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NPR Arts & Life

Comedian Trevor Noah Calls On Kevin Hart For His 'Daily Show' Debut

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tonight, the new host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" takes his chair. Trevor Noah was chosen to replace Jon Stewart. Noah's very first guest is comedian Kevin Hart.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Who was carefully chosen this role. For one thing, Kevin Hart is very popular. That helps. For another, he has used comedy to break through boundaries of color, rather like Noah himself.

GREENE: Now, choosing a show's first guest can set a tone. When David Letterman debuted on NBC's "Late Night" in 1982, he turned to actor and comedian Bill Murray.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN")

DAVID LETTERMAN: Thanks for being on the show. I certainly appreciate that.

BILL MURRAY: I missed the first part of the show by the way. What happened?

(LAUGHTER)

MURRAY: Is it going well? I know this is the first show, and I think this guy needs a little support. Dave Letterman.

(APPLAUSE)

INSKEEP: That's 1982. In 1993, when Letterman left NBC for CBS, he was replaced on "Late Night" by a comedy writer with little public profile.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN")

CONAN O'BRIEN: We have a really great first show. And I'm a complete unknown to everybody. And these people were fantastic to come on. It's like, come on, I'm Conan O'Brien. You'd better do my show.

GREENE: That complete unknown, as he put it, of course is comedian Conan O'Brien, who did manage to convince actor John Goodman to join him on that first night.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN")

O'BRIEN: Well, thank you very much for coming on the show.

JOHN GOODMAN: Well, thanks for asking me. I wouldn't have been my first choice.

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: And when Jon Stewart took over "The Daily Show" in 1999, he invited actor Michael J. Fox, who kicked off that show with jokes about Stewart adjusting to new props, like the mug on his desk.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DAILY SHOW")

MICHAEL J FOX: Is this mine, by the way? How does it work? You don't know.

JON STEWART: You can have it. It's my first day. I don't know. That could be mine.

FOX: In fact, I have been on - I have been on "The Daily Show" more than you have.

STEWART: Is that true?

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: At least that will not be the case for Trevor Noah. He made several appearances on "The Daily Show" before taking over as its new host. His debut is this evening. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.