Recently I watched Wendy Messely of the CBC interview Trevor Noah, moderator of the Daily Show, on the new release of his autobiography. Referring to parts of the book where he was constantly grappling with his identity as a ‘colored’ growing up in Apartheid South Africa, Trevor repeatedly made the point that life for him was learning to quickly get over the pain of the moment and move on the promise of the future. Having now read the book, and discovered its profound wisdom and brilliant self-effacing humor, I can only  agree and wonder why it took me so long to reach that understanding. I have never laughed so much at how Noah, the child of a mixed marriage and pathetic circumstances, was able to maneuver his way through a veritable mares nest of bigotry, racism, cruelty, and ignorance and become a better person for all that. The man is definitely blessed with an ability to see the big picture and not sweat the small stuff. His weapon of choice was to make the most of a bad or awkward situation, either by drawing on the humor of irony or the opportunity of the moment. Being caught in a racial no-man’s-land, between blacks and whites, allowed him to develop his own ethos by which to judge the experience before moving on. I would look at Noah as an existential individual who, as a ‘difficult child’, could easily be seen as a pain in the neck because he was constantly gainsaying authority in a way that forced adults to label him as a trouble-maker or ADHD type. Back in my teaching days, I had those irritating students in my class, and nine times out of ten succeeded with them when I discovered what they were actually looking for. In Noah’s case, he was looking to reconnect with a father-figure in his very narrow existence. For me, it was the same except I often couldn’t provide that paternal influence because I was already fully engaged with our own two sons. When it came to making the most of a situation, Noah used his speed, temerity, and innovation to overcome poverty, prejudice, and loneliness. Incidents in the story describe times when his speed got him to the front of the lunch queue where he could take orders for a fee which helped give much needed snack money. Moving out the townships at the age of eighteen, in 2003, took him into radio and television, which became the critical break that allowed him to move out into the bigger world beyond the prejudices and inanities of the past. But to get to that turning point Noah would have to be the victim of bad parenting, a crazy political ideology, and some serious falling through the cracks. The fact that he has been able to turn a blighted past into a career dedicated to making it very funny and disarming shows the real mettle of the man. His was truly a dysvunctional family that managed to survive the outrages of apartheid because the latter was truly inept and powerless to handle its own anthropological creations. I highly recommend this memoir as the best statement to date on apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa.