Trevor Noah, The Daily Show

Comedy Central

Meet Trevor Noah, the newest star on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart!

The 30-year-old made his debut as a contributor on the satirical Comedy Central show on Thursday. Noah is originally from South Africa, making him one of about a handful of foreign-born comics and actors who have been featured as contributors or correspondents on The Daily Show since its debut in 1996.

Noah has performed on U.S. television before. In 2012, he became the first comic from South Africa to perform on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and in 2013 on The Late Show with David Letterman.

Trevor Noah, The Tonight Show

Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

On The Daily Show, Noah was introduced via a segment titled "Spot the Africa," during which he made a reference to the ongoing backlash over a white police officer's shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, and a recent grand jury decision not to indict the officer.

Scores of people have taken to the streets to take part in racially charged protests against the case and the verdict as well as a similar decision recently issued over the killing of Eric Garner, in New York.

"I've been holding my arms like his since I got here," said Trevor, who has been to the United States before, while raising both hands up, as many protestors have been doing. "I never thought I'd be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa. Kinda makes me a little nostalgic for the old days back home."

Check out five things to know about Noah below.

1. Racial tensions hit close to home...

Noah was born to a black South African mother and white Swiss-German father in 1984, when the country was under apartheid, or racial segregation, and plagued by violence. From 1948 to 1994, the white minority was in power. Mixed-race marriages were illegal.

Noah was raised in Soweto, a township near Johannesburg, according to the U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times. It is the former home of late iconic leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela. Black people were not allowed to live inside Johannesburg or other major cities.

"There was literally nobody like me in the area. There was nobody who looked like me," Noah told fellow comic Marc Maron on his popular WTF podcast in 2013.

Hundreds of people in South Africa were killed during the struggle against apartheid.

"They did crazy things, like if they weren't certain if you were white or not...then they'd conduct experiments to make sure that you were white," Noah told Maron. "And one was the pencil test, where they would put a pencil in your hair and then, if the pencil fell out, then you were white."

2. ...and separated his family.

He told Maron his parents "came up with weird schemes" to be able to maintain a relationship and raise him together during apartheid when he was a child.

"My mom, through my dad, rented the apartment next door to his...he had the lease on both place," he said. "But then, she would dress up and act like his maid...a practical maid. No fantasies. So when the police would come knocking, she would open the door, and she'd be like, 'Oh, no, the white man's not here, oh, he's not here today.' But then, I would have to hide because if they saw me, then they'd be like, 'Woah, who's that?'"

"My mom used to get arrested for being with my dad," Noah said on The Artie Lange Show in 2013. "She would get fined. She would spend weekends in jail."

During his mother's jail stints, he'd stay at his grandmother's house. Eventually, their family became separated.

"I lost contact with my father for many years because of apartheid," told host Artie Lange. "For like six years, I didn't see my dad. And now, this was the six years of being a teenager."

He added that he has a good relationship with his father. His parents are no longer together. His mother remarried and he has two half-brothers.

3. He'll go there...comedy-wise.

Noah began his standup career more than seven years ago and has also worked as a TV and radio host.

On the comedy stage, he'll tackle and poke fun at sensitive, controversial topics and high-profile people. (Warning: Contains content that viewers may be offensive.)

Such as Oprah Winfrey...


and South African Olympian and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius ...

He also got criticized over this Facebook post about him.

4. A comedic rant got him a surprising job.

In 2010, after a video of him complaining about South African cell phone firm Cell C during a standup comedy show was posted on YouTube, the company's CEO published a letter to him in the country's Sunday Times.

"Your criticism about spotty coverage, dropped calls and overall lack of delivery is not unfounded and as the CEO of Cell C, I would like to apologize to you and every Cell C customer who is experiencing similar problems," he wrote.

And then he made Noah, well, watch for yourself.

Trevor maintained his new position for about two years, while continuing his standup career.

5. He can DANCE!

In 2008, Noah competed on season 4 of South Africa's version of Dancing With the StarsStrictly Come Dancing (which is also the title of its British equivalent). He and professional dancer partner Hayley Hammond came in second place.

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