1. “Necessarily the News.” Understanding the explosion of outrage around the announcement of Trevor Noah as the new Daily Show host, says Grantland’s Wesley Morris, requires looking at everything from the state of political satire to the Brian Williams mess to the racial politics of South African popular culture. In other words: It gets really complicated, really quickly.
“If The Daily Show were a sitcom, four-year-old derogatory tweets about women and one’s penis wouldn’t matter. Neither would the fact that Noah’s comedy’s extensive forays into race are humorously unimaginative at best and appalling at worst. But Noah is being handed a now-venerable news program to which there are standards of taste, respect, and propriety, none of which a comedian should be expected to uphold, but which are certainly desired in a newsman. In Noah’s work as the former, he’s run afoul of the latter. Now the questions are, do we move on and wait to see him on the show (which will take months to evaluate)? And what does it mean to do so? Noah not being American (or British) could be bracing. So, too, should his being biracial. Larry Wilmore’s show, primarily about race, frees a Trevor Noah Daily Show from the bedeviling limitations of race without keeping the subject off-limits—and Comedy Central’s new late-night lineup would also put television of any kind in a potentially exciting new place.”