Trevor Noah quotes

  • Often, people who can do, don’t because they’re afraid of what people that can’t do will say about them doing.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #People #Can Do

  • I know that I cannot change the entire world, but I've always believed I can at least affect change in my world.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #World #Always Believe #Knows

  • In my world, a woman was the most powerful thing that I knew. Still is. A woman made the money in my house; a woman made my food. A woman beat my ***** when I wasn't a good kid. Women were behind a lot of what spurred South Africa toward democracy.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Powerful #Kids #House

  • I've come to learn as an adult that love is a hell of a drug. It's one of the most dangerous things that human beings can have. It's also one of the most beautiful things that human beings can possess because love, on one hand, gives you the ability to care for a human being sometimes more than you would care for yourself. Love, unfortunately, sometimes gives you the ability to forgive somebody and blind yourself to the truth.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Beautiful #Love Is #Hands

  • I became a chameleon. My color didn't change. But I could change your perception of my color.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Color #Perception #Chameleon

  • As an outsider myself, I always mixed myself with different groups...I've never been afraid to go into a different space and relate to those people, because I don't have a place where I belong and that means I belong everywhere.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mean #Space #People

  • So what you do [under apartheid system] is you convince black people that the reason they are being oppressed is because there are some within their community who just can't behave. And if only they could behave, then everyone else would have more freedoms and liberties, which, of course, is not true.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #People #Community #Black

  • Comedy is a great tool. We [comics] are trying to find ways to use humor to enlighten people without preaching to them.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #People #Trying #Tools

  • Progression, in my opinion, is often identifying shortcomings - whether it's views or the things you're doing in your life, your relationships - and trying to find the places where you improve on those.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Views #Trying #Opinion

  • When you see someone as a human being, you begin to understand most people are doing what they believe is right. I ask myself, "What if you were wrong? How would you want someone to engage with you?"
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Believe #People #What If

  • I speak English, obviously, Afrikaans, which is a derivative of Dutch that we have in South Africa. And then I speak African languages. So I speak Zulu. I speak Xhosa. I speak Tswana. And I speak Tsonga. And like - so those are my languages of the core. And then I don't claim German, but I can have a conversation in it. So I'm trying to make that officially my seventh language. And then, hopefully, I can learn Spanish.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Speak English #Trying #Dutch

  • If you spoke to me in Zulu, I replied to you in Zulu. If you spoke to me in Tswana, I replied to you in Tswana. Maybe I didn't look like you, but if I spoke like you, I was you.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Looks #Like You #Spokes

  • Language and accents govern so much of how people think about other people.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #People #Language

  • I grew up in a world where authority was female. I never thought to call myself a feminist because of branding. I had this skewed idea of feminist: I thought it meant being a woman who hates men. When I read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists, I was like, "Oh, this is what my mom taught me. This is simple. I don't understand why everybody is not this."
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Hate #Simple

  • I think it's despicable. I also think it's frightening that we seem to live through history over and over again. And I don't know if I'm the only one. I feel like, when you read through history books, you always judge those people in that time.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Book #Thinking #People

  • I often feel like the woman in your life is your driving force. She's your muse. She plays a big role in determining how confident you feel when you walk out the door. She can add 1,000 kilowatts of energy - or drain that out of you. She said, "No, you're not that funny." I thought, She knows better than anyone.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Play #Doors #Energy

  • If he says that, if he wins, he's going to, you know, dismantle the libel laws and come after the newspapers, I feel like we should take him at his word. This is the same man who has been writing letters to people who he's, you know, bared a grudge against for 20 years. So if Donald Trump says that, I don't know why you wouldn't want to believe him.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Believe #Writing #Winning

  • I think all of us should seek help, and not help is in a - you know, help shouldn't be seen as a frightening thing. Help shouldn't be seen as a weak thing.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #Helping #Weak

  • Nelson Mandela was in jail when I was really young, and Winnie Mandela was one of the biggest faces of the movement. In South Africa we have a common phrase - it's like a chant in the street and at rallies: "Wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo." Which means, "You strike a woman, you strike a rock."
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mean #Jail #Rocks

