×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Desus and Mero Promise ‘Cultural Paradigm-Shifting S—‘ at Series Premiere

The stars of Showtime’s new late-night series “Desus & Mero” stand ready to unite a bitterly divided nation with rapier wit delivered with Bronx flair.

Desus Nice and the Kid Mero were revved up Thursday night as the they gathered with friends, family and crew members in at the Clocktower in Manhattan for the premiere screening of first episode that was shot earlier in the day before a studio audience.

“The audience gives you that instant feedback and the jokes just keep flying,” Mero said. “We recorded for three hours. It wasn’t because of technical difficulties. It was because we were having so much fun. (Producers) kept saying ‘Stop, stop, stop.’ ”

Showtime co-president Gary Levine praised the pair for their preternatural ability to “riff at the speed of light.” He credited Showtime VP Brendan Countee for having the foresight to lure the hosts away from Viceland, where they hosted a nightly late-night half-hour from 2016 to 2018.

Desus said he’s been gratified by the response to the promotional and media blitz that led up to Thursday’s premiere of their new configuration as an hourlong weekly entry that mixes the pair’s signature joke exchanging with sketches and field segments. The buzz for the pair, who first gained fame through their “Bodega Boys” podcast, is reaching well beyond the five boroughs.

“You have to give the audience credit. They’re not idiots,” Desus said. “Comedy is universal. Just because we say things a little faster than most people and we have a New York accent and we pronounce the ‘g’ in sang-wich, you can still rock with what we’re giving you.”

Desus was impressed by a mention that floated into his Twitter feed on Thursday morning as they prepared to record the first show, which featured the Bronx’s own rock-star U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as guest.

“One of my mentions was a guy in a big ol’ MAGA hat. He goes, ‘I’m a Trump supporter but you know what, funny is funny. I hope these two do well. I’ll be watching their show,’ ” Desus said. “I was like ‘Wow.’ “

Mero’s hands shot up in the air as he added: “We’re going to end racism here … Tonight!”

Moreover, the pair promise to leave an indelible mark on the medium with their move to the broad platform of Showtime. And they’ll do it without the constraints of neckwear.

“This is f—— cultural paradigm-shifting s—,” Mero explained. “We’re not wearing ties, we’re not doing monologues. F— all that s—. This is going to change television.”

Comedian Tracy Morgan was among the guests who gathered for the premiere screening, along with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Also in attendance were “Desus & Mero” exec producers Tony Hernandez and Lilly Burns of Jax Media.

“It’s going to be very refreshing” to have “Desus & Mero” in late-night, Morgan said. “I could turn on the TV and see people from where I’m from talking the same s— I’m talking.”

Desus and Mero have also been cheered by the warm welcome they’ve received in moving up to late night’s big leagues. The show tapes at CBS Broadcast Center on 57th Street, where one of their neighbors is HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

“He’s very loud. He’s always leaving his bike in the hallway. He’s always listening to ‘Mary Poppins’ or something,” Desus quipped of the British host.

Oliver & Co. sent over an English breakfast — a carton full of bangers — to the “Desus & Mero” team on Thursday morning as a bon-voyage gesture. “Desus & Mero” returned the favor by sending “Last Week Tonight” a stash of Honey Buns and other choice packaged snacks found in bodegas.

“We’re trying to end Brexit, too,” Nice said.

(Pictured: The Kid Mero and Desus Nice)

More TV

  • Bud Light Asks Super Bowl Viewers

    Bud Light Asks Super Bowl Viewers to Pick the Ad They Want to See

    Most Super Bowl advertisers put a glitzy commercial in the game and hope for the best. Anheuser-Busch wants viewers to have a stake in the pitch that gets presented on Game Day. Bud Light made two different ads starring Post Malone, and is asking fans to help pick which of the pair ought to run [...]

  • good-morning-america-strahan

    At 'Good Morning America,' Robin Roberts Maintains Her 'X-Factor'

    Robin Roberts used to play basketball in college. She says she’s still building muscles while working at “Good Morning America.” The ABC morning program is many things all at once. It’s a news program. It’s a pillar of the economics of ABC’s parent Walt Disney. And increasingly these days, it is a broader media entity [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris SAG AFRA PRESIDENT

    SAG-AFTRA Unveils Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA has unveiled the guidelines for intimacy coordinators who are on sets when union members’ work involves nudity and simulated sex. The union released “Standards and Protocols for the Use of Intimacy Coordinators” on Wednesday, six months after announcing that it would standardize the guidelines for such scenes. “SAG-AFTRA believes that implementation of these standards [...]

  • BTS The Late Late Show with

    BTS Goes Into the Woods With James Corden for 'Black Swan' Live TV Debut (Watch)

    BTS took James Corden back into the woods for the live television premiere of the group’s new “Black Swan,” unfolding on a deep-forest set two nights after their Grammys debut, which was also the subject of a short interview on the late-night show. Speaking of their appearance on the Grammys, the group said, “Everything about [...]

  • Verizon Fios to Carry Bloomberg Television

    Verizon Fios to Carry Bloomberg Television

    Verizon Fios will start to offer Bloomberg Television as of January 29, extending the U.S. reach of the business-focused news network. Fios TV customers can be found in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston and other homes on the east coast,. Bloomberg says its TV network is available in more than 433 million homes worldwide. Bloomberg [...]

  • NBCUniversal International Studios strikes first look

    NBCUniversal International Studios strikes first look deal with StoryHunter

    NBCUniversal International Studios has inked a multi-year first look deal with audio and short form video start-up StoryHunter. The agreement will see the Studio develop both scripted and unscripted television content from original StoryHunter IP. StoryHunter will also work with International Studios’ production companies including Carnival, Heyday Television, Monkey and Working Title Television on off-television exploitation of their shows including podcasts and social media activity. [...]

  • Deals Round-up: Smithsonian and Travel Channel

    Deals Round-Up: Smithsonian Channel, Travel Channel, Turner Latin America

    Smithsonian Channel takes US rights to ‘Tower of London’ docuseries The Smithsonian Channel has acquired North American rights to docuseries “Inside the Tower of London” from All3Media International The hybrid history and behind-the-scenes series is produced by All3Media group’s Lion Television. The 8 x 60-minute “Inside the Tower of London” explores 1,000 years of history as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content