Actor Jerry O’Connell (remember him as Vern from Stand by Me?) did such an outstanding job substitute hosting for Wendy Williams last year and more recently when illness caused her to temporarily step down, that he’s getting his own talk show this summer for three weeks beginning on August 12. Titled Jerry O, the show will feature a combination of celebrity interviews and comedy segments produced by the creative team behind the website Funny or Die.
Enthuses Jerry in a statement, “I love daytime. I love watching it and have fallen in love with guest-hosting it. Whether asking people to ‘Cash me Outside’ or asking them, ‘How You Doin?’, daytime is a big part of my life. I am thrilled to work with my friends at both Debar-Mercury [the production company] and Funny or Die. This is going to be a fun, fun time and everyone is invited. Let’s party.”
It’s obvious that his partners are ready to do so, with Funny or Die CEO Mike Farah commenting, “He’s funny, smart and his energy is contagious. We’re proud to collaborate with him and Debar-Mercury, and think this is the perfect show for Funny or Die’s first foray into daytime television.”
Debmar-Mercury co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus, who are excited to be working with FOX for what will be a show that runs on a number of their stations, add, “We are big believers in trying new concepts and excited to once again be collaborating with our friends at FOX. We have come to know Jerry as a true talent whose infectious charisma and authenticity have made him a favorite of many daytime talk show fans, and we are so glad to provide him with this opportunity to shine.”
Hosting isn’t entirely a new concept to Jerry. Besides his stints on The Wendy Williams Show, on Monday nights he’s the host of Bravo’s Play by Play, which is described by that network as follows: “Jerry is the captain of the ultimate Bravo post-game and he’s breaking it all down play by play. Bravo’s Play by Play will spend a half hour on Monday nights reviewing the wildest Bravo moments of the week from everyone’s favorite shows, discussing the juiciest news, highlights, and updates that viewers absolutely need to know. Host Jerry O’Connell is truly a walking encyclopedia of Bravo history, joined by a panel including Esquire‘s editor-at-large Dave Holmes, former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub, and TV host and comedian Michael Yo. Additionally, Jerry will be checking in with his wife and fellow Bravo superfan Rebecca Romijn to get her take on all of the weekly drama. Bravo’s Play by Play will create a safe space for any and all of the unapologetic Bravoholics who just can’t get enough of their favorite network.”
In an interview with Decider, Jerry was asked if he was always as comfortable about expressing his love for Bravo or whether it was something he had to ease into. “When I first started watching Bravo about a decade ago, the only person I could talk about it with was my wife,” he explains. “That was it, then we became friendly with Andy Cohen, and I could talk about it with him. I stopped bothering him because I realized four to five texts during Orange County was probably not the best use of my limited time with Mr. Cohen. I used to call him Andy, but I call him Mr. Cohen now that he’s my boss. Then, as I became more comfortable in my skin, I started to talk about it more at work more freely and openly, and now I’ll talk about it with anyone. That’s sort of how Bravo’s Play by Play came about.
“It’s like, what if you put a bunch of people in a room who look like they weren’t Bravo fans per se, and you had them go in-depth on Bravo topics?” Jerry adds. “We go really deep. I’m not even joking when I say this; it’s not so much what the Housewives are up to, and [their] shenanigans and whether Bethenny [Frankel] was texting Carole [Radziwill] too much. It becomes more a question about, how does that pertain to you and your life? Listen, when Bethenny and Carole were going through all that, we all have friends that text us way too much, and give us way too much information and want to call all the time. We all have that friend and we’ve all had friends who say that we have to stop texting them. In my case, it’s Andy. So, it’s funny how these events that happen on all the Housewives shows really pertain to our lives.”
Look for Jerry O beginning on August 12.