  • When I first came to the U.S. - because I do accents and I've traveled the world. I have friends of almost every single ethnicity, and I would mimic them. And when I came to the U.S., I remember one day we're at "The Daily Show." And I mimicked my Chinese friend. And the guys at the show were like, oh, hey, don't ever do that again. That's really racist.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Ethnicity #Guy #Chinese

  • I do feel like I have a sense of the times. A lot of the things America is experiencing now, I feel like I have lived through. I think there is a cause for concern.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #America #Causes

  • I was like, wow, this guy's [Donald Trump ] going to do well. And I remember people laughed at me. People were like, oh, you silly ignorant person who's just come to this world. You clearly shouldn't be at "The Daily Show" 'cause you don't know what you're talking about. And I was like, but I don't know. He seems like he connects with people. I can relate to him as a performer. I can see what tools he's using. He's good at riffing. He's good at taking the crowd on a journey. I can see what he's doing.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Silly #Journey #Talking

  • Families were living separately from the fathers. And so although, according to African culture, men were the head of the household, the truth is women were the ones who were raising everybody, including men. And growing up with my mother, that was something I really learned to appreciate.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #Growing Up #Father

  • I've just come to realize I'm going to share my point of view. Some people won't like me for it. Some people will. I will work every day to be as honest as I can because I do believe that we're all trying to get to the same place. But various people have tricked us into believing that we are not. And I see America going into that space.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Believe #America #Space

  • I'd get suspicious looks from people just walking down the streets. Where are you from? They'd ask. I'd reply in whatever language they'd addressed me in using the same accent that they used. There would be a brief moment of confusion, and then the suspicious look would disappear.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Confusion #People #Would Be

  • What the apartheid system was really good at doing was convincing groups to hate one another.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Hate #Groups #Apartheid

  • When I was learning how to box, that was the number one thing my trainer taught me. He said you can't get angry at every single time I hit you because that's why you're here. You're going to get hit. Acknowledge that you're going to get hit and now focus on how you're going to fight properly. And living through the times is exactly the right way to put it because I have seen a slice of this only on a different continent.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Fighting #Numbers #Focus

  • You get help at the gym. No one complains about that. You get help from your trainer. That's commonplace, and I think we need to spend more time doing that with mental help. You know, a lot of us have issues that we don't work on and we don't deal with, and I try. I try my utmost.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #Issues #Trying

  • I was really lucky in that my mom and dad never got caught in the act, so to speak. So my mom was caught fraternizing with my dad. My mom was caught, you know, in the building that my father lived in. My mom was caught in a white neighborhood past curfew without the right permits. My mother was caught in transition. And that was key because had she been caught in the act, then, as the law says, she could've spent anywhere up to four years in prison.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Mother #Dad

  • Smaller incidents in my life made me realize that language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Color #People #Language

  • I guess that is the strange part of the human brain that people have studied for eons - is hatred and self-hatred. You can convince people that the problem is not coming from the top but is, rather, being created by the people who are being oppressed.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Self #People #Hatred

  • Living with my mom, I saw how she used language to cross boundaries, handle situations, navigate the world.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Saws #World

  • I knew of like - I remember, for most of my life, I grew up, and "Knight Rider" was, you know - David Hasselhoff was a Dutch character in my world.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Character #Knights #World

  • Traveling the world I've learned that progressives, regardless of their locations, think in a global space.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #Space #World

  • [Languages] became a tool that served me my whole life.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Tools #Language #Whole Life

  • Now everyone has eyes, and now everyone has evidence. That's really changed how we tell the news and what we get from it.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Eye #News #Changed

  • I think any show has the potential to bring about social change. I do not think any one show in isolation can do it. I think it is a groundswell that needs to continue to be bolstered from all ends.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #Needs #Isolation

  • Even now in America, you know, when people say they hate immigrants, they're not referring to a Canadian immigrant. You know, they're not referring to somebody who has an accent who's slightly different to theirs.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Hate #America #People

  • America is the one place in the world where I just innately understood [that] South Africa and the United States of America have a very similar history. It's different timelines, but the directions we've taken and the consequences - dealing with the aftermath of what we consider to be democracy, and realizing that freedom is just the beginning of the conversation, that's something I've learned.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Taken #America #Democracy

  • People should always be wary of that because the precedent is set. And it's so much easier to build on a foundation than it is something that doesn't exist. So you see it as something that's happening to people that are not you. And then it expands, and it expands further. And then, one day, you're on a registry.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #People #One Day #Foundation

  • I don't even remember hearing about [Immorality Act of 1927]. I just knew about it. I was born into it, so I don't remember my parents ever saying it to me. I don't remember a conversation ever being had around this. I just knew this to be the law because that's what I was growing up in during that time in South Africa.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Growing Up #Law #Parent

  • There are many people out there who don't even think of themselves as being averse to facts, but the truth is, they are not getting it.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #People #Facts

  • I'm not a political progressive, but I consider myself a progressive person. What makes me a progressive, in my opinion, is the fact that I try to improve myself and by large improve the world that I'm in - in the smallest way possible.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Political #Trying #World

  • [Donald] Trump ditched his press pool. That's just stupid and funny. Get over it. You know, [Bill] Clinton ditched his press pool. This is something presidents do sometimes. Don't make everything that Trump does a scandal because what'll happen is you'll diminish the real scandals, you know? You've got to get over the fact that you hate the person and rather focus on what you're trying to do.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Hate #Real #Stupid

  • I don't think things are getting more insane. I do know that the country is more divided than it's ever been. Tensions in America are at their peak.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Country #Thinking #America

  • It's an interesting place to begin where the country is completely divided into choosing sides, when the only side everyone should be choosing is the side of America, and then politicians essentially should be arguing about the best way to serve America.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Country #America #Interesting

  • I think it was something I inherited from my mother, who learned to do it. You know, I, like a baby duckling, was merely mimicking the survival traits that my mother possessed. And I came to learn very quickly that language was a powerful, powerful tool.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #Baby #Powerful

  • We all do that as human beings, you know? It's what my mom would call shopping on an empty stomach. You're going to buy food that you shouldn't because, at the time, you are reacting to your hunger.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Shopping #Hunger

  • I want to be in a position where I get to start off fresh. I don't have any preconceived notion of how I should feel.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Want #Should #Notion

  • I came to realize,people who had Chinese accents will continue to have Chinese accents in America are treated as being stupid or not as intelligent as an English speaker who is fluent with an American accent - I came to realize why. But it's always fascinated me how quickly you can change where you stand with another human being just based on how you speak.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Stupid #Intelligent #America

  • I've lived many places all over the world, so I've always seen myself as a citizen of the world.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Citizens #World

  • I'm always fascinated when people say, "We found rude conversations people had via e-mail." Why are you e-mailing this stuff? It has your signature on it! It has a time stamp!
    -- Trevor Noah

    #People #Rude #Signatures

  • One day as a young man, I was walking down the streets. And a group of Zulu guys was walking behind me closing in on me. And I could hear them talking to one another about how they were going to mug me. (Speaking Zulu). Let's get this white guy. You go to his left, and I'll come up behind him. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't run.So I just spun around real quick and said (speaking Zulu). Yo, guys, why don't we just mug someone together? I'm ready.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Running #Real #Men

  • Those were the places where many people mixed if they wanted to mix, which was against the law [Immorality Act of 1927]. My mother was part of that group. My father was part of that group. People who were black and whites and Indian and Asian - and you came together and said, we choose to mix at the risk of being arrested. And so they did.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #Father #Black And White

  • I lived in a world where I didn't share the love for my stepfather that my mother shared for him. She married him.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #World #Married

  • It was just how my parents treated me. It was the world they decided to show me. I was really sheltered. My grandmother kept me locked in the house when I was staying, you know, with the family in Soweto. And every household, for instance, had to have a registry of everyone who lived in that house.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Grandmother #House #Parent

  • I love ebola jokes. When done in the right way, maybe it gets people to learn about ebola, to learn about the stigmas behind the identities held by Africans and so on.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Ebola #People #Identity

  • When I first started doing comedy, there was no such thing as a room that had black people and white people in it. That didn't exist.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #White #People #Black

