Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Friday, 24 March 2023 18:30

Trevor Noah joins Charlie Chaplin in the history books.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Trevor Noah has won Europe's Erasmus Prize, making him the first comedian to win the prestigious prize since Charlie Chaplin in 1965.

The awards keep rolling in for 39-year-old South African comedian Noah.  

He is the second comedian in history to win the prize. 

"Only once before in its 65-year history has a humourist won the Erasmus Prize: Charlie Chaplin received the award from His Highness Prince Bernhard in 1965. The quote, 'The function of comedy is to sharpen our sensitivity to the perversions of justice within the society in which we live,' is famously attributed to Chaplin, and that observation applies equally to Noah and his work," the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation said in a statement. 

The award - which is named after Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus - is handed out every year. It is given to "a person or institution that has made an exceptional contribution to the humanities, the social sciences or the arts, in Europe and beyond". 

Not only does Trevor receive the prestigious award but he also gets €150,000 (R3m).  The foundation says he upholds the "Erasmian Spirit". 

"He receives the prize for his inspired contribution to the theme 'In Praise of Folly,' named after Erasmus’s most famous book, which is filled with humour, social criticism and political satire. With his sharp-minded, mocking yet inclusive political comedy, Noah, in the eyes of the jury, upholds the 'Erasmian Spirit."

Trevor Noah awards

Trevor has won several high-profile awards over the past decade. He has won five NAACP awards, including two for his book, 'Born A Crime'.  

The book was recognised in the 'Literary Work - Debut Author' and 'Outstanding Literary Work - Biography / Auto-biography' categories. 

In 2017, Trevor Noah won his first Emmy in the 'Outstanding Short Form Variety Series' category for his work on 'The Daily Show'.  He has received 15 nominations since then.

The comedian also bagged an MTV Movie and TV award in 2017 for 'Best Host'. 

Trevor left the 'Daily Show' in 2022 to focus on his standup comedy career. 

After seven years of consistency, Noah is now travelling the world while entertaining fans with his Off the Record stand-up tour. He will bring his show to South Africa in August and September.