Comedian Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, is defending Trevor Noah, the man named to succeed him, a week after critics said some of the South African comedian's more than 9,000 tweets were sexist and anti-Semitic.

In the opening monologue to Monday night's show, Stewart said:

"Trevor Noah will earn your trust and respect — or not — just as I earned your trust and respect — or did not; or sometimes earned it and then lost it; And then kind of got it back. ... I do hope you give him 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."

You can watch it here:

As we reported last week, critics pounced on Noah's tweets, some of them more than a year old. But he had defenders, too, including comedian Patton Oswalt.

Noah himself said on Twitter: "To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn't land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian."

The Daily Show was off the air last week, and Stewart's endorsement of his successor on Monday night is the first time the comedian publicly addressed the issue.

Comedy Central, in a statement last week, also defended Noah.

Stewart announced in February that he was leaving the show this year.

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