  • When you are honest in your comedy, you have to acknowledge the world that you're in. Through a comedic voice you're talking about what needs to be talked about, whether it's race relations or politics or anything that's happening on a global or an American scale.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Race #Talking #Voice

  • Our go-to source is no longer dictated by a small group of cable news outlets. We have to expand our view. Sometimes, a story is made and breaks on Twitter. We have to find a way to react to that, to consume and also disseminate the information from Twitter, which is not an easy thing to do.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Views #Groups #News

  • I'm coming from a place where I have seen a different way to handle it, or a slightly different way to go through what is happening, that gives me some perspective. So I think it always helps. It always helps to have someone who has traveled the world or seen a different way to do something. That helps give you perspective.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #Giving #Perspective

  • We always look at gerrymandering and what it has done to voting in America, but what I realized the other day is that the news has somehow become gerrymandered and is continuing to be gerrymandered in America.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #America #Voting #Looks

  • In an American context, let's say gay rights or marriage policy - that's a progressive thing. I understand that in an American context.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Gay #Rights #Progressive

  • Comedy is crowded. There are hundreds of comedians in every place in the world.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Comedian #World #Comedy

  • There's news that happens in different spheres and can be made just as funny, but it's not necessarily in the normal news medium.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Different #News #Spheres

  • They said [on a day show], oh, you can't do a Chinese accent. That's - and I said, I'm not doing a Chinese accent. I'm doing my friend's accent. And they said, yeah, you can't do that. And I said, OK, but can I do a Russian accent? And they said, yeah, yeah, of course, you can do that. I said, and a British accent? They said, yeah, go ahead. And I couldn't understand.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Chinese #They Said #Yeah

  • The police [in South Africa] would check in on you randomly. And they would come into the house, and they would look through that registry and look at all the names of all the people who were registered to be living in the house. And they would, you know, cross-reference that with the actual inhabitants of the dwelling.I was never on that piece of paper. I was always hidden. My grandmother would hide me somewhere if the police did show up. And it was a constant game of hide and seek.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Grandmother #Dwelling #Games

  • When you hear somebody speaking in an accent, it's almost like they're invading your language while they're speaking to you because if you hear someone speak another language, you almost don't care. But when they speak your language with an accent, it feels like an invasion of something that belongs to you. And, immediately, we change.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Care #Invasion #Language

  • I think we need to get rid of is improving our minds and our mental health. You know, when when you suffer from depression, you go this is something that I have and I can work on it, you know? I often think of depression, though, as more of a - as more of a symptom than a cause.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #Mind #Suffering

  • I go - I trace depression back to things. So I go, ok, I look back and I say my self-esteem was affected because of my skin and because my family had no money and I was ashamed of how poor I was. And I look at all of that and I was trying to hide myself. And so I felt like I was less than I was. And so that then leads to you being depressed. And I work on these things.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Self Esteem #Skins #Trying

  • When I wrote the book, I thought that I was the hero of my story. And in writing it, I came to realize over time that my mom was the hero. And I was, you know - I was just her punk-ass sidekick.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Hero #Book

  • If I could get an honest answer, I would ask Trump. "How much money would you want in order to leave the presidency?" Because I think he would have a number, strangely enough. Then we'd know how much to launch the Kickstarter for.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #Honest #Enough

  • The police didn't afford you a phone call. You just disappeared for a while. And what was scary was we lived in a state where some people disappeared forever.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Phones #People #Scary

  • Twitter is a place where there is extreme vitriol at all times.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #All Time #Extremes

  • I was lucky to come along for the ride. [My mother] really is an amazing woman. And the world we lived in in South Africa at the time was a very matriarchal society because so many black men had been removed from the home.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #Home #Men

  • I think it does because if you think of where "The Daily Show" was when I inherited it from Jon Stewart, I was in a space where, essentially, everything seemed like it was on track, you know, in terms of - from a progressive point of view, you know, you're looking at Republicans who, yes, were in control of many facets of government.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Thinking #Government #Views

  • My mom would spend a week in jail. She would spend a day in jail here - a week again, a week and a half, two weeks. My grandmother tells me stories of how because I would be at the house, I wouldn't notice that my mom was gone because she would be at work sometimes. So it was just like time when my mom would be gone and my grandma would tell me she'll be back. And nobody knew where anybody was.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Grandma #Grandmother

