Monday night marked the return of The Daily Show from its summer hiatus, and—following Jon Stewart's departure—the arrival of South African stand-up comedian Trevor Noah as its new host.
And you know what? It went okay! It wasn't great, but it certainly wasn't terrible, either. It seems wildly unfair to level almost any criticism at Noah until he gets a few weeks' worth of episodes under his belt, but there's one thing we couldn't help but notice: He might be kind of a ham.
Noah has an off-putting habit of giggling and smirking at his own punchlines. We don't get it—it's not like he hasn't just read these same jokes aloud in rehearsal, and he probably contributed to writing them. Wouldn't they land that much harder if he actually committed to their delivery?
It's too early to tell if this is a side effect of first-episode nerves (honestly, if we were Noah, we'd probably be projectile vomiting all over that shiny new set) or a permanent quirk of his performance style, but as of now, it appears the word "deadpan" isn't in his vocabulary.
1. "Growing up in the dusty streets of South Africa, I never dreamed that I would one day have, well, two things, really: an indoor toilet, and a job as host of The Daily Show."
2. "…and now I have both. And I'm quite comfortable with one of them."
3. [On Jon Stewart:] "Dad has left. And now, it feels like the family has a new stepdad. And he's black. Which is not ideal."
4. "Why didn't they get an American to host [The Daily Show]? …Once more, a job Americans rejected is now being done by an immigrant."
5. [To Jon Stewart:] "I'll make you not look like the crazy old dude who left his inheritance to some random kid from Africa."
6. "Hates inequality and climate change, loves immigrants: [Pope Francis] is like a young Bernie Sanders."
7. "I'm saying the Pope has a huge cock… and what a waste."
8. "The Mets made the playoffs. [Cheers from the audience.] I don't know what that is, but Jon told me it would work."
9. "[John Boehner] deported Taco Tuesdays from the cafeteria menu."
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.