EXCLUSIVE: David Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks” is making a television comeback. TBS has greenlighted a 10-episode half-hour comedy-variety series inspired by the iconic segment Letterman did for three decades on NBC’s Late Night and CBS’ Late Show, with Sarah Silverman as host. The project hails from The Jay & Tony Show’s Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants. Blumenfield, Marsh, Letterman, Silverman and Amy Zvi executive produce.
Stupid Pet Tricks, the series, promises to retain all the original segment’s charm, silly fun and appreciation for the often-absurd bond between humans and their animal friends, with Silverman infusing it with a quirky vibe. Each episode will feature a parade of pets performing the most ridiculous, impressive and extraordinary tricks on a studio stage before a live audience, interweaving comedic bits along with games, as pet parents join their furry (or scaley!) friends in the quest to be crowned with the coveted title of Stupidest Trick of the Week. Production on the series will begin in Los Angeles later this year.
“The rule in show business is, ‘never work with animals or children,’ but I choose to work with David Letterman anyway,” said Silverman.
Stupid Pet Tricks fits into TBS’ brand focused on “having a good time” and is part of the ramp-up of unscripted fare on the cable network led by Corie Henson, head of unscripted for TNT, TBS and TruTV, to complement TBS’ original and acquired scripted comedy series as well as sports programming.
“Continuing our strategic commitment to a bold unscripted slate that Corie Henson and her team have implemented and building off the incredible successes of Go-Big Show and Wipeout, we knew we had to elevate our roster by looking at the greats of television history and learning from their innovation,” said Brett Weitz, General Manager of TBS, TNT and truTV. “David Letterman is an entertainment legend who changed the face of broadcast history with three simple words: ‘Stupid Pet Tricks.’ Not just anyone could carry on that legacy, except the wickedly brilliant Sarah Silverman. I have no doubt that her brand of comedy will bring heart and raw humor in a way that will capture the original heritage of Stupid Pet Tricks and provide hilarious moments for a new generation yearning to seek truth and laugh till they cry.”
This marks the latest popular segment from a late-night show to take on a life of its own as an unscripted series spinoff, joining TBS’ Drop the Mic as well as Carpool Karaoke, Lip Synch Battle, Tooning Out the News and the upcoming That’s My Jam.
“This is a dream project,” said Blumenfield. “To be able to take one of our favorite late-night segments ever, watch Sarah Silverman infuse it with originality and new life and then go make it for TBS, doesn’t get better than this.”
Stupid Pet Tricks is executive produced by Blumenfield and Marsh with Worldwide Pants for TBS. Merrill Markoe serves as a consulting producer.