Trevor Noah says that he is quitting “The Daily Show.”
During a Thursday night taping of the Comedy Central show, he said that it’s been seven years since he took over for Jon Stewart. He said that he will leave at a time to be decided.
After Jon Stewart left “The Daily Show” seven years ago, the South African comedian Trevor Noah took over as host. On Thursday, he announced that he would be leaving the show.
“We’ve laughed together and we’ve cried together,” Mr. Noah said during a Thursday taping of the show that was released before the show aired. “But after seven years, I feel like it’s time.”
In a statement, Comedy Central said that it had been working with Mr. Noah “for a long time” to figure out how he could keep up with his busy schedule.
The network also said, “There is no set date for his departure, so we are working together to figure out what to do next.”
Mr. Noah, who is 38 years old, said on Thursday that after being in charge of the show for seven tumultuous years and making jokes about the presidency of Donald J. Trump, the pandemic, and other major news events, he realized there was “another part of my life I want to keep exploring.” He said he missed touring, going to other countries, learning other languages, and “being everywhere, doing everything.”
Mr. Noah didn’t say anything else, but he has kept touring and putting out stand-up specials while he has been host.
Comedy Central said it was “excited for the next chapter” of “The Daily Show,” but it didn’t say who would be the next host.
Mr. Noah’s news will come at a time when several late-night hosts are leaving their jobs. In April, James Corden said he would leave his 12:30 a.m. show. Next year, CBS will have a nightly show. Samantha Bee, who used to work on “The Daily Show,” said that her show would not be on TBS in the fall. And Conan O’Brien ended his late-night show on TBS last year.
On Thursday, Mr. Noah thanked the network for believing in “this random comedian no one on this side of the world knew.”
When Mr. Stewart left the show in 2015, after spending 16 years turning it into an award-winning political comedy staple, fans were eager to find out who would take over for one of TV’s most influential and innovative hosts.
The news that Mr. Noah, a newcomer to American television who had been found by Mr. Stewart and his “Daily Show” staff, was getting a huge promotion after only three appearances on the show, came as a surprise to many. (The network had tried to get Chris Rock, Amy Poehler, and Amy Schumer to appear.)
The choice of a 31-year-old biracial comedian from South Africa was made to give “The Daily Show” a younger, more international perspective.
In an interview with The New York Times after the announcement, Mr. Noah talked about being part of “a new young generation of comedians of color in a space where our parents didn’t have a voice that was heard.”
But soon after the announcement, Mr. Noah got into a controversy over jokes he had posted on Twitter years ago about women and Jews that some people found offensive. Mr. Noah responded to criticism at the time by saying, “To reduce my views to a few jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character or how I’ve grown as a comedian.”
The network backed him up. Soon, Mr. Noah’s version of “The Daily Show” was up and running. Correspondents from different backgrounds gave the show new perspectives.
In 2015, he joked to The Times that since he joined the show, “there are a lot more black people there.” He also remembered the advice Mr. Stewart gave him before he started his new job: “Make the best show you think needs to be made. And believe in your pain.”
During his time on the show, Mr. Noah made comments from an outsider’s point of view about America’s problems with race, class, and other things that he thought were silly or funny fodder.
In 2020, he devoted whole segments to the Black Lives Matter movement and the people protesting police brutality against Black people. In one video, he said that it felt like there was “no moment of justice.”
On Thursday, he said that he had never thought about being a host.
He said, “It was kind of like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.'” “I came in to see what the last show was like. The next thing I knew, someone gave me the keys.”
Since then, Mr. Noah has shown how serious he can be. In 2016, he published his autobiography, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.” It is a raw account of how he grew up in South Africa during and after apartheid.
In the book, Mr. Noah talks about being born to a Xhosa mother and a Swiss-German father in a country where his birth “violated a number of laws, statutes, and regulations.”
In May, he performed at the first White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner since the pandemic. He teased President Biden before stopping to say how lucky he was to be able to do that.
“I stood here tonight and made fun of the president of the United States, and I’m going to be fine. I should be okay, right? ” he said, giving Mr. Biden a look. “Like, do you really know how lucky you are? ”
Mr. Noah will go on tour in South Africa in 2023. This week, he wrote on Twitter, “Can’t wait to get home.”