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Russell Peters at the 11th annual It's Always Something, in Support of Gilda's Club Greater Toronto.

TOM SANDLER

Canadian comedy giant Russell Peters is accusing incoming Daily Show host Trevor Noah of stealing his material.

The Brampton, Ont.-bred comic told a reporter with Channel NewsAsia's show Conversation With that Noah is a "thief."

Peters went on to allege that Noah stole material from fellow South African comic David Kau, but doesn't specify what exactly.

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When asked if it was possible Noah "borrowed" his bits, the stand-up star says, "you don't borrow in this business."

Noah refuted similar allegations from Kau in a 2013 interview with South African magazine Mahala, saying "nobody owns comedy, nobody owns a premise, nobody owns an idea."

Peters on Wednesday appeared to claim the whole thing was a joke, posting on Twitter: @Trevornoah OMG I can't believe how gullible the media are! Next time I'll choose a less awkward time to prank U! #PeopleWatchSingaporeanTV?

Since being named as Jon Stewart's successor on the satirical Daily Show, Noah has also come under fire for racist tweets. That controversy prompted Stewart to come to his defence on a recent episode, urging viewers to give Noah a chance: "It's going to be well worth it."

In the NewsAsia piece, Peters was blunt in his criticism of Noah.

"You don't borrow in this business," Peters told interviewer Lin Xueling in Sunday's interview from Singapore.

"If you're a comedian, that's like stealing somebody's underwear and putting them on. That doesn't make any sense. Why would you do that?"

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Peters made the comments while on his world tour, Almost Famous, which hits Ontario and Quebec in May and British Columbia in November.

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