Comedian Trevor Noah Has a Friend Named Hitler

In Daily Show podcast from earlier this year, new host Trevor Noah reveals he has a South African friend named after brutal Nazi leader.

Cynthia Blank,

Adolf Hitler (reproduction)
Adolf Hitler (reproduction)
Flash 90

The announcement that Trevor Noah would replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show caused a media storm, particularly after a series of tweets the comedian wrote about Jews and Israel raised criticism. 

But what may be even more damning is the revelation that Noah has a childhood friend from South Africa named, of all things, Hitler, after the infamous Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler. 

In a Daily Show podcast earlier this year, Mediaite reported, Noah casually mentioned to one of the show's writers, Dan Amira, that he had a friend named Hitler, interrupting a discussion of how South Africans view America. 

Taken aback, Amira asked the comedian: “What do you mean your ‘friend Hitler?’”

“This is not a nickname. We don’t call him, ‘AKA Hitler. His name is Hitler,” Noah explained, before describing his friend as a “very good-looking, young black man, charismatic” with a “great smile.”

“Why on earth would a mother name her child Hitler?” Amira asked him. “What kind of mother would do that?”

“Well, Hitler’s mom did it,” Noah said, adding that he "never questioned" the name until he traveled outside of South Africa and realized the hugely negative connotation the name has. 

“In many parts of Africa… people would name their children after great leaders,” Noah said, emphasizing that “great” does not necessarily mean “good,” but rather someone who has “really changed the world.”

“Hitler was so big that he forced white South Africans, who at the time were racist, to ask black South Africans to go to war with them to help fight,” Noah added.

And for blacks, he explained, there is a feeling, “who is it that scares the man who oppresses me? Who’s that dude? Because that’s the guy I want to meet.”

“It’s perspective,” Noah said. “It’s such a delicate thing that we have to deal with in comedy and everything.”

The revelation that Noah has a friend named Hitler is unlikely to win the comedian any fans, particularly among those who already consider him to be anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.