Articles, Blog

“Zambia loves escalators, just don’t be gay” – TREVOR NOAH (It’s My Culture)

October 20, 2019

I did go to Zambia though. Fantastic place Zambia. Went there, visited the
place and had a good time. While I was there I had a chaperone
who really made my trip. His name was Alinani, sweet guy. And his job was to get me
accustomed to the Zambian culture. And every day he would give me a new piece of
information, some more interesting than others. Like one day he looks at me and goes, “Trevor, you know Zambia is a
very, very conservative nation. I said, “Oh, okay Ali. He says, “Yea, so please stay away from profanity.” And I said I can do that, I assumed he meant swearing. But I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t
sure if he meant a person or swearing. No, no, because in Zambia people have names like Profanity. So, that’s how I laughed when I met Screwdriver.
It’s the same way I laughed. Yea, because you see In South Africa we have African names you can translate. Like Happiness, Blessing and Hope. Those kinds of names. But then in Zambia People give their names, like they give their children names of everyday English words, anything. So like, table, chair, car, house. You see, like you just have to get used to it. It’s very hard, but you have
to keep a straight face. Which was difficult because I met a mechanic,
who had sons named Brake and Clutch. And that was not, especially when Brake
was running around causing chaos. And his dad was there like, “stop it Brake,
stop it Brake, stop it, stop it Brake. And I was like, “Hey, stop it Brake. Ha Ha.” But you have to get used to it, it’s a cultural thing. And so, you have to respect it. And the second warning Ali gave me, was even stranger. We are driving thru Lusaka, the capital. And Ali looks over at me in the car and goes, “Trevor, you know here in Zambia
we are a very God loving nation.” I said, “Oh, ok Ali. That’s
a good thing to know.” He says, “Yes, so while you are here don’t be gay.” I said, “What?” He says, “I know it can be tempting
sometimes but don’t do it.” “Don’t be gay.” “Don’t be gay?” I have never been warned of this in my life, don’t be gay? “Hey bru, don’t be gay. Don’t be gay.” “Don’t be gay?” Crazy, crazy warning to get. But then I found out why Ali was warning me. Turns out in Zambia being gay is illegal. If you are found to be gay you will be arrested and sent to prison for more than thirty years, yea. Which is a bit of a weird punishment. When you think about it. I mean I am not saying that gay guys would enjoy prison, I am just saying if I was gay That’s not the worst thing
you could do to me. They would be like, “you
are going to jail!” I would be like, “Oh no.” Don’t be gay? I couldn’t believe this, gay is a crime in Zambia. Which got me thinking. If gay is a crime,
that means the police have to monitor it. They actually have to police gay. Yeah. Which means in their police force, they have a gay division. It’s a crime, it’s a crime. So that means they have a murder unit, a
robbery unit, a white collar crimes unit. And then they got a gay unit. Yea, they have got a little G unit in their police force. That’s responsible for all things gay. That must be the most fun police
force to be in, in the world. You get to go under cover, dress up really nice. Get in touch with your flamboyant
side, have a good time. I bet the sergeant’s there every
morning, briefing his detectives. “Good morning Detectives.” “Welcome everybody, today we will
be launching a sting operation.” “We have just been informed of a fashion
show that will be taking place.” “And as you know, the gays cannot
resist the latest fashion trends.” “Therefore we will be in full attendance
to apprehend each and every one of them.” “Let us make sure we are here.” “Detective Chepoa?” “Present!” “Detective Table?” “Present!” “Detective Mongai?” “Present!” “I think he’s in too deep.” How do you police gay? Do they stop you if you look suspiciously gay in the streets? I mean, gay doesn’t have a look. But maybe you
have a bounce about you, like a bit of pizazz. Do the police pull up there and is like, *police siren*
“You, over there!” “What is the purpose of that flamboyant scarf?” “Put your hands up!” “Turn around! Don’t tempt
me, don’t tempt me!” “You are going to jail.” How do you police gay? Do they have roadblocks?
Like for drunk driving? Do they have gay roadblocks? They are just like stopping people in they’re cars. “Good evening Officer” “Good evening Sir” “License Please?” “Thank you very much, Mr. Stylish. Hey?” “Tell me Sir, have you been gay this evening?” “No, I have not been gay. In fact, I don’t gay at all.” “I see, not even one or two?” “No, No. No gays for me. No gays for me.” “Okay” “Then tell me Sir.”
*sniffing* “What is that I can smell on your breath?” “Is that balls?” “No, no, no, I” “I don’t even eat Chutney, No” “A ha” “So you are not gay?” “No, not gay at all” “Then Sir, can you please blow into this?” Ahh Don’t be gay. I was not gay while I was in Zambia, so I had a good time. Went around and saw the people. The highlight of my trip
