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‘A Shared Moment of Truth’: Trevor Noah and Esther Perel at SXSW 

In a captivating episode of “Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel,” acclaimed psychotherapist Esther Perel is joined by none other than award-winning comedian Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show from 2015 to 2022.

Together, they delve into the intricate relationship between laughter and the complexities of our modern world.

As they explore the role of humor in navigating today’s challenges, Perel states that “humor is the closest thing you can get to a person without touching them,” which makes Noah pause before agreeing that humor might be the closest thing to freedom.

Noah also explains why humor is as intimate as Perel suggests: “Humor relies on sharing a reality… finding a moment to connect. A shared moment of truth.”

During the live podcast episode, Perel and Noah also discuss the importance of storytelling and staying true to yourself.

For Noah, it is important to share stories that you have already experienced, as opposed to telling stories “just to be a storyteller.” Which is becoming more and more common in modern society with short-form content on social media platforms.

Another insight shared by Perel had to do with the difference between listening and hearing. She emphasizes the significance of actively listening to others’ stories, noting that the more we engage in attentive listening, the more we recognize aspects of ourselves reflected in their experiences.

She also articulates the concept of “ambiguous loss” to the audience, shedding light on its prevalence in contemporary society and the growing disconnect it fosters among individuals.

Ambiguous loss is a profound sense of loss and sadness without a death. Perel explains that it’s not just about death—it can happen in any relationship when you’re not fully present, like when you’re glued to your phone while your partner is trying to talk to you. This makes them feel like something’s missing, and communication often becomes strained.

Last year, Noah quit The Daily Show, and is touring with his new comedy show “Off the Record.” Perel is about to take the stage for an immersive event and US speaking tour with her hit podcast: Where Should We Begin? 

Jovanka Palacios
Jovanka Palacios
Jovanka Palacios, a Mexican-American Politics Reporter and Managing Editor at RA's Gun Violence Watch, unveils the Capitol's inner workings. Focused on Public Education and Gun Policies, she passionately advocates for informed dialogue, delivering concise, impactful insights into the intricate political landscape.


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