Trevor Noah, the acclaimed successor of Jon Stewart on US institution The Daily Show, on Saturday hosted an intimate gig at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa, in which he declared Dubai’s airport “the best in the world – even the elevators don’t have buttons, which even eliminates the stress of having to press anything”.
Noah had been flown in by OSN to live-launch the world-famous Comedy Central, an American cable channel that features the likes of Inside Amy Schumer, South Park, Broad City and the Comedy Central Roast, that has been a cornerstone of global comedy since Viacom launched it in 1991. You can now find it on OSN’s channel 207.\
“I will be exploring my Arabic,” Noah quipped to press conference MC – and fellow comedian – Fahad Al Butairi. “I believe I will be very good, and then you will no longer have a job. That’s really what the plan is here, for me to take over from the Arabic-speaking comedians, and try to just put it all into one comedian. It will be cheaper for the network and appeal to everybody.”
He was joking, of course. In fact, continuing the commitment to Middle Eastern comedy it showed by launching the Arabic version of Saturday Night Live in January, OSN declared that bringing Comedy Central to the UAE was as much about delivering big US names to the region as it was providing a platform for local comedians to showcase their talents.
“Plus, this also means I get to come to Dubai even more, and I love Dubai,” Noah said. He then launched into a 45-minute, immaculately structured and absolutely hilarious set that took in a number of spot-on dialects (Noah can speak six languages), a pitch-perfect imagining of Idris Elba’s potential James Bond, a thank you to the driver who the day before had driven him so fast he had “helped me overcome my fear of fear itself” and, of course, some acute observations on the Brits and their obsession with fake tan.
“The first time I came to Dubai I saw all these orange people around, and I thought I’d actually discovered a new race,” said Noah. “But, no. It was just the British...”