Hard as it was to say goodbye to Jon Stewart’s time on The Daily Show, the appointment of Trevor Noah grew complicated after uncovering multiple past tweets perceived in poor taste. Now, Stewart steps up to defend his successor, asking viewers to give the South African comedian a chance to earn their trust.

Addressing The Daily Show crowd just before the show itself, Stewart acknowledged that Noah had gotten off on a bad foot with the audience, but if allowed, would earn the same trust and respect that he himself had (or not) over the years.

I can say this without hesitation: Trevor Noah will earn your trust and respect … or not.  Just as I earned your respect … or did not … I do hope you give him an opportunity to earn that trust and respect, because my experience with him is that he is an incredibly thoughtful and considerate and funny and smart individual. And man, I think if you give him that time, and it’s going to be well worth it. I’m excited for where he’s going to take the thing!

Controversy over Noah’s tweets shortly after his announcement to the Daily Show throne, drawing ire for past jokes on women’s weight, Jewish stereotypes and more. Comedy Central too defended Noah’s ability to “push boundaries,” also calling early criticism of the future host “unfair.”

You can check out Stewart’s defense of Trevor Noah in the video above, but will the future Daily Host‘s tenure overcome the initial controversy?

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