As host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah considers himself to be a storm chaser these days.
“You will come to find when there is a possibility of extinction, people tend to tune in,” Noah said to a sold-out crowd at Symphony Space in New York City last night. “I feel sort of the same way a weatherman does when a tornado is on the horizon.”
But as Noah went on to describe, a tornado isn’t actually the right metaphor for the presidency of Donald Trump, which he sees as much more outlandish, yet still destructive.
“Donald Trump is obviously a terrifying prospect to the world,” Noah continued. ”[But] he’s confusing … Donald Trump is essentially a paradox. He is, on the one hand, terrifying, especially the idea of him being in control of the most powerful nation in the world. On the other hand, everyday we laugh.”
Expanding on an idea he had proposed on “The Daily Show” YouTube page in May, Noah delivered a more fitting (and lewder) metaphor. “I struggle with these emotions everyday,” he said. “It’s almost as if there’s a giant asteroid headed to the earth, but it’s shaped like a penis. I think I’m going to die, but I know I’m going to laugh.”
This event at Symphony Space was a partnership with Strand Bookstore to promote Noah’s 2016 memoir, Born a Crime. Noah had much to say about Trump.
In one particularly salient comment that received a rapturous response from the audience, Noah spoke about how Trump will likely be the person who will successfully stop Trump.
“The only thing saving America is the resistance, and not resistance of the people, resistance of Donald Trump,” Noah said, at first a bit confusingly. Then he continued, “I think he’s doing a fantastic job of obstructing himself and the Republicans. You cannot deny he’s only the greatest ally to Democrats and to people who are not for his agenda.”
Finishing the thought, Noah said, “It’s a strange world to be in, when you have to thank him for blocking him.”
Later, returning to the weather metaphor from before, Noah spun the dire situation into a hopeful scenario in which America will become stronger if it survives.
“I think Donald Trump is going to be the stress test of America’s democracy,” said Noah. “He’s going to expose all of those leaks. For a long time America has had a rickety house that hasn’t been renovated, and now the storm that is Trump is approaching and you’re going to see all of the leaks in the roof.”
With the more positive spin, he continued, “If anything, that is the one bright side of Donald Trump ― is that if America survives him and if America is vigilant enough to respond to what they learn from Donald Trump, you can then realize everything you need to face within a democracy that’s based on a really solid foundation.”
Of course that survival remains an if. Is there truly a roof that could survive a penis-shaped asteroid?