Often, people who can do, don’t because they’re afraid of what people that can’t do will say about them doing.

— Trevor Noah

The most contentment Trevor Noah quotes that will activate your desire to change

In my world, a woman was the most powerful thing that I knew.

Still is. A woman made the money in my house; a woman made my food. A woman beat my ass when I wasn't a good kid. Women were behind a lot of what spurred South Africa toward democracy.


Progression, in my opinion, is often identifying shortcomings - whether it's views or the things you're doing in your life, your relationships - and trying to find the places where you improve on those.


I often feel like the woman in your life is your driving force.

She's your muse. She plays a big role in determining how confident you feel when you walk out the door. She can add 1,000 kilowatts of energy - or drain that out of you. She said, "No, you're not that funny." I thought, She knows better than anyone.


Nelson Mandela was in jail when I was really young, and Winnie Mandela was one of the biggest faces of the movement. In South Africa we have a common phrase - it's like a chant in the street and at rallies: "Wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo." Which means, "You strike a woman, you strike a rock."


Families were living separately from the fathers.

And so although, according to African culture, men were the head of the household, the truth is women were the ones who were raising everybody, including men. And growing up with my mother, that was something I really learned to appreciate.


I became a chameleon. My color didn't change. But I could change your perception of my color.


I knew of like - I remember, for most of my life, I grew up, and "Knight Rider" was, you know - David Hasselhoff was a Dutch character in my world.


I don't even remember hearing about [Immorality Act of 1927].

I just knew about it. I was born into it, so I don't remember my parents ever saying it to me. I don't remember a conversation ever being had around this. I just knew this to be the law because that's what I was growing up in during that time in South Africa.


People should always be wary of that because the precedent is set.

And it's so much easier to build on a foundation than it is something that doesn't exist. So you see it as something that's happening to people that are not you. And then it expands, and it expands further. And then, one day, you're on a registry.


I think it was something I inherited from my mother, who learned to do it.

You know, I, like a baby duckling, was merely mimicking the survival traits that my mother possessed. And I came to learn very quickly that language was a powerful, powerful tool.


When Donald Trump won the election because when I came into the show, I said, I think this guy can win. This was when he first came down that escalator. He gave his first speech.


Our go-to source is no longer dictated by a small group of cable news outlets.

We have to expand our view. Sometimes, a story is made and breaks on Twitter. We have to find a way to react to that, to consume and also disseminate the information from Twitter, which is not an easy thing to do.


About Trevor Noah

Quotes 114 sayings
Profession Comedian
Birthday February 20, 1984

I'm not a political progressive, but I consider myself a progressive person.

What makes me a progressive, in my opinion, is the fact that I try to improve myself and by large improve the world that I'm in - in the smallest way possible.


Those were the places where many people mixed if they wanted to mix, which was against the law [Immorality Act of 1927]. My mother was part of that group. My father was part of that group. People who were black and whites and Indian and Asian - and you came together and said, we choose to mix at the risk of being arrested. And so they did.


I lived in a world where I didn't share the love for my stepfather that my mother shared for him. She married him.


It's an interesting place to begin where the country is completely divided into choosing sides, when the only side everyone should be choosing is the side of America, and then politicians essentially should be arguing about the best way to serve America.


I guess that is the strange part of the human brain that people have studied for eons - is hatred and self-hatred. You can convince people that the problem is not coming from the top but is, rather, being created by the people who are being oppressed.


When you are honest in your comedy, you have to acknowledge the world that you're in. Through a comedic voice you're talking about what needs to be talked about, whether it's race relations or politics or anything that's happening on a global or an American scale.


I love ebola jokes. When done in the right way, maybe it gets people to learn about ebola, to learn about the stigmas behind the identities held by Africans and so on.


In an American context, let's say gay rights or marriage policy - that's a progressive thing. I understand that in an American context.


In America, there is no racial segregation. I'm not sure I'm quite familiar with this phrase.


Comedy is crowded. There are hundreds of comedians in every place in the world.


It was just how my parents treated me.

It was the world they decided to show me. I was really sheltered. My grandmother kept me locked in the house when I was staying, you know, with the family in Soweto. And every household, for instance, had to have a registry of everyone who lived in that house.


I want to be in a position where I get to start off fresh.

I don't have any preconceived notion of how I should feel.


I always say to people, you know - someone goes, oh, well, what are you going to do about terrorist attacks and Muslims? We got to do something. And I go, don't let those in power trick you out of your freedoms by using your fear.


