After more than two years away, Trevor Noah returned to The Daily Show studio for his first show with a live audience since the pandemic began. Noah wasted no time riffing on the weeks' biggest topics, including Will Smith's 10-year ban from the Oscars for slapping Chris Rock, which he insisted was both "a favor" and a misuse of Smith's, uh, talents.
"When I first read the headline, I thought this was the worst punishment ever," said Noah. "But then I got into the details and I realized he still gets to keep his Oscar and he can still win Oscars even though he's banned. So in many ways, this isn't a punishment. This is a favor!"
"Will Smith doesn't have to go to the ceremony. He doesn't have to get dressed up. He doesn't have to sit through a bunch of boring awards he doesn't care about," he continued. "He doesn't have to pretend to be happy when he loses. I wish I could get banned from the Emmys! I wish! Every year I have to go and act like I might beat John Oliver. It's a nightmare!"
Noah went on to suggest an alternative to the Oscars ban. "I don't think they should have banned Will Smith at all, I'll be honest. I actually think they should hire Will Smith to replace the 'wrap it up' music that they play at award shows," he said. "Do you know how quickly winners will finish their speeches when they see Will Smith watching them on the side of the stage?"
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (now live with a studio audience!) airs weeknights at 11:00 PM ET on Comedy Central.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.