“How do you envision interviews going?” one TV critic asked, which was odd given their history as podcasters and their daily show on Vice until getting the Showtime gig.
“Really, really well, or really, really bad,” Mero responded affably.
They said they’ve got nothing against the other guys-behind-desks late-night programs, noting they were on Jimmy Kimmel Live show previous night and Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show recently.
But they’re kind of similar, the two said.
On their show, pre-interviews are out.
“We try not to do too much research ahead,” Desus said. “People either jell with us or not.”
And they won’t stand for too much talk about whatever project a celeb is making the rounds to pitch. “That turns the show into an ad,” Desus explained.
Also out: canned, corny “who was the inspiration for your album” stuff. They will, however, ask people making the late-night rounds to pitch something what is the one question they got that they hope never to be asked again.
Asked how much hand-holding there would be for guests maybe not used to their rat-a-tat-tat back and forth, they said everyone would have to “catch on fast” because they “have to or you’re going to look like a fish out of water.”
Desus and Mero are from the Bronx and have known each other since high school. They met in summer school.
“Not because we’re dumb, but it’s air conditioned,” Desus explained.
Now on Showtime, they have a writers room and researchers “to make the show bigger.”
They’re getting a new set, which they also promise will not be “corny.” It will have the aesthetic of Bronx but no phony manhole covers.
They freely acknowledge they enjoy becoming famous; Mero remembered the fan at the Apple store who said “I’ll give you my 25% discount; I totally love your show!”
“It’s totally life changing,” he smiled.
Someone asked what scares them about moving to Showtime.
It doesn’t, Desus shot back.
“We’re playing with house money,” Mero added.
Desus remembered someone once told them their show wouldn’t catch on because “we’re too New York-centric” to appeal to Middle America. “The most ridiculous thing I ever heard,” he scoffed.
They want to interview all of the many Dem and GOP POTUS hopefuls already littering the landscape, though they’d earlier said “we don’t interview anyone we don’t rock with” because “our audience would know” – so, no MAGA hats.
And, asked who’s at the top of their guest wish list, both men immediately named Barack Obama.
“Post-presidency Barack would be a little more loose,” Mero speculated.
“And, if we got an interview with Trump it would probably backfire, cause he’s from New York” and they might like him, Desus said, as Mero broke into his practically perfect Donald Trump impression.