Literary Analysis Of Trevor Noah's 'Surfing Aids'

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Comedy in its simplest form requires two factors: an in-crowd and an out-crowd. A successful comedian understands how to use this disparity to his or her advantage. Trevor Noah is one such success. Born in apartheid South Africa, Noah developed his roots as a comedian, actor, and presenter. Today, he is reaching international notoriety as the host of satirical news program The Daily Show. Noah’s uniqueness derives from his foreign upbringing during the apartheid from a white father and black mother, which together creates a comedian who approaches issues with an insightful yet often silly take. In his monologue entitled, “Surfing Aids”, Noah is recounts an interaction he had with a young woman that boasts all the elements of Noah’s specific type of informal lighthearted humor. Noah, a self-designated “outsider” to America, gains the acceptance of the audience through his wry mockery of offensive American culture in order to clear up ethnic misconceptions about foreigners from a perspective that is neither accusatory nor blaming but refuses to be silenced. The set up into the story sets the tone for the monologue that follows. The backdrop: a beautiful Malibu beach, quiet weekday, minimal beachgoers. And one surfer. Noah acts out her “unnecessary surfing moves”, which immediately creates a character who is outrageous without purpose. Her voice is even more ridiculous: high pitched and so obviously that of a “valley girl”. The audience laughs along because they too have most

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