The former Daily Show host, Trevor Noah has won the Dutch Erasmus Prize, a prestigious award that has not been given to a comedian since Charlie Chaplin in 1965.
The Erasmus Prize is named after the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, who lived from 1466 to 1536.
The prize has been awarded annually since 1958 and honors “a person or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the humanities, social sciences or arts in Europe and beyond.”
Since 2015, the award has been endowed with 150,000 euros.
The first prize was awarded to the Austrian people in 1958, in recent years Israeli author David Grossman, British artist Grayson Perry and in 2015 the Wikipedia community have been winners.
Noah, 39, received the award “for his inspiring contribution to the theme ‘In Praise of Folly’, named after Erasmus’ most famous book and full of humour, social criticism and political satire,” said the Premium Erasmianum Foundation. “
The foundation added: “With his sharp-minded, mocking yet inclusive political comedy, Noah, in the eyes of the jury, upholds the ‘Erasmian Spirit.’”
The South African comedian rose to prominence in his country’s comedy scene before moving to the United States, where he became active on the talk show scene. He was the first South African comedian to appear on The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman.
After contributing regularly to The Daily Show in 2014, he landed host Jon Stewart in 2015.
The Dutch Foundation noted that Noah’s tenure as host of the nightly satirical talk show coincided with Donald Trump’s presidency, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Noah hosted The Daily Show for seven years and announced his departure last year.
“With his astute reflections on such issues, he garnered a young, diverse and global audience and, in the process, infused a highly polarised media landscape with a breath of fresh air,” the foundation said.
The only other comedian to receive the award is Charlie Chaplin, who shared the award with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman in 1965.