Comedian Ziwe to Star in and Produce Showtime Variety Series: 'Beyond Excited'
Ziwe Fumudoh, well-known for her interviews with "iconic guests," has been tapped to star in and produce a variety show for Showtime.
Ziwe currently hosts shows on YouTube and Instagram Live in which she invites friends and celebrities for candid — and often hilariously awkward — conversations about race. She also serves as writer on two Showtime series, Desus & Mero and Our Cartoon President.
On her Twitter page, the writer and comedian frequently seeks new guests with the same line — "You'd be an iconic guest." Past guests have included chef Alison Roman, influencer Caroline Calloway and actress Alyssa Milano.
Showtime took a page from Ziwe's book in announcing the new variety series, tweeting, "@ziwe would you be interested in your own show on Showtime? you'd be an iconic host."
"yes!!!!! i famously love showtime," she replied.
The series will feature interviews and comedy sketches, as well as unscripted scenes between everyday people and Ziwe.
"I am beyond excited to make my dream a reality with the brilliant minds at SHOWTIME and A24! I can't wait to make an iconic show with even more iconic guests," she said in a statement.
"Ziwe has clearly emerged as an auteur voice in comedy and culture," said Vinnie Malhotra, executive vice president for nonfiction programming at the network. "She has turned all of our heads here at SHOWTIME, and we're excited to be the home for her new series as she continues to grow her edgy and hilarious brand of commentary on race, politics and everything in-between."
In June, Ziwe opened up about her famed Instagram Live videos in an interview with Vanity Fair, explaining her approach to conversations about race.
“I would find myself in conversation with white peers, and they’d ask me, ‘Are you baiting me?’ No, I’m not baiting you,” she said. “You were just talking about race, and I’m following up about what I would consider really, really problematic answers. People have always felt uncomfortable talking about race, myself included, and I just want to take that discomfort away.”
She continued, “The show is my chance to confront all the conversations I had in my youth as a middle schooler and a high schooler and as a young adult where I didn’t have the vocabulary to say, ‘Hey, what you’re saying to me is really racist.’ This is me reliving those traumatic experiences that forever shaped my worldview of class and gender and race and institutions.”