News

"There wasn't a big freedom scene": Trevor Noah Talks Comedy In Pre-Democracy South Africa On The Tonight Show

'The Tonight Show' guest Trevor Noah speaks to Jimmy Fallon about the state of South Africa's stand-up comedy scene when he was growing up.


Trevor Noah appeared on The Tonight Show Friday night, where the South African comedian spoke to Jimmy Fallon about a range of topics, including Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, New York City's sirens, U.S. politics, the state of comedy in pre-democracy South Africa and Noah's start in stand-up.

Was there a big stand-up scene in South Africa when Noah was growing up, Fallon asked. "No, because there wasn't a big 'freedom scene.' It sort of limits you," the 31-year-old comedian said. "There was no stand-up scene. There were a few guys here and there who would speak up. But if you were gathered in a group, especially if it was black people, you go to jail because obviously you were planning something. They didn't think black people just hang out; they [think they're] here for a reason. There was no stand-up scene, there was no one speaking out. You couldn't say anything about the government. You'd go to jail. It sort of limits your need or want to be a comedian when you're gonna go to jail. If you told me I was going to go to jail I'd stop doing comedy."

Fallon then wondered how Noah got into stand-up, which the comedian explained involved a night out with his drunk cousin and friends.

The pair also spoke about the upcoming presidential election in the U.S. "This is insane. I've never seen anything like it," Noah said. "Sometimes it looks like a fighting game and it's all the characters you can choose. It's like who do you select?... I feel like it's Game of Thrones. We need a map to show you who goes where and how." He added, "We just got democracy, so this is like I've gone into the future. I want to go home and tell people, 'you don't know what's coming! It gets crazy!'"

Trevor Noah's "new and sexy Daily Show" is slated to premiere on Comedy Central on September 28th in the U.S. and September 29th in Africa.

Film
(Youtube)

10 African Films That Deal With Protest Culture & History

African countries have a long history of protests and demonstrations against forces of oppression, and this has been represented significantly in cinema.

Around the world, Nigerians in the diaspora have picked up the mantle of protesting peacefully against police brutality and violence. These gatherings are a direct extension of the nationwide protests that were brought to a tragic halt in Lagos after soldiers of the Nigerian army fired guns at peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate venue.

African countries have a long history of protests and demonstrations against forces of oppression and this has been represented significantly in cinema. This list, while not an exhaustive one, attempts to contextualize this rich cinematic history, tracing the complex and diverse ways that protest culture have been reflected in African film. From influential classics that are now considered required viewing to fascinating portraits of individual resistance, these films are proof that the struggle continues, regardless.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 6 Best East African Songs of the Month (October)

Featuring Nadia Mukami, Zuchu x Joeboy, John Blaq and more.