Klepper has already been playing a version of himself on “The Daily Show” for the past three years, as well as the Comedy Central special “Jordan Klepper Solves Guns.” But now, much like Stephen Colbert before him, he’s been given a much larger platform to expand who “TV Jordan Klepper” is.
“You are seeing a version of me that that is a little more unaware, who doesn’t have perspective in the way that Jordan Klepper the person might have that perspective,” he told IndieWire. “And then you sprinkle on the realities of this world, which is simply that you choose your own reality, which becomes the truth to you, and you can feed it out into your own echo chamber. It’s been fun to extend the character that I’ve been playing. They gave me a few new toys and a few new things to be paranoid about.”
The idea of “The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper” comes from the rise in prominence of conspiracy-filled alt-right outlets like Alex Jones’ “InfoWars” and Breitbart.com.
“It’s kind of a nutso world right now,” Klepper said. “Everybody is fighting. All we know right now is that we’re angry. Even when the country seems to be agreeing on something what the news becomes is how angry everybody is on the agreement. Boy, this is only going to get more tumultuous and you can feel more addicted to this news cycle right now. It can get pretty overwhelming.”
Comedy Central president Kent Alterman said he hoped “The Opposition,” which premieres Monday at 11:30 p.m. ET behind “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” would help the network “re-establish a power hour in late night.”
“We’re excited about the complementary nature of these two shows,” he said. “Jordan is like all really talented performers who are really smart and incisive and great observers of what’s going on.”
But Klepper isn’t just creating a new late night talk show for Comedy Central. “The Opposition,” is concocting an entire faux media empire.
“The idea is, it’s like this fringe alt-media site and world that suddenly gets an 11:30 show on Comedy Central,” Klepper said. “We’re trying to build backstories there — like, ‘The Opposition’ has a 22-minute television show, but there’s also radio shows that are going 24 hours a day, and occasionally you’ll see clips from things like that.”
That’s where “The Opposition” correspondents will come in, much like the contributors on “InfoWars” (one of whom infamously recently got owned by a 12-year-old girl who flipped him off at a rally, as seen on a popular viral video) and “The Blaze.”
“I wanted it to feel like a team, so it’s not just the Jordan Klepper show, look at Jordan Klepper, he’s this character,” Klepper said. “This is ‘The Opposition.’ I’m at the center. But there are other people who are satirizing these other fringe members who are out there in the media, who are provocateurs in their own way.”
As for his “Daily Show” alma mater, host Noah is also an executive producer on “The Opposition” and has been available for plenty of advice. “We talk about even the functions of sitting in that chair and the relationships you develop, with the clips that you play, or the stories that you relate to,” Klepper said. “And he’s been helpful with how you deal with being the boss. How do you deal with hiring and working with people and organizing a team? That’s something that he stepped into beautifully. It’s not an easy place to step into. He’s just a really unbiased ear who will tell me like it is if he thinks we’re stepping in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, to prepare for “The Opposition,” Klepper has been undergoing a crash course in alt-right media, making InfoWars radio part of his lunchtime diet. “The great thing about Alex Jones is that he’s constantly creating content,” Klepper said. “That man just puts out information all the time. I will check in to get a feel for what he’s talking about, the rhythm of that show. The same thing with our writers, we go to Breitbart, we go to other websites in the morning and try to get a feel for what the Internet is talking about. Then we turn on cable news and see what cable news is talking about.”
That routine, however, can get exhausting. At least Klepper has a release: “You do a show about it. That’s the quickest way to get it out. If you see something and say, ‘I can’t believe this is the anger that exists online,’ or ‘This is the crazy town they went to,’ well, great. Let’s use that frustration and let’s filter it into the show we have to do.”
“The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper” premieres Monday, September 25 on Comedy Central.