- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - It’s thumbs up for Trevor Noah in South Africa.

Many compatriots on Tuesday applauded the South African comedian’s debut as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” They called him a deserving successor to Jon Stewart as anchor of the parody newscast.

Even the South African government congratulated Noah for hosting his first show on Monday night. Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane had traveled to New York City for the United Nations General Assembly and visited Noah at his studios.

“Mr. Noah is assuming an important global platform through which he will be flying the South African flag high,” Nkoana-Mashabane said in a statement.

A public relations company hosted media and local celebrities at a screening of Noah’s first show at a Johannesburg mall. Cupcakes covered with a paper image of a smiling Noah were served.

Masego Serape, public relations manager for South African radio station Power FM, said Noah delivered a “brilliant” performance that included commentary on American politics, a frequent source of satire for Stewart.

“The hard work that he’s been doing has been crystalized for this show,” Serape said. “I can’t wait to see more. I’m so proud.”

“That opening monologue. That was beautiful,” tweeted Simmi Areff, a South African comedian, referring to Noah’s tribute to Stewart and the challenge of taking over as a relatively unknown figure in the United States.

“He was often our voice, our refuge and in many ways our political dad,” Noah said of Stewart. “And it’s weird because dad has left and now it feels like the family has a new stepdad - and he’s black.”

Noah, 31, was born to a South African black woman and a white, Swiss father during apartheid, South Africa’s former system of white minority rule.

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