• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

If you don't know Ziwe yet, neither does the first guest on her new Showtime show

·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Comedian and provocateur Ziwe sets the tone for her new Showtime variety show Ziwe by interviewing writer Fran Lebowitz, who, as shown in the exclusive clip below, has no idea what she's in for.

Clearly the famed satirist and star of Netflix's Pretend It's a City missed out on Ziwe making waves last summer with her Instagram Live chat show, on which she asked polarizing (mostly white) media personalities like Alyssa Milano and chef Alison Roman, "How many Black friends do you have?" among other pointed queries.

The former Desus & Mero writer's eponymous series, which premieres this Sunday, begins with a theme for each episode, such as "55%" (the percentage of white women who didn't vote for the Biden-Harris ticket last November). Given how Lebowitz is "the quintessential white woman in American media" as the host puts it to EW, she became the perfect guest to tackle the topic with.

Explaining why she jumped at the chance to specifically include the Metropolitan Life author who-ing her, Ziwe states "Most people would cut that out. But to me that's the exact richness of my show. It's like, no, let's not do this Hollywood BS where it's 'Oh, I love you, we've been friends forever.' Let's be honest. Because that is so much more valuable, so much more fresh to the media space, than any other aspect."

Her gripping conversations are just one component of Ziwe though. "Every episode consists of a pre-taped interview, which is in-studio," she explains. "A live tape interview, which is remote done with a politician-type or more controversial celebrities. As well as a music video, a fake commercial and sketches and filmed pieces."

"What's nice about the work that I create is that there is something for everybody," Ziwe adds. "If you're someone who only likes me for my satirical songs, then you're going to get that. If you're someone who likes me just for my Instagram Live, you're going to find something really, really fun about live-to-tapes with really haughty politicians, who maybe wouldn't have signed onto my Instagram Live because they don't even have a phone or know how to use it."

Greg Endries/SHOWTIME. Comedian Ziwe now has her own Showtime variety series titled 'Ziwe'

Despite the viral clips of her Instagram Live guests tripping up on tasks like naming a Black author they've read, talent has not been too hard for the A24 produced show to book. "My intention with my interviews is never to publicly flog anyone. I'm really just trying to have funny substantive conversations with people who are very public, in the hopes that the audience that's watching the interview can see themselves either in my guests or in myself," says Ziwe, who counts actor Adam Pally, musician Phoebe Bridgers, and SNL cast member Bowen Yang among future guests on her show. "It's really about just having positive conversations, hopefully shedding light on really important issues while still being funny and palatable to a large audience."

Ziwe premieres on Showtime on Sunday, May 9 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

Watch an exclusive clip of the upcoming variety show above.

Related content: