Trevor Noah Mocks Joe Rogan for Controversial Comments on Black Identity

Trevor Noah has added his name to a growing chorus of detractors, after Joe Rogan suggested that only "100 percent African" people should be called Black.

Speaking with author and professor Jordan Peterson during an episode of his The Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Tuesday, the titular host recalled a time when professor Michael Eric Dyson had called his guest a "mean, angry white man."

"I am white—actually that's a lie too. I am kind of tan," Peterson said in response to Dyson's comment, which Rogan called "dumb" during the interview. "And he was actually not Black, he was sort of brown."

Rogan then attempted to share his own assessment of what it means to be Black, questioning why some people "who are literally my color" identify as such.

"There's such a spectrum of shades of people," said the podcast host. "Unless you're talking to someone who is, like, 100 percent African, from the darkest place, where they are not wearing any clothes all day and they've developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun, you know, even the term Black is weird. When you use it for people who are literally my color, it becomes very strange."

The comments caught the attention of Noah, who took Rogan to task during Wednesday's installment of Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.

After playing a clip of the exchange, Noah looked at his hands in feigned shock as he quipped: "Oh my God! I'm not Black! I'm not Black! Joe Rogan's right! I'm like a Caramel Mocha Frappuccino. This changes everything. This changes everything!"

He then ran off screen, prompting the sound of police sirens to play on the set.

Returning to his desk, Noah then informed his audience: "The police said I'm Black. But yeah, apparently Joe Rogan really wants to know why they say 'Black people' if they're not the color of a Sharpie."

Trevor Noah and Joe Rogan
Trevor Noah (L) has mocked Joe Rogan (R), after the former "Fear Factor" host implied that only those who are "100 percent African" are actually Black. Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images;/Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

The South African-born TV personality went on: "The things these guys seem to be ignoring is that Black people didn't call themselves Black. You understand that, right? It's not like Black people were like, 'We're Black.' No. In Africa, we have tribes. We have cultures. Zulu. Xhosa. Baganda. Igbo. Wakandans!

"But then white people got there, and they were like, 'Wow. There's a lot of Black people here. A lot of Black people.' Then in America, they invented a rule that if you had one drop of Black blood in you, that makes you Black—which defined how you were treated by the government and by society."

Noah also addressed Rogan's controversial stance on the COVID vaccine, after stating that some of the podcast host's takes are "a little suspect."

Seeking a positive in the uproar over Rogan's comments on race, Noah said: "I know a lot of people are upset about this but look at the upside: at least Joe Rogan wasn't talking about vaccines."

Dyson himself addressed Rogan's comments during an interview with CNN's Don Lemon, saying that the former Fear Factor host and Peterson "unsuccessfully challenged my Blackness, they damn sure proved their whiteness—indifferent to history, oblivious to truth and indifferent to reality."

Stating that it represented a wider issue, Dyson went on: "This is the same kind of ignorance that fuels the belief that [critical race theory] is being taught in elementary schools.

"This is the same kind of ignorance that would have us believe that 1619 is anti-democratic, anti-American project. This is the nature of the whiteness we continually confront. This is willful ignorance.

"This is not, 'Oh my God, I just don't understand it. It's just too complicated.' No, what's too complicated is to acknowledge your whiteness. Your privilege. Your perspective. The shades through which you view the world and the ways in which whiteness provides a kind of lens through which we view it."

According to The New York Times' website, the 1619 Project is "an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."

Michael Eric Dyson
Michael Eric Dyson attends the Cannes Can: Diversity Collective Inkwell Beach - 2021 Martha's Vineyard Film Festival on August 12, 2021 in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Rogan's comments were made as he discussed a previous remark made by Dyson. Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Inkwell Beach