came when on my day off I asked Ali for suggestions. Ali said to me, “Maybe you should travel
around Lusaka, meet some of the people” “just have a good time.” I said to Ali I want to do something special. He said, “Oh well, in that case” “Maybe you can go to the Mall and if you are lucky” “maybe you can ride the escalators.” I said, “What?” “Hey, I am not promising anything” “but if you are early, maybe you can go once or twice.” I said, “Escalators?” “I know, mind-blowing ha?” I thought he was messing with me. Until I found out people in Zambia go to the mall just to ride the escalators. It seems ridiculous until you understand the backstory. When we were in Zambia there were
only five public escalators. Five, in the whole country. The first escalator was built in August. Not August 19?? No, no. You remember August. Past August? They built they’re first escalators, ever. Yea, and so now it is all the rage. People
go to the Mall just to ride escalators. But now, I don’t want you to
picture some dusty village. That’s not what Zambia is,
it’s a beautiful place. They are developing just as we are, they have roads. They got airports, the have beautiful hotels. Stunning shopping Malls. They’ve got everything we
got, even faster internet. The have just never had escalators. And now they started building them. And because of that people go there, and
they just spend a day riding escalators. Yea, Dads will go home and fetch their children. “Children, we are going to the Mall.” “To do what Daddy?” “To do shopping, and to ride the escalators!” “Yay!” We couldn’t believe this so
we went to the Mall, right. We get to the Mall. The Mall is empty. Escalators are packed! People are standing in lines going
around, doubling back on themselves. There’s old people, young people, even couples. There were couples. Guys that
actually picked up woman by saying: “I am going to take you to the escalator girl.” “Oh, you are so fancy hey?” Escalators. Some people didn’t even
know how to ride the escalators. Kids were easy, they just jumped on. Old people would panic. There was one guy who got on the escalator, and it was going up. And I guess to compensate for
something in his mind, as it went up. He started leaning. He fell down!
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. He was hurt so badly.
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. Oh, it was fantastic to watch. We spent like three hours doing this,
watching people riding escalators. And you know what? Our patience paid off, because
in hour three the most fantastic thing happened. A school brought a class of children to the Mall. And their excursion was just to ride the escalators. It was magic. Thirty kids, about five years old. Cutest things,
they were in their black and white uniforms. And they are standing there together holding hands. And they were so excited, they were shining. Not from excitement, they had Vaseline. And there is two teachers with the children,
and they grab their hands on either end. And in a long train they start marching through the Mall. And as they do the start singing at the
top of their lungs like little angels. “Escalator” “Escalator” “Escalator” “Oh, Oh, Ohhhhhhoh Escalator” “Escalator” It was the sweetest thing ever. People are waving at them, smiling. And these kids see the escalators. And they lost, their minds. These kids went crazy. They’re not holding hands, they
start screaming and running around. It looked like a zombie movie, or something. They are jumping, but then you see the smiles on their faces. It’s like the end of Saraphina. You are
like, “What the hell is going on here?” These kids are screaming. They are
jumping around doing cartwheels. The teacher can’t control them.
She’s panicking like, “Hey! Get back! Get Back!” “Two-by-two! Two-by-two!” Two-by two was one of the
kids, I didn’t know. She’s like, “Two-by-Two! Next to
me, next to me! Single file, single file!” Other kids are still jumping, she can’t control them. There was one fat kid. He couldn’t
jump so he just shook himself. “Escalator!” “Escalator!” It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life. It’s like I had gone in a time machine to a time when escalators were new. Brand new and popular So popular… that people were taking pictures of the escalators using their iPhones! Technology eh? Ah ah ah! Who even thinks of these things eh? Can you imagine? Eh we are in the future now my man! Mechanical moving stairs ah? What are we going to see next? I don’t even know, I don’t even know! I wonder how it works, ah!? Let me just check… Siri, how does an escalator work? I don’t know


  • Reply Trevor Noah February 7, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for watching! Be sure to Subscribe & Turn On Notifications to be first to see my newest videos!

