Wood appeared on the show the night Noah debuted as host.
“Maybe it’s because he’s Southern, but there’s an authenticity to his point of view that isn’t shaped by popular opinion,” Noah said. “He questions everything and he challenges the ideas so many of us have accepted as normal.”
Now, Wood, the father of a 2-year-old, sees himself as a more mature comedian than when he first auditioned for “The Daily Show,” one with a more distinct point of view who thinks about what he would tell his child when he is older. “I have to talk to my son about any of the dangers of the world and how to carry himself, not just with authorities but making sure that he’s a decent person around women as well,” he said. “The rules are still being rewritten. But as they’re rewritten, it’s my job to keep updating it.”
At the Olive Tree Cafe next to the Cellar, Wood reflected on a wall of comedians’ photos after finishing his set. The Cellar is a Shangri-La of sorts for stand-ups, and, in a sign that he’d made it, Wood’s picture was hung there last year.
Near that picture is one of Louis C.K., who has been performing again after admitting to sexual misconduct with several women. “They tell you that when you get in trouble you find out who your real friends are,” Louis C.K. joked in one of his comeback sets. “It’s black people, it turns out. They’ll stick by you.”
It might surprise some that Wood wasn’t insulted by the crack, as some other African-Americans were.
“Black people have been at the bottom before,” Wood said. “So when someone is going through adversity, who’s more qualified to coach you through it than someone whose entire existence has probably been adversity?” He added that he didn’t have an issue with Louis C.K. being onstage again.
“As a man whose life has been a constant run of people giving him second chances,” Wood said, “I’m not here to judge anybody on who’s coming to ask for theirs.”