No Travel Ban on Laughter (Standup Comedy Review: “Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark”)

trevor noah afraid of the dark POSTER

Trevor Noah’s new special spans the globe, proving once again there’s no accent he can’t conquer . . . or is it colonize?


SnapShot Plot

In a scant 67 minute show (filmed at the Beacon Theatre in NYC), Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark tackles several topical issues of the day, but does so in a more genial and affable manner than The Daily Show host approaches his nightly news commentary. To some, his stand-up style may seem cautious at times, maybe even pulling a few punches here and there. But to others, it’s a welcome reprieve from the incessant vitriol that has choked the entertainment circuit for quite some time now. In a variety of bits (some of which drag on a bit) Noah nonetheless  – and with spot-on multilingual accents – shines an ironic light on the dangers of Nationalism and the fear of Immigration, specifically focusing on the colonial history of the British Empire in an hilarious send-up.



Parting Shot

Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark doesn’t have the autobiographical essence of his earlier special, Trevor Noah: African American (reviewed on NSP in April, 2015) and for good reason. The comedian has already arrived, as it were, and has taken his place at the helm of The Daily Show long enough that he no longer needs to tell us his life story, growing up in South Africa as the illegal child of mixed race parents. His present outlook is more universal, reflected in his emphasis and encouragement of world travel. I for one found it an easy and entertaining hour, even though I wasn’t howling in laughter at the screen. No, this is the kind of comedy that gently nudges you toward that invigorating dinner conversation with people whose opinions you might not share but who you respect as fellow globe-trotters of the spirit.

Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark is presently streaming on Netflix.

YouTube Trailer:


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