  • Reply Deshia Smith August 14, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Hilarious lol

  • Reply Lutwama Eric August 14, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Being gay is not acceptable in Africa generally.And we like it that way, police gay the way you police domestic violence,incest or bestiality.

  • Reply abhishek soni August 16, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Awesome set 😍😍

  • Reply Bunny Bro August 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    This also means that the police officials have to sniff balls on a regular basis for practice

  • Reply fair justice August 17, 2019 at 6:42 am


  • Reply fair justice August 17, 2019 at 6:53 am


  • Reply Mbita Mbao August 17, 2019 at 11:34 am

    They only get arrested when they are found having sex😂😂😂
    And we do not sing about escalators.
    BTW theirs a specific tribe that names their children after everyday things like fork/foloku I distance myself from such

  • Reply Fusspilzsammler aus Leidenschaft August 17, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    When they opened the very first escalators in London people were given a glass of scotch to prevent panic or fainting xD

  • Reply Afrin khan August 18, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    So hilarious, I laugh out loud so badly in room, that my came in to watch me what's going on, I really love your all episodes, thank you Trevor sir.

  • Reply anthonyleven August 18, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    oh boy i laughed so hard im crying but i cant stop watching its 2 am i the morning ! dang!

  • Reply Rajan Rao August 19, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    "I don't gay at all" 😂🤣

  • Reply hlulani MTHOMBENI August 20, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Mr t bot ur funny

  • Reply Tyrell Bragdon August 21, 2019 at 5:19 am

    Instead of “can you blow into this” he shoulda said “please step out and walk a STRAIGHT line”

  • Reply Ellie C August 21, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Oh noooo😂🙈

  • Reply Nancy De Leon August 22, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Love it, I laughed so hard with his performance. Great video

  • Reply Aminat Yusuff August 22, 2019 at 9:17 am

    This dude is really funny. How does he gets his contents? I was waiting for a friend at a mall once and was getting really bored then I started watching people ride the escalators. Mehn, I was laughing my ass off! Y'all should try that if you live in a country that's new to escalators.

  • Reply KraZy duDe August 22, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Such an amazing personality love from Afghanistan

  • Reply Chloe xoxo August 23, 2019 at 1:47 am

    That's the cutest thing I've ever heard the kids being so excited

  • Reply Story Cut August 23, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Yeah I'm gonna get a Surprise hahahahaha

  • Reply David Stojilkovic August 23, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    I died of laughing when he was talking about that fat kid who couldn't jump and just shaked.

  • Reply Denno Benson August 23, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    zambian guy:babe i wanna take you out?
    guy:to the escalator
    girl: ohhhhh yeah!!

  • Reply Lihle Nkuna August 24, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Someone is named Ingredient, true story

  • Reply Lemwel king August 24, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Escalators, 😂😂😂the little joys of Africa, dont roast your continent this much Trevor

  • Reply Shurayh Bux August 24, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Id trade the escalators for faster internet even 100mbs or even 200 fibre you’ll still only get 10mbs highest will be 90 only for a few seconds

  • Reply Miguel Delgado August 25, 2019 at 12:05 am

    This escalator thing is not so,funny back,in 1957 the Sears in salinas California got an escalator we would go and ride the escalator while my parents shopped old people would be yelling at us little kids falling down we didn't care because we had a story for school on Monday!! Haha oh they had air conditioning also we sucked up as much of that cool air as we could too!! Hilarious!!

  • Reply NTHUSANG BOEMELWANG August 25, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Trevor u r mannerless. Hahahahahaha

  • Reply Timileyin Destinee August 27, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Yesssssss. In most African countries being homosexual or part of LGBT you are punished because we are so religious

  • Reply José Rizal August 29, 2019 at 9:44 am

    The simplisity of the place was amazing even the smallest thing thag we didnt enjoy now or seems normal for us was amazing for them and they feel happy

  • Reply DAREAL LOLKING August 29, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Do u get arrested if u are a lesbian

  • Reply kevinhart Memes August 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    “Don’t be gay”. You haven’t met my siblings where everything you do is gay.

