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First take/Noah

The first Daily Show of the Trevor Noah era probably pleased most watchers from the Jon Stewart era: Noah seemed up to the job, and the show seemed not to have lost its steam from the last months of Stewart’s run. I’d been concerned, because up to this point we haven’t been getting the better part of the deal from the transitions this year at late night Comedy Central. When Stephen Colbert left his Report at the end of last year, he was replaced in the slot by Larry Wilmore, whose show was a little less kinetic and seemed less essential viewing, though it has been getting steadily stronger over the months. Colbert’s new CBS show is totally professional but scattered, unfocused, with a host much more concerned about being liked than he used to be; he’s lost edge, and his material and interviews are less arresting. Noah, though, showed signs of bringing some of Colbert’s edge back – his capabilities seem closer in fact to Colbert than they do to Stewart. There’s serious potential here: After all the second-guessing, Noah may turn out to be an excellent choice for the program. – rs

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