in my generation, it’s really hard to want to claim this country,” Perkins said. “Considering I’m American, it kind of sucks that I have to walk around and be like, ‘I don’t really want to be American right now.’ But I am, so I can’t really change that.”

Reka Manton, freshman in LAS, saw the show with her parents, Jonathan Manton and Marta Gabnai, who are also huge fans of the comedian. Reka’s mom read his book “Born a Crime,” and recommended the audio version to anyone who wants a longer performance of Trevor Noah.

“I got an email about it — there was a discount for students — and I sent it to my parents because we’ve watched ‘The Daily Show’ since Jon Stewart,” Manton said.

Lyan Padilla-Velez, freshman in Veterinary Science, thinks people should check out Noah “if you want to have a laugh about everyday situations or whatever is going on right now in the world or in the States,” Padilla-Velez said.

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