One silver lining to emerge out of 2020 was Ziwe, the sharp, Brooklyn comedian who encouraged us to self-reflect, laugh, and cringe at what we saw in the mirror with her video series “Baited.” Now, she’s teamed up with A24 for her own Variety series, titled “Ziwe.” Watch the first trailer below.
Ziwe serves as showrunner, writer, and actor on the series, bringing her singular, no-holds-barred brand of funny to Showtime for her late-night debut. The trailer is packed with special guests and familiar faces, including Jane Krakowski, Bowen Yang, Phoebe Bridgers, Cristin Milioti, Jeremy O. Harris, Fran Lebowitz, Patti Harrison, Cole Escola, and many more.
This looks to be the kind of in-your-face comedy pushing up against social norms that made “Baited” such a viral hit. In her weekly Instagram Live show that ran last summer, Ziwe grilled her guests in a scorching one-on-one targeting their privilege, white or otherwise, and racial blindspots. From Caroline Calloway to Alison Roman, Alyssa Milano to Rose McGowan, Ziwe cornered her subjects into often wince-inducing reveals with questions like “What do you qualitatively like about Black people?” and asking them to name five POCs off the top of their heads. But Ziwe isn’t trying to get people canceled. Rather, she wants to open up the conversation about race, while poking fun at its particular grammar.
Previously, Ziwe wrote for “Desus & Mero,” and “Our Cartoon President.” She has also voiced Kamala Harris and other roles for “Our Cartoon President,” as well as Tooning Out the News, and appears in her own “Pop Show,” which she created and performs at Brooklyn’s Union Hall with original pop songs off her album “Generation Ziwe.” The Showtime series is produced by A24. In addition to Ziwe, Jamund Washington and Hunter Speese serve as executive producers.
During a TCA preview panel earlier in the winter, Ziwe said of the show, “We lead with improv improvisation here, just because those are my roots as a comedian. So it really will feel loose and fun and fresh because we’re making it up as we go along.”
“Ziwe” will premiere on Showtime on Sunday, May 9 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. She’ll be an iconic host.