A Comedic Reality

Netflix’s new comedy special “Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would” is a must-watch, showcasing Noah’s incredible talent and humor as a stand-up comedian.


Photo credit: Netflix

Having read Trevor Noah’s autobiography Born A Crime, I can confidently say that watching the South African actor and comedian speak is even more captivating than reading his words on a page. 

In his Netflix comedy special titled “Trevor Noah: I Wish You Would,” released on Nov. 22, Noah skillfully (and effortlessly) tells stories and jokes to an arena filled with hundreds of people. 

The special starts with Noah walking on stage and facing an empty arena. As he does his mic check, he uses different techniques and phrases to ensure that the microphone is working properly, which I thought was a unique way to draw the viewer in; for example, he says the word “baby” in both a high and low-pitched voice and repeats the word “yep” several times.

Throughout the intro, I also found it creative when the camera switched from zooming in on Noah to spanning the entire empty arena, allowing me to see the scene in its entirety before the show began. 

Once the camera moves behind Noah, the energy finally picks up with a transition to the cheering audience. Many of these audience members stood up to showcase their enthusiasm and laughed in response to Noah’s humor over the course of the show. 

Noah covers a wide variety of topics over the course of his one hour special, from learning the German language to ordering Indian food in Scotland. It seemed like nothing was off-limits; for example, he talked about figures such as Hitler and Trump but said everything in an honest and interesting way, just like how he expressed himself in Born A Crime

Though all parts of the special provided more insight into Noah’s life and the current events/beliefs in our world, I found myself more engaged during very specific moments. One part I thought was especially memorable was Noah talking about the German word Schadenfreude, which means to take great joy in the pain or suffering of others. He says this word—which has now been added to my vocabulary—was never translated into another language, but realizes that everyone experiences it despite it sounding “terrible.” He uses the relatable example of driving down the highway in no traffic, seeing the other side of cars packed with traffic, and feeling happy inside. I can imagine this example, and can create a large variety of other examples in which this word takes place.

Although I can’t compare this comedy special to his other two, Noah’s theatrical voices, impressions and conversational tone, alongside his mastery of mixing facts with storytelling, made his one-hour special compelling to watch to the end. I think you should take the time to watch it too.