Comedian Anthony Jeselnik to get ‘offensive’ in new Comedy Central show 'The Jeselnik Offensive'
Published: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 11:02
“My grandmother died from a heart attack during my ninth birthday party, literally while she was eating cake. And I guess that must have screwed me up a little bit,” comedian Anthony Jeselnik said during his stand-up routine called “Caligula,” which was released on DVD in January.
“I mean, I still have birthday parties, but now I’m just careful what I wish for,” Jeselnik said.
Jeselnik has proven he has no barriers when doing stand-up comedy, and he does not plan to tone it down for his new television show, “The Jeselnik Offensive.”
“If people are very sensitive and hearing a joke about a different culture or different religion is something horrible for them, maybe they aren’t going to be my biggest fans,” Jeselnik said in a conference call with college media. “I think that everyone should be able to laugh at themselves.”
“The Jeselnik Offensive” premieres on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central. The show will feature Jeselnik and two other panelists that will bash pop culture and other news stories.
Aziz Ansari (“Parks and Recreation”) and comedian Amy Schumer (“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”) will join Jeselnik for the series premiere.
Jeselnik said the idea of having his own television show came from working as a writer on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
“The idea of having my own show sort of appealed to me when all of my ideas on Jimmy Fallon would get rejected for being too dark or too much like something that I should be doing as opposed to him and then I thought, ‘Oh, then that’s what I want to do,’” Jeselnik said. “I wanted to be able to do a monologue. I wanted to be able to do comedy pieces that would be on a late night show but something more my style.”
Jeselnik said that unlike other comedy shows, he plans on focusing on odd and bizarre news rather than video clips or celebrities.
“I’m more interested in the darker side of the news. If you go to the odd news section of any news website or newspaper and you read about these horrible, usually they’re pretty tragic, things like ‘a poodle falls out an eight-story window and kills a guy,’” Jeselnik said. “Those are the kinds of things that I really enjoy. The kinds of things you couldn’t really make fun of without upsetting someone.”
The rightfully named “The Jeselnik Offensive” is scheduled to air right after the popular Comedy Central series “Tosh.0,” but Jeselnik said his show differs from “Tosh.0” in a number of ways.
“My show is just a bigger show than ‘Tosh,’ and that’s not an insult. ‘Tosh’ is like a one-camera show, looking right at the camera and doing it all himself,” Jeselnik said. “‘The Jeselnik Offensive’ is like a big team effort. It’s a different kind of show that I want to be doing forever if I could.”
While it is sometimes a struggle to stand out in a sea of comedians and comedy shows, Jeselnik said his show will become increasingly different as time goes on.
“If an idea comes up or a joke comes up that I say, ‘That sounds like something Tosh would do’ or ‘That sounds like something Jimmy Fallon would say,’ then I get rid of it,” Jeselnik said. “I certainly have struggled to be different but it’s something that we certainly pay attention to. It will start out different and it will only get more different.”
Even though some people might find Jeselnik’s style of comedy to be offensive or crude, Jeselnik said offending people is not his intent.
“I don’t think of it as, ‘I’ve got to cross this line.’ I only want to do what’s interesting to me and what’s funny to me,” Jeselnik said. “I don’t talk about offensive things because I want to offend people, people just get offended in the process.”
Robert Bears, a fourth-year in sport and leisure studies, became a fan of Jeselnik after seeing him on a Comedy Central roast.
“He’s so wildly offensive and just so calm about it,” Bears said. “He’s not like up in your face like a lot of comedians these days are trying to be.”
Bears said he plans to watch “The Jeselnik Offensive” because he likes Jeselnik’s stand-up and wants to see what his television show is like.
“His style is just fresh,” Bears said. “I just kind of want to see what he’s got.”
Evan Yarrington, a second-year in electrical engineering, said he thinks Jeselnik is funny, but he thinks Comedy Central will censor him.
“My problem with Comedy Central is it seems like they’ll just take any kind of random comedian and just throw a show at him and it kind of turns out to be crap usually,” Yarrington said. “I don’t think it’s gonna be anything too special just because I think he is gonna be held back by Comedy Central.”
Despite what critics might say, Jeselnik said he will continue to push the line in his stand-up comedy and on “The Jeselnik Offensive.”
“I spent the last two years of my life looking for my ex-girlfriend’s killer,” Jeselnik said in “Caligula.” “No one will do it.”