Super U Podcast | 7 Super Tips with Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah is a South African comedian, television host, writer, producer, political commentator, and actor. He is said to be the most successful comedian in Africa and currently the host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Noah’s book Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood was a #1 New York Times Bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, Newsday, Esquire, NPR, and Booklist.
5x #1 Bestselling Author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman has performed in over 55 countries and reached over 50 million people this past decade. He was voted the 2nd Most Likable Author in the World behind Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling.
Need a sneak peek? Below are the main takeaways from the episode.
Super U Podcast | 7 Super Tips with Trevor Noah:
[3:31] Tip #1
“In Africa, names have meanings and not just a meaning behind the name, but rather, the intention that oftentimes your parent has for you is conveyed in the meaning. My mother called me Trevor, because she didn’t want to give me a name that she felt would define my path. She didn’t want to give me a name that would in some ways, prophesy my end. And ironically, at that time, where we lived, travel wasn’t a common name. So calling me travel made me in a tiny way exceptional. She wanted me to have the opportunity to be everything that I could or would wants to be. In a strange way that’s what came to be in my life.”
[5:12] Tip #2
“I was probably really young when I first discovered the earliest memory I have of a joke landing was a physical joke. I was in primary school, I was really young, and I was in the school play. And I played a tortoise. And I did something I think I was walking up the stairs. And I did like a really funny stumble step thing and looked at the audience. And it floored them. And it wasn’t in the script. And it wasn’t. And that was like the first moment where I was like, man, did you just see that? And people thought I really fell. And then I never knew what I should tell them one on there was like a, you know because I did in every subsequent play. But every audience thought I fell into I was like, This is magic. I can get people to think that I’m falling every time. And I guess there was a moment where I let go of my ego. And when I’ll make the people off, I don’t care what they think.”
[7:33] Tip #3
“From the time I was born, my movement was restricted. Because I grew up in a country where the mere fact that my parents were a mixed couple minutes that I was born a crime. I’m someone who has been forced to live between the lines when it comes to color when it comes to race when it comes to identity. I am someone who has had to learn how to, in essence, change what people see, to better get them to a more comfortable place. And that’s something that I don’t think I ever thought of as a gift when I was growing up. Just the ability to see the outside world beyond yourself, and try to in some way, make yourself accessible to that outside world.”
[9:04] Tip #4
“One thing my mom has done that I never take for granted is she has never quantified her love for me by what I do, but rather by who I am. And so, you know, when I got the Daily Show, everyone said Oh, your mom must be excited. I was like, Yeah, she’s excited in that I can pay the rent, but she doesn’t get excited for the things I do outside you know, she doesn’t go “Oh, you got that job. So I’m happy for you. You got that magazine cover I’m happy for you.” She rather judges me by how I make people feel. So if you meet someone, and they go, Hey, your son, we enjoyed his comedy or as a family, you know, we’re going through an issue and then we read his book and we enjoy that. That’s what she grades me on. So I’ve been lucky in that I’m not chasing fame to try and get to a place where my mother is more proud of me. She was proud of me when I was born and the greatest gift my mom gave me is that she chose me.”
[10:14] Tip #5
“I started doing stand-up as a hobby. I still do it as a hobby. You know, I always say to people I go to a hobby I get paid to do which is what everyone should try and do in their lives. So yeah, you know, the Daily Show was a blessing I could have never dreamed for how to come about like what was the was crazy. Jon Stewart show my clips, you know, and luckily unlike yourself was like yeah, I can mess with this lace can do. Yeah. What are you doing Jon? He called me he was like, “Yo, man, you should come hang out at the show. I see what you do. I like what you’re doing come hang out.” We hung out. We connected as people we got along really well. We share our views but in different ways. We come from different backgrounds, obviously. And then Jon said, let’s do this on the show these conversations. Let’s try to have this on the show. And then we did it on the show. And he said we should have another one on the show we did. And we said we’d another one. I was like, This is fun. We should do this forever. And he’s like, Alright, I’m out. I’m retiring. And then yeah, and then it was a discussion between Comedy Central, you know, and obviously john had input and he threw my name into the hat. He was like, I think you should try this random kid that nobody knows.”
[11:19] Tip #6
“My father’s name couldn’t be on my birth certificate, because then the jig would be up. I couldn’t, I couldn’t live with my mom legally. Because according to the laws of the country, my race wasn’t one that matched hers, I would be lying if I didn’t credit everything I am today to my mother. My mother said yes, I’m being oppressed. But while I’m waiting for that oppression to end, while I’m fighting against it, I will also find ways to improve myself beyond the scope of what I’ve been told I can or cannot do. And so my mother forced me to see worlds that she never knew I may have access to. And my mother drove me to areas that were reserved for white people, she made me look at rich people’s houses, because you cannot dream or aspire to something if you don’t know that it exists.”
[12:22] Tip #7
“Hard work cannot be separated from success. And when I say success, I mean sustained success, you can have a blip or a moment that for me doesn’t define success. Hard work and success, sustained. go hand in hand. What I feel happens a lot of the time is as people, we work hard at the thing that we’re not good at. And I think that is sometimes an energy that gets lost. I’ve always worked in a space where I enjoy what I’m doing. And I work hard on what I love doing and what I’m good at. So I’d rather focus on that. And that way, most days don’t feel like work. Most challenges don’t feel like obstacles. And most successes feel in many ways like a reward for doing what I believed I was meant to do.”
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The Super U Podcast is hosted by #1 bestselling author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman.