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Grammys host Trevor Noah on what makes his role "particularly nerve-wracking"

Grammys host Trevor Noah talks to Gayle King
Grammys host Trevor Noah reveals biggest challenges: "I am never not nervous" 06:31

As a comedian, Trevor Noah is no stranger to crowd work. But even he admits he has some nerves about the audience he'll face at his upcoming gig: The Grammys

Noah is hosting the Grammy Awards for the fourth consecutive year on Sunday. The former "The Daily Show" host said he loves the unpredictability of the show.

"I don't know what's going to happen. So that's what I love about the Grammys is it's live; it's happening; it's on the fly," Noah told "CBS Mornings" co-anchor Gayle King in an interview for the show's "Road to the Grammys" series.

Preparing to host the Grammys

Unlike comedian Jo Koy who was tapped to helm the recent Golden Globes for the first time on short notice, Noah has had some experience leading a star-studded ceremony. However, Noah still has concerns just like any other host.  

"Here's the thing about award shows is everybody loves the joke when it's not about them, and your goal and your hope is to tell a joke about the person that they also think is funny. So it's difficult. And I think every comedian understands this," Noah explained. "I think what makes the Grammys particularly nerve-wracking for me is like, these are superstars. Yeah. These are like, I don't wanna get on the wrong side of Taylor Swift fans. So you're trying to walk this fine line of being, you know, the comedian, but then also, still being nice about the night."

Trevor Noah. CBS Mornings

When Noah takes the microphone Sunday, the 39-year-old said, "there's no rule" and no guarantee every joke will strike gold.

"I never take it for granted. I am never not nervous. It is. Think of this moment. Everybody's there. You have an idea of what you would like to do. You've never practiced this with them," he explained.

He continued, "Some people are having a good night, some people are not having a good night. You don't know how it will go. And as the night progresses, the mood changes. And how does that mood affect the comedy? You don't know."

Noah described what the adrenaline rush feels like, comparing it to driving a fast car on a racetrack, bungee jumping or even going in for a first kiss on a date.

"Yeah. It's nervous, but it's exciting and you hope it ends well," he said.

Noah's Grammy nomination

While Noah is honored to be named host, he's also excited to be a nominee. He was nominated for Best Comedy Album for "I Wish You Would," alongside comedians Wanda Sykes ("I am an Entertainer"), Sarah Silverman ("Someone You Love"), Chris Rock ("Selective Outrage") and Dave Chappelle (What's in a Name?").

SZA leads Grammy nominations, up for "Album of the Year" with Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Janelle Monáe 04:24

"Who are you rooting for?" King asked Noah after reading the list of his fellow nominees.

"You know what I'm gonna say. I'm rooting for me. Yes. I, uh, I think me has done a very good job with this special," joked Noah, who made history at the Emmys last month when he became the first Black person to win for Outstanding Talk Series.

Noah said he's humbled and couldn't "ask to be in a better group of comedians." 

"Can I tell you, every single time… every single time those names are read out. Yes. I always have to take a moment because I sometimes forget that just a few years ago, I was in South Africa doing comedy in places nobody knew of with comedians that nobody's heard of," Noah said. "Yeah. All of us having a great time watching every single comedian you've said on that list."

The Grammy Awards return to Los Angeles' Arena on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, with the show airing live on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+ at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

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