THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Comedian Trevor Noah, former host of “The Daily Show,” has won the prestigious Dutch Erasmus Prize, becoming the first comedian since Charlie Chaplin in 1965 to be honored with the honor, the foundation that Selects winner announced Thursday.
The award is named after Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutch philosopher and humanist scholar who lived from 1466 to 1536.
The 39-year-old Noah is receiving the award for his inspired contribution to the theme ‘In Praise of Folly’, named after Erasmus’ most famous book, which is full of humour, social criticism and political satire, the Premium Erasmusianum Foundation said in a statement. . ,
The Foundation said: “With its sharp-witted, witty yet inclusive political comedy, Noah, in the eyes of the jury, maintains the ‘Erasmian spirit’.”
Noah, who rose to prominence as a stand-up comic in his native South Africa, announced last year that he was leaving Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” after a seven-year run.
The Dutch Foundation noted that Noah’s late-night satirical talk show anchoring coincided with the presidency of Donald Trump, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“With his nuanced reflections on such issues, he attracted a young, diverse and global audience and, in the process, infused the highly polarized media landscape with a breath of fresh air,” the foundation said.
According to the foundation, the prize, which carries a cash prize of €150,000, is “given to an individual or institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to the humanities, social sciences or the arts”.
Previous winners have included dissident playwright and former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, British artist Grayson Perry and online dictionary Wikipedia.
A ceremony to present the award to Noah is scheduled for the fall.
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