Charlamagne Tha God’s late-night show has been rebranded with a new name, executive producer and format — but its focus remains the same.
The series, airing Thursdays (11:30 pm) on Comedy Central, premiered last September as “Tha God Honest Truth” and featured sketches, social experiments and A-list guests, including Vice President Kamala Harris.
It’s back now as “Comedy Central’s Hell of A Week with Charlamagne Tha God,” with Josh Lieb, a former executive producer of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” brought on board to help steer the ship.
Charlamagne (aka Lenard McKelvey) — a radio Hall of Famer who co-hosts the nationally syndicated “The Breakfast Club” on Power 105.1 with DJ Envy and Angela Yee — spoke to The Post about “Hell of A Week” and about its mission going. forward.
Why was the show rebranded?
The rebrand is literally because that’s what the corporate wanted. They do these focus groups and research groups and testings … “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 trying to learn and I’m also trying to win — so if the network comes to me and says, “We think that with a tweak like this more viewers will come to the show and realize it’s a weekly late-night talk show” … I’m gonna trust the experts.
Will the focus on a panel format impact the way you host the show?
“I actually think [the panel format] makes me looser because I really do enjoy conversations in a community and I love … exchanging ideas and debating. I never want my perspective to be the only perspective; I want other people’s input and debate. That’s where you get a lot of education sometimes, and I think it will be more beneficial for me and for the viewers at home.
Was Josh Lieb brought on to take the show in a different direction?
No. I mean, in Season 1 we talked about the decrackerfication of America, and I think that if a network is going to let you talk about that, which is basically what I think would be America’s version of denazification — and to say “cracker” like 75 times in one episode — I don’t think they’re going to censor you too much. Josh is an added asset to the team and we have such a great creative team already, including my showrunner, Rachael Edwards, who is incredible at what she does. I’m a firm believer that if [the network] wants this type of show, you have to be in business with someone who’s already done it — and Josh has [won] seven Emmys with “The Daily Show.” So I think his resume speaks for itself; the show wasn’t necessarily lacking anything — Josh is just a great addition.
Are there fundamental differences between working and radio and television?
You always have to be your true, authentic self, which is the number-one thing when you’re on any of these platforms, because nobody out there can do what you do. Radio has a system and TV has a system and they are not the same. I’m so used to playing in the radio and podcast system that sometimes, when I approach TV… it feels like there’s just never enough time. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard basketball players or football players talk about how the game slows down for them: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Steph Curry, these are people that are just a little better than anybody else. — the game might be moving fast for everyone else but it slows down for them. That’s how I feel when I’m on the radio or on a podcast. TV still feels like it’s moving at a fast pace. I’m used to having long-form interviews or conversations — and now, I’ll be sitting down with a person [on TV] and I’m only talking for seven minutes.
Who’s your ultimate “get” for an interview?
The only guest I really want to get is Michael Starr Judy Blume. I’m a huge, huge, Judy Blume fan and I grew up on her books. My mom told me when I was younger to read things that didn’t pertain to me, and Judy was who I used to go to. [in those situations]. She’s the only person I really want to talk to — on any platform.