Johannesburg – Comedian and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah is reteaming with M-Net (DStv 101) and will be doing a 13-part TV series set for broadcast in 2018.
The current working title of the show is Trevor Noah Presents ... in which he will showcase upcoming young comedians in South Africa.
The 33-year-old is back in South Africa to do a new stand-up show in Johannesburg and Durban during his holiday from his Daily Show job.
Trevor slammed criticism that tickets are too expensive, saying that it’s time that South African talent and performers start valuing their work in the way that overseas artists are doing.
The author made the announcement about his new comedy show in partnership with M-Net at a press conference on Thursday morning.
Here's a video of the press conference:
Trevor who in the past has credited M-Net as the first South African broadcaster that was willing to give him a TV show - Tonight with Trevor Noah that ran from 2010 on - reiterated on Thursday that the broadcaster was a "big stepping stone" to getting his The Daily Show gig.
"I've had a great partnership with M-Net for many years now, M-Net was first to give me a shot to have my own TV show where I was involved in the creation of the show," said Trevor Noah.
"I've always wanted to give young comedians the opportunity to connect with their audience - young comedians doing comedy in different languages," he said about his plans for Trevor Noah Presents...
"In the series I will be working with M-Net, me being in South Africa, gathering the finest comedians from across the country, and showcasing them to viewers in South Africa and saying 'hey, these are the comedians who will make you laugh' for every walk of life, every single race, every single language.
"I will be hosting the episodes, showcasing some of the comedians who I think deserve to be out there".
'M-Net provides a platform to launch incredible careers'
"We've always been passionate about showcasing local talent," said Yolisa Phahle, M-Net CEO, "not just because audiences love it, but also because at M-Net we firmly believe in giving ambitious, talented and creative people a platform on which they can hone their skills."
"Over the years M-Net's channels have provided a platform for many great South Africans who – through their own sheer hard work – have gone on to launch incredible careers."
"If we are going to grow this industry we have to compete with the biggest and the best. And that is actually what Trevor did. He left at a time when his star was rising very, very fast. He was a big name. But he realised there was a whole world out there and actually the best of South African talent can compete with the best of the world," said Yolisa Phahle.
'Take the no's as an opportunity’
Channel24 asked Trevor Noah what his advice is for up-and-coming young South Africans, looking to him, dreaming of emulating him and of having a career in talk or stand-up and working in television.
"It's about determination," said Trevor Noah. "It's going where the work leads you. And taking the no's as an opportunity to find the yes'es.
"When I worked in South Africa, my dream was never to leave South Africa. That was never my dream. I just went where the work led me. I love doing shows in South Africa as much as I love doing shows out there in the world.
"I encourage people in South Africa to create excellence here. We have opportunities here that you don't have in the rest of the world. We have a shortage of local productions. We have a shortage of local talent because so many people think we have to turn elsewhere.
"The truth is we can create it here. Many movies are coming to South Africa. So we know we have the technical ability. South African actors are appearing in movies and TV shows overseas, so we know we have the talent over here.
"What we have to build on is the personal and physical infrastructure and working on our excellence. Just because it's South African doesn't mean it has to be inferior. For anyone I would say be excellent here.
"Don't wait for overseas. Just work on making the best thing possible in your country and you will find overseas will come knocking."
The blessing that South Africans take for granted
"One thing in America like South Africa, is we have free speech over there," said Trevor Noah, when asked if he isn't scared of American president Donald Trump.
"So what's great is working in an environment where you can speak your mind. And I think that's a blessing that South Africans take for granted.
"I know from just my parents' generations – 20 years ago you couldn't say certain things. We live in a country where we take for granted the leeway we have with our arts and our press. I know people fight about that and go 'we don't have the free-est press but our press freedom is pretty high up there in the world."
High ticket prices because ...
After a journalist criticised Trevor Noah over how seemingly expensive the ticket prices for his latest stand-up shows are, he said he's actually using his holiday to do them which is why he couldn't fit Cape Town in, and "wanted to do a great show that looks good, sounds good, is good".
"I want to put on the show that people want me to put on. It is expensive? Definitely? Would I do it again? Probably not."
"In South Africa for a long time we've had that attitude that 'oh these tickets are expensive for a South African audience’. And yet when an international artist comes here I don't see anyone complaining when its R4000, R5000 a ticket."
"I've worked very hard to keep my costs as low as possible. But at the same time I don't want to fall into the same trap as many South Africans where you go: I will keep the price cheap, and you attend, and go: 'Yes I can see the price was cheap here' and that this wasn't on the standard of an international show."
"If I bring you a show, I have to bring it to you on a standard that I bring to all of my shows around the world," said Trevor.
"As a South African and as a performer I must say that we have to value our own. If we pay for our own, our own are more likely to stay here because they feel appreciated. We've got to build our industries here.
"I'm not just doing Trevor Noah. When I do Trevor Noah I hire people here, I'm hiring South African production companies, I'm hiring South African crews specifically, I'm hiring South African people managing the venue, I'm hiring South African comedians.
"So this isn't a show of me, this is a show of us. And I'm proud that people are willing to come and to be a part of that."