The son of a black South African woman and a white Swiss man who met when interracial relationships were illegal in South Africa, Noah jokes that he was “born a crime.” On stage, he draws upon his particular life experiences to tackle thorny issues with his funny, and sometimes trenchant, punchlines.
“My mom would be arrested, she would be fined and still she was like ‘ooh, I don’t care, I want a white man, ooh,’” he tells a laughing audience gathered in London’s Soho Theater. "And my dad was also like, well, you know how the Swiss love chocolate."
Noah’s mixed-race heritage defines his routine. Race and ethnicity are leading themes in his standup, echoing his life while growing up in a Soweto township during the apartheid years and being labeled mixed race.
“In the streets my father couldn’t walk with us — he would walk on the other side of the road and wave at me — like a creepy pedophile,” he tells the Soho Theater crowd. “And my mom could walk with me but every time the police went by she would drop me — I felt like a bag of weed.”