Trevor Noah on His Tough Childhood, Rise to 'Daily Show' Fame

Before taking the reins from Jon Stewart, Noah lived through apartheid South Africa, which he details in his new book, "Born A Crime."
7:59 | 12/13/16

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Transcript for Trevor Noah on His Tough Childhood, Rise to 'Daily Show' Fame
But now we turn to racial tensions in America and one man who seems uniquely poised to take that issues head on. Growing up bi racial and segregated South Africa only seem to sharpen Trevor now a sense of humor. Here's ABC's of Iran arms. Thank you. Moving on show news registry tonight Barack Obama made his final appearance on The Daily Show as president discussing the election of Donald Trump presence electors very Tinny said. He refuses intelligence briefings. And so he's come on us and I don't need them because I'm a Smart man. I think the president elect. May. Oh say one thing and do another once he's here because the truth of the matter is is that it's a big complicated world. It doesn't matter how Smart your new you have to have. The best information possible to make the best decisions possible. It's the biggest again yet for Trevor no law that thirty T world host of The Daily Show. Just over a year after taking the reins from Jon Stewart fit it's the daily show with forever and Nolan is making his mark tackled the topic of race taking pain and president electron. I don't trust America ever wanna speculating as to who should be the most afraid of black people Latinos but English language. You think don't improve his racist. I do. Did you do else anyone it's tough to say that somebody. Is not racist when they're doing all be racist things you know sometimes I feel like we needed an event like racism richter scale. Because racism in America such a loaded hood. It feels like people are more afraid of being called racist than actually beaten race nobody wants to be called my old people gold don't call me racist. I might do these things would you don't call me racist if Donald Trump chooses an advisor. Who has a platform that specifically cases. To a movement that has neo Nazi and white supremacist then what are you what are you pull that people why don't say the N word. And I don't hang anybody so I am I can't be racist idol was those levels. No is uniquely suited to talk about racism growing up bi racial in apartheid's South Africa. He was forced to navigate the dangerous worlds between black and white but he says he learned that communicating with those of the opposite view is crucial to success. I don't exist in a world away I only listen to the people I agree with because then how like Evan know. How to dismantle or think about your arguments and to from Wayne. Tommie Aaron to which is precisely why no one invited conservative Internet sensation coming more and on the show. Interview that went viral. Do you really believe you're criticizing and you not mad intention when you say things like black Glassman as the new kkk. Because you realize like -- economy than you kkk the kkk is still around. Some people were asking why would you invite on the show. Because we invites everyone who's in the political spin on the show it's like. I don't agree with you on things and I would like to challenge you and I would like for you to challenge me. No one knows all about challenges which he explores in his painfully honest new book born a crime. Different races being together. Was and crime and official crimes and immorality act in the country let alone sleeping together exactly that for bait that you could spend years in jail. And lucky my parents were never quote I'm almost quotes for some minor infractions regarding. You know relating to race and she would spend time is in jail you know with the view week or few weeks oftentimes you have to pay a month's salary to get outs. His journey has led him here to one of the most coveted. Johnson committed. Such difficult times did you secure sometimes until. Wow. Every day. Sometimes you get caught up in you know hash tag first full problems to you. You're in a world away of people convince you of problems that on real. Every single Lazarus and at the desk every single axle to the audience I appreciate every single inch of this place. State begins just after 9 AM in The Daily Show morning writers meeting. That's an excellent that's the one that's. This step presenting pitches for that night's show pass them on FaceBook live show arts hall. The wheel you. He's it is yes in the house and we don't know plans on somebody's mug shot to win agrees that didn't yet it was wow. This idea culminates into a hilarious segment later delivered by correspondent assignment. Yes he's. Don't know Hassan I don't know how I feel about this like we've got to take law enforcement seriously didn't do so not. Tell me weren't happy when the wheels and land on the black guy. We need a lot there's still an it has been more than a year now yes is still feel whole exciting scary what you never know. It's a different audience have reduced to from jokes of the so it's always a possibility that anything can happen. This new found fame a stark contrast from though was tough childhood so when you're writing a book. Is it painful to go back home for all of that it was a cathartic. I think it's. Combination of both I think through the pain comes the catharsis you know writing stories about us. Growing up in a home where we sometimes didn't have food is painful. You know remembering stories of growing up in home of domestic abuse painful stories. One of the more painful ones involving his abusive stepfather. And the terrifying day he shot noah's mother Patricia in the head did you think you were going to lose her. I did. And in my mobile shops not just in the torso but in the hand. And I mean hand chalked his head shots you don't think a person is recovering and miraculously. She came on only owns times with no permanent damage it's something that my family has in this through and now we laugh about us and that's who we are as a family as W comic chops came from slapping at the pain I think so yeah I'm loft is a is an escape a Phoenix last reminds you of the best self you'll favor itself your free yourself. He turned that left her into a career becoming one of the most successful comics in South Africa it's so Oprah threw down an Egyptian she booked for school fifty million dollars she spent she was like. You're not gonna spank these kids are you. Good muscle that no Napa. We'd be dead. But because of our press schooling. Everybody. A standup eventually catching the eye of John Stuart. John is the crazy person who. Club meets from obscurity he's the guy who saw Meehan said he should comes in the show you flew in I guess yesterday yeah I just knew NN boil my arms tired. Okay. Are there oldie goodie goodie very nice. I don't know seriously I've been holding my arms like this since I got here yeah. I never thought I'd be more afraid companies in America than in South Africa it's. Kind of mission the lust object for the old days back home that's just Kellogg. One of the biggest thing that struck me when I came to the US was how there was and lack of acknowledgment that many Americans who still live in a world where they don't even acknowledge the the fact that it's African Americans. Operating from a place of deep oppression and if there is no. System where we are working to reform people trying to have a discussion then that reasons not gonna go anyway. Earlier tonight at the White House President Obama echoing the need for Americans to come together I think it's important to tune to give the incoming administration the space. And to give the public clarity about what it is that they're trying to do an improbable moment for that biracial boys born a crime all those years ago. Seated across from the US president and bi racial man himself. For Nightline I'm Deborah Roberts in New York. I.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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