Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would 2022 Movie Review
It has been quite a year for Noah already. In April, the South African comedian hosted the Grammys and delivered the keynote address for the White House Correspondents Dinner. Then at the end of September, Noah surprised pretty much everyone by announcing his departure from The Daily Show after seven years. That very weekend, he crossed the border into Canada to film this hour at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. So it might’ve been the perfect time for Noah to unload whatever burdens he was carrying and tell us all why he’s leaving Comedy Central.
Instead, this is an hour devoted to Noah’s thoughts on the pandemic and schadenfreude, and what his desire to learn German and his love for curry have to do with it.
When Noah does appeal to the Canadians with a joke about Justin Trudeau, he also manages to couch his observations within a broader story that serves comeuppance upon himself. Because schadenfreude.
Four years ago, I found myself slightly disappointed in Noah’s second Netflix special but only because it didn’t meet my expectations of what I know he’s capable of doing. About a half-hour into this special, though, he does begin to approach the heights he so often reaches in his “Between The Scenes” clips from The Daily Show, clips that usually go viral because Noah’s off-the-cuff observations about politicians and divisive topics sound so sincerely thought-out and wise beyond his Millennial years (he’s still just 38, mind you).
It’s all too easy to make pandemic jokes about how two weeks of quarantining turned into two years of propaganda. Where Noah shines is looking deeper into the psychological and emotional impacts of COVID on us as a society. A society that made many of us believe the world would unite in the face of a potential apocalyptic threat. Only someone such as Noah could get us to stop and think about that in a profound way and a soothing tone, and then find the perfect Will Smith joke within that.