(NBC NEWS) - On Monday, Comedy Central announced that South-African comedian Trevor Noah
Jon Stewart as host of "The Daily Show."
On Tuesday, the backlash began.
Noah, 31 and largely unknown in America before being tapped as the new emcee of the satirical news program, has been criticized for some of his past Twitter posts.
A few of his posts made fun of Jews in a manner that some critics have called anti-Semitic:
Comedy Central, which produces The Daily Show, also stood by him. "Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included," the network said in a statement. "To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair. Trevor is a talented comedian with a bright future at Comedy Central."
Noah has in the past spoken bluntly — and with humor — about his difficulties growing up in apartheid-era South Africa as the son of a white father and a black mother, whom he has described as half-Jewish.
He has joked that he was "born a crime."
He has wrung laughs out of his childhood in stand-up routines.
"In the streets my father couldn't walk with us. He would walk on the other side of the road and wave at me like a creepy pedophile," he
as telling a London audience. "And my mom could walk with me but every time the police went by she would drop me. I felt like a bag of weed."
Stewart, 52, said on Feb. 10 that he was
leaving the popular series
after 16 years at the mock-anchor desk. Noah's starting date hasn't been announced.