After spoofing political pundits like Bill O’Reilly for more than a decade on The Colbert Report, Comedy Central has picked a new media target for its next 11:30 p.m. show: alt-right outlets like Infowars and Breitbart.
Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper, who will host the new late-night show, The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, which premieres Sept. 25, unveiled details about it at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in L.A. The program will spoof the hyperbolic alternative-media landscape on both the right and the left.
“There has been a great normalization of bullshit in America,” said Klepper, who said that while covering Donald Trump’s election rallies at The Daily Show, he would speak with people who were exclusively getting their information from places like Infowars, Breitbart and The Blaze. “The silent majority was being fed bullshit by these alt-right sources.”
The conversations drove home the point that “there is half of America that is not reading the same sources as the other half,” said Klepper, noting that no one is commenting on the other half’s point of view. He hopes to change that with The Opposition
“We are not mainstream, we are not listening and we are definitely not helping,” said Klepper, who will be playing “a heightened version of myself … a know-nothing provocateur who fights for the common man.” He sees the character as “Alex Jones meets Garrison Keillor.”
The Opposition will be an in-studio show, with contributions from “foot soldiers” who will bring “the real American stories that the MSM isn’t showing you,” said Klepper.
With The Opposition, Klepper will try to follow in the footsteps of Stephen Colbert, who crafted an O’Reilly-like persona for his show, which ran from 2005-2014. He said he hasn’t yet spoken with Colbert about how he was able to pull it off for almost a decade.
Klepper said it will be challenging to try and top the hyperbole from the some media sources, but he has a few ideas: “Nobody’s talking about how we’re not impeaching Hillary Clinton. That’s the sort of thing we’ll get into.”
Under President Trump, “comedy has never been more essential than the times we’re living in,” said Comedy Central president Kent Alterman. The network is expanding Season 1 of The President Show, featuring Anthony Atamanuik’s take on Trump, with seven additional episodes that will extend its run through November. The first season of late-night series The Jim Jefferies Show was also extended, with 10 more episodes ordered.
Comedy Central will also be getting more political elsewhere on its schedule this fall. Broad City returns for its fourth season on Sept. 13, and in its sixth episode, Trump’s name is bleeped throughout, as if it were an expletive.
“In real life, we’re talking about Trump, and it sounds so gross every day, saying it so many times,” said creator and star Ilana Glazer. “We just didn’t want to share airtime or hear the word.”
The show’s take on Trump came after an extensive rewriting process following last November’s presidential election. “We did more rewriting than ever before,” Glazer said, “because this election happened, and the world changed.” Added creator and star Abbi Jacobson, “for us not to be talking about it as friends in the show, would have been insane, and would have felt wrong.”