At 25, Trevor Noah’s abusive stepfather tried to hunt him down and kill him after shooting his mother and leaving her for dead

Comedian Trevor Noah was recently announced as the next host of The Daily Show, replacing current host Jon Stewart, who transformed the show from light comedy to a satirical political force. Noah is poised to step up to the plate, and in anticipation of his new spotlight, Daily Mail has released some details of his life before the meteoric rise to fame.

Noah, whose father was Swiss and whose mother was a black South African during apartheid, was raised in the slums of South Africa. Although Noah’s mother and grandmother described a little boy who was constantly telling jokes and getting into trouble, things turned grim in 2009, when Noah was 25 years old, after his violent former stepfather, Abel Shingange, shot his mother and decided to come after him.

Noah’s grandmother, Nomalizo Noah, recalled, “After shooting the mother Abel went around with a gun trying to find Trevor, but Trevor was always here, there and everywhere, performing on stage, you never knew where he was.

“So when Patricia’s husband began to hunt him he couldn’t find him.”

Noah kept up a vigil beside his mother and paid for her hospital stay, allowing her to stay under a different name so her ex-husband could not find her.

Shingange had been abusive with Patricia Noah before, hitting her with a bicycle frame and chasing her down the street. At one point, in 2003, she moved into a shack in the backyard to get away from her husband, during which time Noah hardly visited because he could not stand to see her like that. Eventually, she got out and remarried, and the new marriage was what sparked Shingange’s violent attack.

After his mother’s recovery, Noah left, with his mother’s blessing, to go to America. From there, his career as a comedian took off after his appearance on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show.

Noah’s mother said he was always destined to be a star from the day he was born. She named him Trevor because “Trevor was the closest I could get to Travolta” and she always looked forward to watching John Travolta perform.

When Noah was young, he was already working up his comedy streak. According to his grandmother, “Trevor was full of energy, full of life, full of jokes. Oh he was so funny. He would change that sarcasm of yours and turn it in to a joke and everybody would be laughing the house down, you would be the fool.”

As for his new job running The Daily Show, Noah’s grandmother thinks he will do well but that he will not stay long. “I know nothing about comedy, but Trevor is always on the move, looking for different characters, different places,” she said. “I can’t see him staying long.”

His mother is nothing but proud of her son’s achievements, saying, “Trevor has caused Africa’s drum to beat again, he has encouraged many to walk on the water and stand on the sea.”

If you’ve never seen Trevor in action before, below is footage of him performing Live at the Apollo in London.