Animals never let you down, especially when you’re a talk show host.
Even if they don’t have much to say, animal always show up, look cute and do their job. Sure, their idea of what’s a bathroom might be a bit different, but you are never going to have a boring interview. This is a reality that Anthony Anderson is enjoying as the host of Animal Planet’s new talk show Animal Nation with Anthony Anderson.
Unlike the other talk shows that clog your channels with celebrity babble, this show is all about the animals. And if a star is on this show, he or she is bringing a pet along. Basically this is THE dream job.
In preparation for all the adorable things to come, Anderson spoke to PEOPLE about his new gig and what viewers of the show, which premieres on Feb. 10 at 10 p.m. EST, can look forward to.
What can people expect on the show?
Excitement! Me being bit by a German shepherd and strangled by a python, and of course some interviews with celebrities!
How is this different for normal talk show?
This is different from a normal talk because you will have me as your host, but there is live interaction with animals. Our guests are welcomed and encouraged to bring their pets and talk about their love of animals and their love of their pet and why having a pet is important to them. It’s not your traditional talk show — think late-night meets wild animal kingdom with Anthony Anderson as your host
What are the pro and cons of interviewing animals over people?
I’ll just say this, animals are divas, they are divas in their own right because you have to operate on their time. I have never interviewed a human being that peed and pooped simultaneously. I had a llama do that and not to be upstaged by that llama, I had a camel do the same thing next to the llama, side-by-side! Or should I say number one and number two, times two!
What is your favorite animal you have met so far, and what was the scariest?
My favorite animal so far has been the sloth. The slowest and laziest animal, or I should say mammal, known to man. That’s how I feel on Saturdays and Sundays, I’m a sloth. My scariest might have to be a 200-lb. Gila monster on set that was camera-shy and he made that clear to me … stay tuned for that episode!
What do you hope people take away from the show?
I hope viewers take away a better understanding of why it’s important to help out rescue animals first and foremost! You also get to see your favorite celebrities in a different light, not necessarily plugging a project, but talking about their love of their pets and animals in general, and of course some light-hearted fun while doing it.
Have you always been and animal lover?
Yes! I have always been an animal lover. Growing up, our first animal was a 250-lb. Saint Bernard, and after that we had a 6-lb. cat named Kelly, and after that a German Shepherd mixed with a pit bull named Champ.
What is the favorite thing you have learned from the show so far?
I knew this already, but you have to be patient with animals. You also have to be patient with your celebrity guest, but most of all the animals. You have to show animals the love, respect and care that they deserve and then they will give it back to you, which makes an incredible relationship.
If you could invite any animal onto Black-ish, who would it be?
I would invite a panther, because I love big black pussy cats! Yep a panther, that would be fun.