The Charlamagne Tha God late night show has been renamed with a new name, executive producer, and new format – but its focus remains the same.
The series, which airs Thursday (11:30 p.m.) on Comedy Central, premiered last September under the title “Tha God Honest Truth” and featured sketch scenes, social experiments, and A-list guests, including Vice President Kamala Harris.
It’s now back as Comedy Week’s Hell with Charlemagne Tha Jude is brought in, with former executive producer Josh Leib, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, to help steer the ship.
Charlemagne (aka Leonard McKelvey) — radio Hall of Fame co-host of “The Breakfast Club” nationally with DJ Envy and Angela Yee — spoke to The Post about “Hell of A Week” and continuing her mission forward.
Why was the exhibition renamed?
The rebranding is literally done because that’s what the company wanted. They do these focus groups, research groups, quizzes… Hell of a Week reads more like a weekly late-night talk show than Tha God’s Honest Truth. I’m always a student and I’m trying to learn and I’m also trying to win – so if the network comes to me and says, “We think with an edit like this, more viewers will come to the show and realize it’s a weekly late-night talk show”… I’ll trust the experts.
Will focusing on panel layout affect how the show is hosted?
“I actually think [the panel format] It makes me more flexible because I really enjoy conversations in the community and love…exchanging ideas and discussion. I don’t want my view to be the only perspective; I want to share and discuss with others. That’s where you get quite a bit of education sometimes, and I think it would be most useful for me and the viewers at home.
Was Josh Lipp brought in to take the show in a different direction?
No, I mean, in the first season, we talked about decoding America, and I think if there was a network that would let you talk about it, which I think would be America’s version of Disarmament – and I say “cracking” like 75 times in one episode – I don’t think They will censor you too much. Josh is an asset to the team and we already have a great creative team, including my showrunner, Rachel Edwards, who is incredible at what she does. I am a firm believer that if [the network] Wants that kind of show, you have to be in business with someone who has already done it – and Josh has done it [won] Seven Emmy Awards with “The Daily Show”. So I think his autobiography speaks for itself. The show wasn’t necessarily lacking in anything – Josh is just a great addition.
Are there fundamental differences between work, radio and television?
You always have to be your true and authentic self, and that’s the number one thing when you’re on any of these platforms, because there’s no one out there who can do what you’re doing. Radio has a system and television has a system and they are not the same. I’m so used to playing on the radio and the podcast system that sometimes, when I get close to the TV…I feel like there’s never enough time. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard basketball players or soccer players talk about the game slowing down for them: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Steve Curry, these are a little bit better people than everyone else – the game may move fast for everyone else but it’s slowing down for them. This is how I feel when I’m on the radio or on a podcast. The TV still feels like it’s moving at a brisk pace. I used to have long interviews or talks – now, I’m going to sit down with someone [on TV] And I’m talking for only seven minutes.
Who is your ultimate “get” to interview?
The only guest I really want is Michael Starr Judy Bloom. I’m a huge, huge, Judy Bloom fan and have grown up on her books. My mom told me when I was younger to read things that didn’t belong to me, and Judy was the one I used to go to [in those situations]. She’s the only person I really want to talk to – on any platform.