Jordan Klepper is not setting out to be another Stephen Colbert.
Klepper is a correspondent for “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” who will spin off into his own 11:30 p.m. show for Comedy Central this fall, just as Colbert (and later, Larry Wilmore) did from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” But that’s where the comparison ends, according to network president Kent Alterman.
“This isn’t about Jordan trying to create a character like Colbert’s character was,” Alterman said. “This is really about trying to play to Jordan’s strengths. He’s so quick and so smart… Even on the field pieces [on ‘The Daily Show’] there are times where he plays almost a clueless, arrogant liberal and other times he goes the opposite direction.”
Alterman said Comedy Central is still in the early stages of developing Klepper’s show, which will be executive produced by Klepper, Noah and Stuart Miller.
In a press release earlier this month, Comedy Central said the show would “look to embrace and define the chaos of our country by channeling Klepper’s steadfast attitude that institutions are to be trusted less than the lies of the mainstream media.”
Klepper first joined “The Daily Show” in 2014 under host Jon Stewart, but Alterman said it was Noah who “came in and really recognized his talent, and not only embraced it but empowered him.” After speaking with Noah and Klepper, Alterman said he realized that “Jordan was hitting higher heights creatively, and maybe this would make sense.”
The new Klepper show comes as Comedy Central expands its late night footprint. Besides “The Daily Show,” “@midnight” and the new Klepper show, the network also has two weekly series on tap: “The President Show,” hosted by Anthony Atamanuik as Donald Trump, and a Jim Jefferies show debuting this summer.
“The whole definition of what late night is has expanded in the last couple of years and it now includes weekly shows and shows not in the traditional late night time slot,” Alterman said. “Obviously we’re looking to be responsive to the world we’re living in and we see the audience responding to. There are smart funny people who have something to say, and if we can figure out the way to program it in a way that makes sense, we’re really doubling down on that.”
On “The President Show,” Alterman said Atamanuik is not only impersonating Trump, but “he channels something that goes deeper. He actually worked in journalism for a while, he worked with Glenn Beck, so his understanding and knowledge of the political arena is multi-faceted and multi-directional.”
The idea of “The President Show” originated from Atamanuik and his co-creators who brainstormed how Trump might originate his own version of a “fireside chat,” and that it might be a late night show that broadcasted directly from the White House.