DeKALB – Trevor Noah, comedian and host of “The Daily Show,” is coming to DeKalb. Northern Illinois University spokesman Joe King is hopeful many of his fans will be right behind him.
“Trevor Noah appeals to a young, hip, educated audience, from the younger audience through middle-age,” said King, a Marquette University alumnus. “Bringing someone like him to campus sort of reminds me of my college experience, and taking advantage of the chance to see some top-line entertainment.”
Noah will perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 10, at the Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, along with his personal warm-up comedian, Angelo Lozada. Tickets are on sale for students and will go on sale for the general public Friday.
Noah joined Comedy Central's dead-left-wing political satire show “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in 2014 as a contributor and relieved Stewart as host when he left the show in spring 2015. Noah was named best host during the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards, and also won a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series for hosting “The Daily Show – Behind the Scenes.”
He’s had nine comedy specials, the most recent, “Afraid of the Dark,” on Netflix.
“Travor Noah is the most successful comedian in Africa,” his biography, sent by Jill Fritzo Public Relations, opens.
Born in South Africa to a black South African mother and a white European father, he also wrote and released “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” in November 2016, and it quickly became a New York Times bestseller. The book shares Noah’s personal stories from his childhood and delves into the last gasps of apartheid.
While best-known for his political commentary, Noah, as many standout comics do, has come under fire for some of his jokes, including his in-jest takes on Aboriginal women and Africa winning the World Cup – when in fact it was France that won soccer’s most coveted prize.
The Convocation Center’s director, Heather Priest, and her team worked with Wisconsin-based Event Resources to book Noah. The process began in April, when Event Resources sent a list of acts for Priest’s crew to peruse.
“Trevor stood out to us as a good student-community show,” Priest said, adding that she can't disclose how much Noah will get paid.
She said he's the biggest act the Convocation Center has landed since country music star Thomas Rhett visited in March 2017 – although as a self-proclaimed "country girl," Priest admits she's biased.
Priest said comedians have a good track record at the 10,000-seat venue, and that Gabriel Iglesias' tour stop in 2014 sold it out.
Whereas country acts draw a pretty diverse mix of attendees, comedians tend to bring in more students – and could-be students, Priest said.
She said she hopes Noah performing at NIU can only help with future enrollment – which of course is top of mind for administrators at the home of the Huskies.
“While it’s tough to quantify how much this could impact enrollment or revenue, booking this type of entertainment is an example of how NIU provides a big-university experience, and we’re a piece of that,” Priest said.