  • Reply Nathan Abrogena August 31, 2019 at 6:55 am

    Now that escalator song is stuck in my head

  • Reply Mercy Moses August 31, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    He so cute and talented oh damn am in love ❤️🔥

  • Reply M. M August 31, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Couldn't avoid remembering of this vid

  • Reply Ben Lee August 31, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Spent 3 hours WATCHING people ride the escalator?????🤔

  • Reply Mati Choongo August 31, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I've met someone named Pack And Go Tembo😂😂and Anus Banda

  • Reply Mati Choongo August 31, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Bols is actually a type liquor in Zambia

  • Reply Mati Choongo August 31, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Didn't really nail the Zambian accent but still loved the jokes😂😂

  • Reply Volker Racho September 1, 2019 at 8:17 am

  • Reply LilyDae September 2, 2019 at 6:23 am

    the way he said “Oh no~!”

  • Reply N. Bacquia September 2, 2019 at 9:37 am

    I know a guy from New Zealand whose name is Fourth of July–not even July Fourth, but with the preposition. Another is named ANZAC, after Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.

  • Reply vishal yadav September 2, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    You are doing so Great..but I can't believe you have just 1.6 million subscribers…How much selfish are people…love from India..

  • Reply Emily Lippincott September 4, 2019 at 4:03 am

    My best friend is zambian

  • Reply marytwin15 lwando September 4, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Am from Zambia and about name thing, its true. But the funny part is, the funny names are named by the people from eastern part of Zambia. The eastern people of Zambia came from South Africa during Shaka Zulu’s time. Research and you will believe me.

  • Reply Dean Rocco Sterling September 5, 2019 at 12:11 am


  • Reply Naruto X Hinata September 6, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Blow into this sir “ 😂😂

  • Reply Martin Zou September 6, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Trevor love from India i always imitate u n perform it

  • Reply dcbsmt September 7, 2019 at 10:18 am

    The escalator bit is one of my all time favourite but I really don't ever want to hear another prison rape joke.

  • Reply danielgr86 September 9, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    ACtually escalators started like this, and the most important stores were located on the top floor xD.

  • Reply DrFlaggstaff September 10, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Don't they just get re arrested after their 30 year sentence? They're still gay?

    I guess they might think its learned

  • Reply عبدالكريم القريو September 11, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    in my country if you are gay you will be sentenced to death

  • Reply Ali dos September 12, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Tha fat kid😂😂

  • Reply Laurence0227 September 12, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Why “stop it break” so funny

  • Reply skdkoc September 12, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    you are awesome! rob

  • Reply FatimaBerbere September 13, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I believe that the joke about jail is pretty insulting for gay people that risk their lives…all the jokes about gays are a bit too stereotypical actually.
    I’m sorry because I usually love his gigs

  • Reply NYCPCDude September 13, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Would it blow their minds if they went to hong kong. They have the world's longest escalator

  • Reply Moses jr Nkandu September 14, 2019 at 3:20 am

    I’m Zambian lol

  • Reply Kohene Moore September 14, 2019 at 5:20 am


  • Reply johnny quest September 15, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    "can you blow into this?"
    don't give into the temptation😂
    (this was one of the best stand ups I've seen, bravo)

  • Reply Rose Smith September 18, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Too Funny, side hurting from laughing!!!!

  • Reply Blessed Annie September 18, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Trevor you weak me naaa

  • Reply anaci paulina September 19, 2019 at 3:04 am

    Yeap.. Dont be gay..or else you'll get hang in my city.😅😅😅😅

  • Reply Chloe Elizabeth September 19, 2019 at 3:44 am

    “You’re going to jail “oh nooo”” 😭😭😭

  • Reply Whats trending with Kaysibo September 19, 2019 at 7:29 am


  • Reply Mariah and the Lambily September 20, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    wHY arE YoU gEi

  • Reply Ntokozo Zwane September 20, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    😂 😂 One of my favorite sets by Trevor 😂 😂 😂 escalator wooohhh

  • Reply Hans Frederik Lehmann September 22, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Most popular baby name of 2018: Escalator.

  • Reply Dean Rocco Sterling September 24, 2019 at 8:04 am


  • Reply Julie Hanna September 25, 2019 at 9:33 am


  • Reply Viki rogu September 25, 2019 at 9:24 pm


    Shakes head

    "I think he's in too deep."

