In a special surprise panel at CTAM, comedian Amber Ruffin was joined by Jenny Hagel and Seth Meyers to talk about her upcoming half-hour talk show The Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock which according to her, will take the best parts from regular late-night shows. What does that mean exactly? At the beginning of the panel, Ruffin said that the good parts are basically the comedy.
Hagel, who serves as an executive producer of the show, said that “all the parts are good” when it comes to late-night. “What’s fun about Amber’s show is that we’re not married to a particular format going in,” she said. “One of the things that Amber does the best is let the content of the day dictate the format vs. format dictating content. Amber does a beautiful job of looking at the day’s headlines and saying, ‘What’s the best way to address this insane series of headlines?'” She added that the best part of late-night is how they react to their fresh takes to what’s going on in the world — and that is a skill Amber is going to bring to the show.
Ruffin works with Meyers (also an EP on the new talk show) on his own late-night show and he points out that the there is a benefit to having different voices on his show that aren’t like his. “That’s why Amber has thrived on the show,” he said, adding that she fills this space nobody was filling.
Just because that Ruffin has a new talk show, doesn’t mean that her duties at Late Night with Seth Meyers are done. In fact, the two shows will be in such close proximity to each other that she won’t really have to juggle much and she will still be on the Late Night writers team and we’ll still be able to see her bits like “Amber Says What”.
“I’m not leaving the show!” said Ruffin. “I’m gonna do both: Late Night and The Amber Ruffin Show and it’s gonna be great!”
Considering the global circumstances (I’m referring to the pandemic), The Amber Ruffin Show is launching without an audience but Ruffin hopes to have an audience by early next year. Meyers refers to the debut as The Amber Ruffin Show: The Prequel.
“This first run of shows will be the preamble to the launch of the show with an audience because Amber is so good with an audience,” said Meyers.
The late-night space is predominantly white and male. Ruffin joins the ranks of the late-night shows that are hosted by women. She doesn’t know why the timing for a woman in late-night is better but she knows that her show is going to be fantastic. “It’s there if they want it,” Ruffin said with a smile. “I would have to say that the takes you’re going to want, we’re going to have.” She added that people are becoming more interested in different points of view from women and Black. “Now, people’s understandings have widened and their focuses have shifted. Hopefully, that translates into late-night television.”
Emmy and WGA Award nominee Amber Ruffin is a writer and performer for NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and was the first Black woman to write for a late-night network talk show in the U.S. She wrote and performed on Comedy Central’s Detroiters and is a regular narrator on the cabler’s Drunk History. In addition, she was a writer/performer for the 2018 and 2019 Golden Globe Awards and has written for the series A Black Lady Sketch Show.
Ruffin, Hagel, Meyers and Mike Shoemaker serve as executive producers. The series is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, and Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions.
The Amber Ruffin Show is slated to launch in September.