Sherman’s Showcase is a sketch comedy show created by former Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writers Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin that includes sketches that were “too edgy” for the NBC late night show.
The IFC Soul Train take-off, which launches later this month, is hosted by Salahuddin, who plays Sherman McDaniels as he takes viewers through time via music and comedy drawn from the 40-year library of a legendary (but fictional) musical variety show. Whether it’s a questionably-attired funk super group in the 1970s, an up-and-coming MC in the 1980s, or an R&B diva from the 1990s, Sherman’s Showcase has music, comedy, game show segments, political roundtables, commercial parodies, breakout hits destined to climb the charts, a dancing robot and a legendary host who’s been there from the beginning.
“We call it the Marvel universe of black music that we’ve created for this show,” said Riddle, speaking at the TCA press tour.
“They say that every artist’s first album is 15 years material and I think that’s true here. What you see in season one is so many of our ideas that often started at Jimmy Fallon and that we’re even too edgy for that audience that we’re like ‘let’s do it on IFC’,” added Salahuddin.
It features guest stars including Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor, Common, Morris Day, Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery, Quincy Jones, Mike Judge, Kenny and Keith Lucas, John Legend, Nigel Lythgoe, Curt Menefee, Vic Mensa, Tawny Newsome, Ne-Yo, Ray Parker, Jr., Mario Van Peebles, Damon Wayans, Jr., Marlon Wayans and Bresha Webb.
It is exec produced by John Legend and Frank Scherma, the chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, who runs RadicalMedia, alongside Riddle, Salahuddin Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius and Jim Bouvet.
Asked about their thought on the number of diverse sketch shows recently commissioned including HBO’s The Black Lady Sketch Show from Robin Thede and Issae Rae, as well as Kenya Barris’ Astronomy Club, featuring the UCB alums, Riddle, said, “We have no problem with being lumped in those people, we love Robin Thede and Issa Rae. It’s super cool that we’re all coming out at the same time. Not since the 1990s have you felt that you can be a black show and people won’t be like ‘is there space for more than one’. I don’t think any of these shows are going to look the same or deliver the same kinds of jokes, they’re specific to the people that created them. The more the merrier.”
The series premieres Wed. July 31 at 10 PM ET/PT on IFC.