-- First things first, where and when is the show this week and how can people get tickets?
Good question, Colin! The show is tomorrow -Thursday, March 31st - at Shadowbox Live's Backstage Bistro and you can get tickets by clicking here. And the beauty part is tickets are only $5.
-- So tell us a little about the show and what people should expect?
First and foremost, people should expect to be entertained and I promise a lot of entertainment for five bucks. But, honestly, what people should expect is classic talk show fun: live music, comedy, interviews with local celebrities and live performances from the city's deep pool of talent.
-- In practical terms, how similar is it to a proper talk show? Do you have writers ? Do you do a rehearsal before the actual show? Will a sidekick warm up the audience?
Very similar. The only difference is for right now the only way you can see this show is LIVE on stage at the Backstage Bistro. As we work out the kinks and polish the production, maybe someday it'll find a home online or on local television. But, I'm not interested in that right now. I just want to do a live show for a live audience. And I want to be able to drink...
Uh, yes, I have writer. And that's not a typo. One writer -- local stand-up comic, Sommer Sterud. She's also the sidekick-slash-producer who will roam the audience and take questions from the crowd. So, that's another difference -- there aren't any rules. Somebody in the audience has a fun or tough question to ask a guest? They can have at it. All bets are off.
-- Landing MoJo Flow as the house band is a big score. How did that come about?
MojoFlo and I have worked alongside of each other a few times over the years, notably at the past couple Highball Halloween events, and we have a great rapport. As you know, they are incredibly talented and just full of energy and life, so I'm honored they agreed to do this. Basically, when I brought it up to Amber and Walter, they were completely thrilled about the concept -- because they'd actually been thinking the same thing I was thinking: that the city needs its own talk show and they wanted to be the house band... It was perfect timing because I want to be the city's talk show host.
-- Gary Shandling recently passed away and he was a man who not only hosted the real Tonight Show filling in for Johnny Carson, but created his own brilliant parody in Larry Sanders. I mean, come on, that's just crazy talent. Were you a fan of his work?
Absolutely. Garry Shandling was a genius. Of course, he had more than one writer...
-- Who are other talk show hosts you look to for inspiration?
In my opinion the two best interviewers in the business are NPR's Terry Gross and, my own personal hero, Howard Stern. Expect a blend of those two styles... A high brow, low brow mash up.
-- What hosts and talk shows do you hope to avoid comparisons?
You know, I really haven't kept up with all the new talk shows. I've only seen bits and clips of Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert's shows. And, of course, those guys are giants. I don't expect to be able to compare to either of those extraordinary hosts and those productions. I just want to create a small, fun, live show that celebrates the people of Columbus. The only show I hope to avoid being compared to is the really awful one Chevy Chase hosted.
-- Sounds like a blast. Where to get tickets again and should people show up early to get liquored up or is this a serious affair?
I hope it's a blast. The first show is tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Backstage Bistro. Two more shows are planned for Thursday, April 28 and Thursday, May 26. And, conveniently, here's that link again: http://www.shadowboxlive.org/shows/the-not-so-late-show
Hopefully, we'll get a good running start at keeping this thing going. And, you know, what would be awesome? If you agreed to be a guest in May... You don't even have to perform. You can be like one of those legendary talk show guests who come on first and just get to take a seat...
--Thanks, I'd love to do it and I'll bring my guitar just in case.