  • I always say to people, you know - someone goes, oh, well, what are you going to do about terrorist attacks and Muslims? We got to do something. And I go, don't let those in power trick you out of your freedoms by using your fear.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #People #Tricks #Oh Well

  • It's the reason the United States fell into the Patriot Act - because they were reacting.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #United States #Patriot #Reason

  • I learned to use language like my mother did. I would simulcast, give you the program in your own tongue.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #Giving #Use

  • I just had - we had instances - like, for instance, when I turned 13, she threw me a bar mitzvah. But nobody came.But nobody came because nobody knew what the hell that was. I only had black friends. No one knows what the hell you're doing.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Black #Mitzvah #Bars

  • It's very rare to find a place where news itself has a political bent. Normally, let's say in the U.K. for instance, newspapers might explicitly support one party or the other, but television is just straight-up facts that are not influenced by any party from either side. In South Africa we try to maintain the same thing. Unfortunately, the government sometimes intervenes, but for the most part, the facts are the facts.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Party #Government #Support

  • If you can't trust your president to get the right information on a Googleable fact, then can you really trust him with the harder stuff? Which, by the way, is everything else the president of the United States has to deal with.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #President #Information #Stuff

  • One of the people from my online team said he didn't notice - almost immediately after the [Donald] Trump victory within the following days, he noticed that there was a severe spike in hateful messages that were coming towards me.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Team #People #Victory

  • I hate using this term [miracle]. I'm a man of science. I'm a doctor. I don't use this word. But he said, it's a miracle your mom's alive.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Hate #Men

  • In America, to have news that has explicitly taken a position is a very strange place to be in, and it's a very dangerous place to be in. And that's happening on Facebook, as you saw, and that's happening online. People are just being given their news and not the news, which is really, really scary.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Taken #Strange Places #America

  • In America, there is no racial segregation. I'm not sure I'm quite familiar with this phrase.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #America #Phrases #Segregation

  • I had some people who disagreed with me here or there - but nothing as strong as I've received, you know, coming to America. That is the irony of life, so I guess - I always tell people - I go I feel like in a strange way, I'm home. You know, this doesn't shock me. This is just - I've come a long way to be in a place that is extremely familiar to me.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Strong #Home #America

  • America is dealing with the effects of an underreaction to Donald Trump when he was running and when he was Mr. Saying-Racist-Things-on-the-News.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Running

  • I hope America manages to steer itself away from partisanship and back to patriotism; we are all Americans. And as long as I can make people laugh and feel better, I'm happy.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Feel Better #Long #People

  • We have a fair amount of racism.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Racism #Fairs #Amount

  • If you look at this election, I feel like Donald Trump was speaking a different language to Hillary Clinton.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Different #Looks #Election

  • This is the Immorality Act of 1927.To prohibit illicit carnal intercourse between Europeans and natives and other acts in relation thereto. Be it enacted by the king's most excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa as follows.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Kings #House #Unions

  • My mother never stagnated in a place where she said, I have it all.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #Said

  • My mother's always looking for answers. She's always searching for new information. I think she has a thirst for hunger that very few possess innately.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #Thinking #Answers

  • [My mother ] will write me an email, and it'll be Shanah Tovah. And the next day it'll be something else, Baruch Hashem Adonai. And I - I'm lost half of the time, but that was the world that I grew up in.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #Writing #Next Day

  • I still live today with my mom sending me, you know, Hebrew Scriptures or phrases or celebrating.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Live For Today #Phrases

  • [I had Bar mitzvah ]it was just me and my mom. And she's celebrating. And she's reading things to me in Hebrew. I don't know what's going on. And she's telling me that now I'm a man. And I'm like, does that mean I have no chores? And she's like, no, you still have chores, but you're a man. I didn't understand most of it.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mom #Reading #Mean

  • I lived my life as a - as a part-white, part-black but then sometimes-Jewish kid.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Kids #White #Black

  • [My mother] wanted to go as deep as possible into the world of religion. And that took her into Judaism.
    -- Trevor Noah

    #Mother #World #Judaism