Trevor Noah Talks About America, Accents and Audiences
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Congrats on being on The Tonight Show last Friday! Were you nervous at all?
Trevor Noah: Yes. It was my first time on American TV so it was a great way to start the year! I'm always nervous before I start a comedy set whether it's a thousand people or five. The nerves are always the same so I was really nervous.
But you've been on TV tons of times, it is different in the states?
Yes but this was different because I'm not American and you just hope they are going to laugh with you. I've been here for a couple of months doing shows around the states for a bit. I've done shows everywhere from Vegas to the East coast and the West so I'm slowing learning the audiences, I'm having fun which is great. I first officially got here in July and then I've been flying back and forth between South Africa so, I've only been here for a solid three months to four.
Wow your English is really good! Kidding. So you're a pretty big deal in South Africa huh?
[Laughs.] I've been lucky enough to have a good following back home in South Africa and in the English speaking parts of Africa which is nice. I've got fans in Australia and England so it's sporadic. It's going slowly but surely. I'm still young so I've got time!
Do you think there is much a difference between the crowds here and there?
Yeah it's different. It depends on where you go. Before you get to America you can fall into the stereotyping American audiences. When I first got here I did Vegas and the audiences were really not smart at all. It was actually sad and not inspiring. Then I went to San Francisco and I was shocked at how amazing everyone was! I learned that America is such a huge place you can't stereotype anyone.
It's funny that you say that, because in America we are so quick to stereotype. Has there been a favorite place for you? (Insert Irvine here.)
You know, I do! What I love about Irvine is that it's been some of the youngest, freshest audiences which has been really great. I think Irvine might be the best Improv I've played in the country. Like, the Improv in Hollywood is very disillusioned and everyone thinks they're the coolest thing in the world. They're like, I'm an actor but I haven't been in anything but I'm so cool. Then you get to Irvine and they're real people. It's fun and it has been amazing and it's one of the few places I don't mind driving at all.