David Spade gets Comedy Central late night show in haunted time slot

Comedy Central will let David Spade host a late night show in their seemingly haunted 11:30 p.m. time slot. Spade will follow The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Monday through Thursday in the half-hour series. Since Stephen Colbert left Comedy Central to host The Late Show on CBS, no show has quite solidified itself at 11:30 on the comedy network.

The David Spade late night show will feature the Saturday Night Live alum giving his unique take on the pop culture news of the day. Fans of the comedian’s Instagram stories will find his field segments very familiar. The yet-to-be-titled series will also include a rotating group of the 54-year-old’s celebrity friends. The show will premiere “later this year,” according to a release.

Spade tweeted a video Monday night announcing the news saying, “We decided to take a gamble on me. Comedy Central said, ‘Let’s get this guy.’” While describing the show like another podcast with three to four dudes talking about “whatever,” he promises there will be no politics—unless Cardi B runs for something. Instead, they’ll stick to the safe and appealing topic of popular culture. “We’re gonna cover everything…whatever’s funny, whatever’s stupid, whatever’s dumb. It’ll be me and my stupid friends.”

Comedy Central to try David Spade at late night

Colbert Report left Comedy Central in December 2014. Since then, various shows have followed the perennial Daily Show, now hosted by Trevor Noah, and none have lasted terribly long. Larry Wilmore lasted a couple of seasons with The Nightly Show. After that, @midnight operated @11:30 until former Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper launched his satirical nod to Colbert, The Opposition.

Stephen Colbert Colbert Report

Colbert drew in over a million live viewers per night on average towards the end, but the same slot with the same lead-in could not seem to grab the excitement of viewers back home. The Nightly Show tended to hover around half-a-million viewers while The Opposition only managed a few hundred thousand. Sure, @midnight was fairly consistent—and received a bump in the ratings when it temporarily filled in during the slot—but even then, the show knew to call it quits after 600 trending episodes.

Now it’s Russel Dunbar’s turn to try and take advantage of the fake news lead-in. Spade has not had a regular TV gig since doing Rules of Engagement for seven seasons. The CBS sitcom shuttered in 2013. Since then, he’s bounced around to a variety of cameos and short recurring roles on one TV show or another, but he very often plays himself as a celebrity gag in shows like Lady Dynamite, Fameless, Entourage, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. His presence has often been a punchline.

However, the Tommy Boy star continues to work, mostly alongside longtime friend Adam Sandler. Nine of his last 10 films either starred the 100% Fresh comedian or were produced by his Happy Madison Productions shop.

David Spade choice keeps late night white

Comedy Central’s choice of Spade is curious in an era when demands for diversity are stronger than ever before. The late night mix-up of 2014-2015 left many excited for executives to tap some different faces. Between Late Show, Late Late Show, Colbert Report, and The Daily Show, only The Daily Show chose a replacement who was not a straight white man. Yes, Samantha Bee finally got her own late night show, but TBS gave it to her only after CBS and Comedy Central passed over the then-longest tenured correspondent at The Daily Show. (Bee is doing just fine as the patron saint of angry women, by the way).

Late night has always been a male-dominated space—and white. Very white. Yes, Chris Rock and Arsenio Hall got some shots behind a desk, but the person coming out of whatever-color curtains each night continues to be a white guy. Noah is the lone person of color in the current late night landscape. Busy Philipps and Bee are the only women, though Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is once a week and Busy Tonight is a comedy afterthought on E!

With 11:30 open at Comedy Central—a slot that should belong to Bee—the attention will be on this pop culture news show to see if Spade can be relevant not just one night of the week, but four.

Billy Procida

Laughspin editor-in-chief Billy Procida is a stand-up comedian in New York City. He hosts The Manwhore Podcast where he talks to women he's hooked up with about sex, dating, and why they didn't work out. Reach him on Twitter.

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