Ma Noah not too impressed

10 January 2012 - 01:20
Johannesburg comedian Trevor Noah on The Tonight Show on Friday night, watched by actress Glenn Close and host Jay Leno.
Image: COURTESY, NBC UNIVERSAL Johannesburg comedian Trevor Noah on The Tonight Show on Friday night, watched by actress Glenn Close and host Jay Leno.

Her comedian son Trevor Noah is taking the US by storm following his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. But Patricia Noah apparently couldn't be bothered.

The comedian, who's on a two-year stint in the US trying to raise his international profile, had the 61-year-old veteran presenter Leno and his audience in stitches as he told jokes about Americans and their poor credit record, as well as about apartheid's effects on his family.

But while he's been basking in the praise of fans - which include the likes of fellow comedian John Vlismas, author Zakes Mda, and 5fm's Anele Mdoda - his mother suggested that she has more important things to do than join in the congratulatory spirit.

When The Times called her yesterday morning, she responded: "Ufun' ukuthetha ngezinto zasecawini [Do you want to talk church matters?] No, unless you want to talk about izinto zasecawini, I know nothing. Not at all.

"I have not even watched one movie or show, and I know nothing about his life. I'm strictly into God's things - not interested in Trevor's things."

Other than while telling his onstage jokes, the 27-year-old rarely speaks about his mother.

Yesterday, neither he nor his publicist responded to e-mails asking for comment about his mother's remarks.

In 2009, when tenants of some of the Johannesburg inner-city flats Patricia Noah owns accused her of running slums, Trevor was quoted by the Sowetan newspaper as saying: "It's not the first time this has come up. I do not get involved in these matters because my mother doesn't want me to."

Noah has been in Pasadena, California, with his girlfriend and manager, the Sunday Times reported this weekend.

During his skit at the weekend on the Tonight Show, Noah said: "My mother is a South African woman, black, and my father is Swiss ... so they got together during this time [apartheid era], which was against the law. But they didn't care, they were mavericks. My mom was like: 'Wooo! I don't care, I want a white man. Wooo!' She was crazy. And my dad was, well, you know how the Swiss love their chocolate ..."

Noah told the Sunday Times: "I had a comfortable life in South Africa, with great fans; coming here wasn't easy; I was literally a nobody. It's been very hard work. But it's about comedy for me: I want to go back to South Africa a better comedian."

But though South Africans have been praising him, some in the US were less than impressed with his take on life in the US.

Commenting below a YouTube video of Noah's appearance, one user said: "This hack comedian actually thought it was hilarious to generalise a community that, I'm absolutely positively sure, he thoroughly knows nothing about. Okay, good luck on his career - especially in America."

Another said: "Like a kid that gets bullied then goes home and bullies his little cousin, these racism jokes are unoriginal, and f***ing weak. The weed joke wasn't bad."

Noah was even called a "lame comedian, who did nothing but perpetuate asinine stereotypes, in front an audience filled with the demographic that believes them".

But Leno was impressed, perhaps making Noah's career with his one-line endorsement: "Come back and see us again, man."