Trevor Noah has been at the center of much internet backlash since Comedy Central hired him as the next Daily Show host last week, but the latest controversy surrounding Noah has turned out to be a “prank” by Canadian comic Russell Peters. Peters made headlines yesterday when he raised some serious joke theft accusations against Noah on a Singapore TV show: “He’s also a thief, but that’s irrelevant,” Peters told the interviewer. When pressed for specifics, Peters didn’t provide any examples of stolen jokes and kept the accusation vague: “He’s stolen material from David Kau, he’s stolen material from myself. You know, but whatever. That’s his gig now, and congratulations! That’s all I can say.”
Noah didn’t respond to the news until earlier today, when Peters revealed on Twitter that it was all a joke in the name of tricking the media into running the story:
It’s strange that a comedian like Russell Peters considers telling an outright lie during an interview to be a “prank,” but it appears that he and Noah were in on this stunt together from the beginning, perhaps to distract from Noah’s recent round of bad press. And if it was really a prank, why did Peters mention David Kau, a South African comedian who has sincerely accused Noah of joke stealing in the past? In any case, I sure hope that Peters never encounters any actual joke theft in the future, because the media will likely be a lot less “gullible” next time.