Trevor Noah Talks Making ‘The Daily Show’ With No Audience and Taking Summer Off to “Just Live”

Trevor Noah appeared as Stephen Colbert’s guest for Friday’s episode of The Late Show, where he talked about making The Daily Show with no audience.

Their discussion referenced last month’s announcement that Noah’s Comedy Central show would move from its Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood location in Manhattan to ViacomCBS’ Times Square corporate headquarters, where the show will “hold onto the intimacy and creative elements that drove the success of the Emmy-nominated hit during the pandemic.”

Colbert raised this topic at the top of the interview, curious to hear what filming is like for Noah. “I have to get used to people laughing again,” he said, joking that when someone giggles at a joke he says these days, he looks around to see who’s there. Striking a serious note, Noah said of the coronavirus pandemic: “We’re going through the craziest period that humankind,” and emphasized that he’s going to try everything differently now because he don’t know “if tomorrow will come.”

Colbert said that during the height of the pandemic, when the majority of interviews were conducted virtually over Zoom, he had  very “natural” conversations with guests because the lack of an audience changed how the show unfolded — right down to the order of stories presented — and how it would be edited.

“There are parts of doing it we feel like a band of robbers in the wild west,” Noah said of his new set-up at The Daily Show. He made the comparison to being alone at his house, where there is no pressure to do anything, even get dressed. When he has guests over, he has to think about their experience in his home and curate the day for them. Colbert joked that the latter scenario involves wearing pants.

The Daily Show host also shared that he recently took three months off during the summer. What did he do in that time? “I lived, Stephen.” Noah said that he came to appreciate the simplest of things. “I know not everyone can afford it and not everybody has the opportunity, but do you remember how precious a walk was when we weren’t, just, outside? That twenty minutes where you could go outside; it became special.”

He also took the time, during his months off, to visit other countries and reflect on how, “not all the news is Democrat or Republican. There are things that happen in the world that affect human beings regardless of blue or red.” Concluding, he hit on the most important point: “Just live.”

.@Trevornoah learned to appreciate life during the pandemic. #LSSC pic.twitter.com/ozmWt7XOVR

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) October 30, 2021

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