Regardless of how big of a comedy nerd you are, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of comedian Trevor Noah— but that has more to do with location than it does with his skill level. And, anyway, that’s about to change. Born, raised and currently living in Johannesburg, South Africa, Noah — in six short years — has become not only a comedian who’s celebrated in multiple countries but has, through his light-hearted yet incisive stand-up material, become somewhat of a national ambassador.
The award-winning comedian is bringing his show Born A Crime to the States for the first time; now through June 8, the 29-year-old will perform the show off-Broadway at 45 Bleecker in New York City (Tickets here). As you’ll hear in my interview with Noah, which took place at the offices of WestBeth Entertainment (the company presenting Born A Crime), the show relates Noah’s very personal story about growing up in South Africa under Apartheid. His father is a white dude (German and Swiss) and his mother is black. Put simply, the union was illegal. His mother was routinely fined and tossed in jail for her crime and Noah, himself, always had a lot of explaining to do; as a mixed-race child, no one in his neighborhood looked like him.
He’s released multiple hours of comedy in his native country, amassed nearly two million Twitter and Facebook followers, has been on the cover of Rolling Stone in South Africa and has gained the immense respect of some of the biggest names in the industry— Eddie Izzard (who produced his show last year in Edinburgh), Russell Peters and Gabriel Iglesias, to name just three. He made his Stateside television debut on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2012 and you’ll be able to see him on Late Show with David Letterman this Friday, May 17.
For now, though, I’d like to invite you to listen to the great chat I had with Noah, and, if you’re anywhere within a few hours of New York, get thee to Born A Crime. Enjoy!
Each week on the Laughspin Podcast, Dylan Gadino and Mike Gogel bring you comedy news, the most recent audio clips from the comedy world and a few laughs (and the occasional special interview episodes). Be sure to subscribe to the Laughspin Podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher.