Every night on The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah expertly skewers American politics and culture, with a level of humor and insight that shows a deep understanding of how this country functions (or doesn’t). But Noah isn’t an American, and his position as an outsider allows him a certain perspective that people who’ve spent their entire lives in the U.S. just don’t have. Noah, who grew up and launched his career in South Africa, can be both more critical and more appreciative of the unique aspects of American life.

Noah chronicled his formative years in his 2016 memoir Born a Crime, which is currently being developed into a movie produced by and starring Lupita Nyong’o (as Noah’s mother). He was born in Johannesburg, spending his childhood under South African apartheid as the product of a mixed-race union. Noah’s struggles as a young man helped shape his comedy, and he started his career at age 18, eventually becoming one of the most famous comedians and TV personalities in South Africa. From there, he began appearing on British and American TV, and in 2011 he moved to the U.S. full-time and became host of The Daily Show in 2015.

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