In America, to have news that has explicitly taken a position is a very strange place to be in, and it's a very dangerous place to be in. And that's happening on Facebook, as you saw, and that's happening online. People are just being given their news and not the news, which is really, really scary.


People were encouraged to snitch. [South Africa] was a police state, so there were police everywhere. There were undercover police. There were uniformed police. The state was being surveilled the entire time.


We all do that as human beings, you know? It's what my mom would call shopping on an empty stomach. You're going to buy food that you shouldn't because, at the time, you are reacting to your hunger.


I think it does because if you think of where "The Daily Show" was when I inherited it from Jon Stewart, I was in a space where, essentially, everything seemed like it was on track, you know, in terms of - from a progressive point of view, you know, you're looking at Republicans who, yes, were in control of many facets of government.


I just had - we had instances - like, for instance, when I turned 13, she threw me a bar mitzvah. But nobody came.But nobody came because nobody knew what the hell that was. I only had black friends. No one knows what the hell you're doing.


When I wrote the book, I thought that I was the hero of my story.

And in writing it, I came to realize over time that my mom was the hero. And I was, you know - I was just her punk-ass sidekick.


I'd get suspicious looks from people just walking down the streets.

Where are you from? They'd ask. I'd reply in whatever language they'd addressed me in using the same accent that they used. There would be a brief moment of confusion, and then the suspicious look would disappear.


I think it's despicable. I also think it's frightening that we seem to live through history over and over again. And I don't know if I'm the only one. I feel like, when you read through history books, you always judge those people in that time.


[I had Bar mitzvah ]it was just me and my mom.

And she's celebrating. And she's reading things to me in Hebrew. I don't know what's going on. And she's telling me that now I'm a man. And I'm like, does that mean I have no chores? And she's like, no, you still have chores, but you're a man. I didn't understand most of it.


I hate using this term [miracle]. I'm a man of science. I'm a doctor. I don't use this word. But he said, it's a miracle your mom's alive.


I was lucky to come along for the ride.

[My mother] really is an amazing woman. And the world we lived in in South Africa at the time was a very matriarchal society because so many black men had been removed from the home.


I've lived many places all over the world, so I've always seen myself as a citizen of the world.


I don't think things are getting more insane.

I do know that the country is more divided than it's ever been. Tensions in America are at their peak.


When you hear somebody speaking in an accent, it's almost like they're invading your language while they're speaking to you because if you hear someone speak another language, you almost don't care. But when they speak your language with an accent, it feels like an invasion of something that belongs to you. And, immediately, we change.


Whatever it was, my mom said, I'm going to seek out more.

And so I was constantly confused, which is sometimes a little bit, you know, disorienting. But I feel like it leads to a way more colorful life.


I go - I trace depression back to things.

So I go, ok, I look back and I say my self-esteem was affected because of my skin and because my family had no money and I was ashamed of how poor I was. And I look at all of that and I was trying to hide myself. And so I felt like I was less than I was. And so that then leads to you being depressed. And I work on these things.


[Donald] Trump ditched his press pool.

That's just stupid and funny. Get over it. You know, [Bill] Clinton ditched his press pool. This is something presidents do sometimes. Don't make everything that Trump does a scandal because what'll happen is you'll diminish the real scandals, you know? You've got to get over the fact that you hate the person and rather focus on what you're trying to do.


I think all of us should seek help, and not help is in a - you know, help shouldn't be seen as a frightening thing. Help shouldn't be seen as a weak thing.


If the police believed that they were planning any form of resistance against the state, then you were just gone. Nobody knew where you were, and you just hoped to see that family member again.


Donald Trump was just an entertaining buffoon to watch.


America is the one place in the world where I just innately understood [that] South Africa and the United States of America have a very similar history. It's different timelines, but the directions we've taken and the consequences - dealing with the aftermath of what we consider to be democracy, and realizing that freedom is just the beginning of the conversation, that's something I've learned.


I hope America manages to steer itself away from partisanship and back to patriotism; we are all Americans. And as long as I can make people laugh and feel better, I'm happy.


They said [on a day show], oh, you can't do a Chinese accent.

That's - and I said, I'm not doing a Chinese accent. I'm doing my friend's accent. And they said, yeah, you can't do that. And I said, OK, but can I do a Russian accent? And they said, yeah, yeah, of course, you can do that. I said, and a British accent? They said, yeah, go ahead. And I couldn't understand.


I grew up in a world where authority was female.

I never thought to call myself a feminist because of branding. I had this skewed idea of feminist: I thought it meant being a woman who hates men. When I read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists, I was like, "Oh, this is what my mom taught me. This is simple. I don't understand why everybody is not this."