    😂😂😂😂 Xdd

  • Reply Janet Wanjiku September 25, 2019 at 11:50 pm


  • Reply Sam Ready September 26, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Cool bro you have the good times

  • Reply Gayatri Surujpal September 27, 2019 at 5:40 am

    The first time I saw an escalator I was so terrified. My grandpa had to ask the security guard to carry me on…. Now when I think back about it as a small child it scared the hell out of me.

  • Reply Tejas Netke September 27, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    End got me the best

  • Reply Shawn Smith September 28, 2019 at 7:11 am

    What is that I can smell on your breath is that balls?

  • Reply RIA Avelar September 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm


  • Reply Andromeda October 1, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Very funny comedian 😂😂

  • Reply T phoenix October 2, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Dear God please continue to bless Trevor Noah he brings joy to millions around the world and brings light to our continent. He is a role model for our youth to know that with faith ,hard work and perseverance you can reach your destiny. THANK YOU TREVOR FOR SPREADING LIGHT AND LOVE THROUGH YOUR COMEDY.

  • Reply Tumelo Gaegake October 2, 2019 at 3:50 pm


  • Reply king Nessa October 4, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    True, I have a friend named eclipse and Sunday, 😂 I love my country

  • Reply Andrew Siamfwamu October 5, 2019 at 6:43 am

    😜 come to Zambia
    I provoke you

  • Reply Kawaii Fox101 October 5, 2019 at 9:39 am

    I'm lesbian am I "allowed" to be lesbian?

  • Reply Charle Chimfwembe October 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Funny, though point of correction, l remember using a very long escalator at a shop called Mwaiseni in Lusaka in the early 1970s.

  • Reply hewakens October 6, 2019 at 11:59 am

    A sign of a talented comedian: making escalators entertaining for 5 minutes

  • Reply Ali Sirous October 9, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    No one is able to bring the house down better that Travor Noah

  • Reply Gift Malulu October 10, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Same with Malawi like when we got our first escalator people would go to crossroads mall in Blantyre and be taking pictures and all 😂😂

  • Reply Second Lyfe October 11, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Judge: You're going to jail for being gay!
    drops the soap

  • Reply the girl from yesterday October 11, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    What the heck😂😂😂😂the way you copied the Zambia's accent is so funny😂😂😂😂sounds like Indian accent😂😂😂😂

  • Reply star shine star October 13, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Guys did you know Trevor Noah is more intelligent than you you know guys the things he says is not real it's just a joke you know

  • Reply Vanidia Ogega October 14, 2019 at 11:54 am

    OH MY GOD i have not laughed so hard to double meaning before.

  • Reply Jasson Poirier October 14, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    I love the end bit of your videos , I often wonder how many people see that and get all freaked out. Prizes prizes. Everybody wants something for nothing. Your a comic genius.

  • Reply Nandini Ghosh October 15, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    The simplicity is touching

  • Reply Pedro Cabrero October 15, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Am i the only one who found this offensive in many ways? I understand it's a stand up routine but first things first. You do not make jokes about gays if you are not gay. You don't make jokes about Zambians if you are not zambian. And what about that "gay men would be glad to be put in jail 'cause there are plenty of men" thing. Seriously? Too many sterotypes. You can say i have no sense of humour but i do watch stand up routines and i love them. But not this one. Same thing happened to me with the one with the deaf guy anecdote. It's just an oppinion. I do not intend to be rude. Have a beautiful Tuesday.

  • Reply iMews Español October 16, 2019 at 4:59 am

    I invite you to my channel iMews English about Mexico news and its 4T (4th Transformation) completely in English

  • Reply Florian Brandenburg October 16, 2019 at 7:30 am

    where can i get that t shirt?

  • Reply Micheal Abebe October 16, 2019 at 8:35 am

    አሃሃሃ ok hahaha ""escalator""

  • Reply Nastaran Dovar October 17, 2019 at 4:17 am

    I don't like to laugh at innocence of a nation. That made me very uncomfortable.
    Escalators were exiting in any country at first. There weren't anyone to record and make international jokes like this.
    I cant believe I have to write this comment for Trevor Noah. I feel betrayed and a bit heartbroken.

  • Reply btensionfree October 17, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    turn around dont tempt me dont tempt me….hahahaha..

  • Reply Nor Ce October 18, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    How do you police gay? I'm screaming!!!!

  • Reply Easy Recipes October 19, 2019 at 2:42 am

    Lol 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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