UPDATED with video: The Daily Show host Jon Stewart tonight asked viewers to watch his successor when he takes over.

“They have hired a new Daily Show host, Mr. Trevor Noah and I’m very exited about it,” Stewart began. It was a noteworthy moment in its utter absence of the usual Studio Audience Toady Applause when he said Noah’s name. Stewart moved on quickly, like one delivering bad news:

“I know there was a large kerfuffle on Twitter. But can say this, I think, without hesitation: Trevor Noah will earn your trust and respect. Or Not.”

Stewart then began setting up a phony equivalency, as if he too had been out of favor with the audience when he was announced to take over The Daily Show, and had re-earned their trust with varying degrees of success:

“Just as I earned your trust and respect. Or did not. Or, sometimes I earned it, and then lost it, and then kind of got it back. But then it was like ‘F*ck that guy’ and then it was like, ‘That rally was so stupid, I hate him’,” joked the man who grew The Daily Show from some backwater late-night program into the country’s most important comedy show and one of its leading political forums.

Stewart continued:

“The only thing I would say is, I do hope, you give [Noah] an opportunity to earn that trust and respect, because my experience with him is that he is an incredibly thoughtful and considerate and funny and smart individual. And, man, I think you give him that time and it’s going to be well worth it. I’m excited for where he’s going to take this thing.”

Stewart’s dramatic show opening follows by about a week Comedy Central’s statement in which the network said it is standing by Noah after the media looked at his Twitter history.

“Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included,” Comedy Central felt compelled to say. “To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair. Trevor is a talented comedian with a bright future at Comedy Central.”

Others, however, aren’t so sure, after half a day’s worth of headlines wondering Did Trevor Noah’s Twitter History Just Kill ‘The Daily Show’? or insisting,  Trevor Noah Goes From Hero To Villain In 24 Hours.

Noah had responded to the maelstrom with another tweet saying, “Twitter does not have enough characters to respond to all the characters on Twitter,” which he quickly took down. It was later replaced by a tweet in which Noah said he should not be judged by “a handful of jokes that didn’t land.”

Among his tweets, plucked from years of activity:

–  Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!

– Messi gets the ball and the real players try foul him, but Messi doesn’t go down easy, just like jewish chicks.

– Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man. #BeatsByDreidel

– Originally when men proposed they went down on one knee so if the woman said no they were in the perfect uppercut position.

– “Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I’m sexy!” – fat chicks everywhere.