After Trevor Noah’s Daily Show Departure, Writer Josh Johnson Talks Everything He Learned From Working With The Comedian

Seven years after he was appointed by Jon Stewart to take over Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Trevor Noah said goodbye to the program in late 2022. Noah made it clear that one of his plans after his run on the show was to get back on the road and do more stand-up. One of his opening acts is a comic named Josh Johnson, and he also happened to be a writer for Noah on The Daily Show. Through being on the road performing with the man and helping to craft his narrative voice, Johnson obviously got to know Noah pretty well, and he gave CinemaBlend the lowdown on everything he learned from working with the comic.

Josh Johnson just released his latest stand-up special Up Here Killing Myself on Peacock. I spoke with the comedian about what his inspirations were, and when I asked what lessons he learned from the years he spent with Trevor Noah, he told me the following:

Yeah, there's almost too many to count, to be honest. Like, he's very gracious with the knowledge that he's willing to impart and everything. You know, there are some people who are super successful and don't want to share their, you know, quote unquote, secrets or how they got there. And he's always been very, very open and been a real mentor to me and everything, which I can't even describe how much I appreciate that.

Well, this certainly paints a picture of Trevor Noah as being a pretty stand-up dude (no pun intended), and in this age where the big bosses in entertainment are being called out for the unfair treatment of their employees, this is refreshing to hear. Johnson went on to specifically explain how Noah helped him craft Up Here Killing Myself by differentiating between what material is meant for a special, a tour and a show:

Watching him and watching his approach to both comedy and stage presence and getting to tour with him was like a real masterclass in how you handle all aspects of - how he's developed his career and then also what goes into a special. The thought process that you should be working on as you build out a special, and what's meant for an overall piece to share with people once every year or two years and what's meant for touring and making the room feel part of your act and part of your experience with them.

What a mentor! Although the two no longer work together in an official capacity, and Johnson is becoming a big enough name to headline his own shows, it sounds like he learned plenty from Noah that he can take with him as his career continues to grow. 

As for Noah, once his stint on The Daily Show ended, he returned to stand-up as promised, which is where his career began and seems to be his preferred creative outlet. Many candidates have been rumored to replace Noah on The Daily Show, including correspondents Jessica Williams and Roy Wood Jr. While no official decision has been made public, the show is still going strong, as there’s a slew of guest hosts in the meantime including Chelsea Handler, Wanda Sykes and some solid SNL vets.

Make sure you check out Josh Johnson: Up Here Killing Myself, which is on Peacock right now! If you’re not yet signed up, we have the lowdown on Peacock subscriptions, prices and what’s included.

Jeff McCobb
Senior Video Producer

Jeff started his career producing television commercials in his hometown of Fresno, California. After a few years, he came across the opportunity to make a living talking about his favorite thing: movies. Jeff is a film buff who is full of gratitude that he gets to spout opinions about them for a living. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he spends his time complaining about Los Angeles.