The family tragedy that filled Trevor Noah with rage is the same incident that taught him the power of forgiveness.
"The Daily Show" host revealed on the latest episode of "The Jess Cagle Interview" (above) that his stepfather shot his mother in the head, but it was she who urged Noah to let go of the rage that attached him to that negativity.
"I think the only credits I can give in this situation is to my mother because the way my mother dealt with what had happened to her and to us was really the example that I chose to follow, which was not easy," Noah said.
The political comedian said it took him years to understand how his mother could be so quick to forgive the man who almost took her life. "Why would you pity the person who did something bad to you?" he asked.
"You come to realize in the forgiveness, you're not saying you forget, you're not saying the person should not be accountable," Noah said, "but what you're essentially doing is letting yourself go from that feeling that may hold you or tie you to that idea or to that person."
The bullet that went into the back of his mother Patricia's head and out her nose took chunks from her brain and arteries. Noah's stepfather was convicted of attempted murder but sentenced only to probation.
"I remember after the shooting, my mother was in the hospital, and all I felt was rage,” Noah said. “My mother said to me, 'Don't hate him for doing this, but rather pity him because he too is a victim, in his own way, of a world that has thrust upon him an idea of masculinity that he has subscribed to and is now a part of. As for myself, I do not wish to imbue myself with a hatred that only I will carry.' ”
Noah said it was his mother's growth post-shooting that strengthened his family and became the example he chose to live by.