Forget about turning on the television to watch some national late-night talk show — that’s what people in the suburbs do! Instead, Brooklynites can catch their own locally-sourced, hand-crafted talk show starting on May 18, when “Ike at Night” launches a three-week run at the Bushwick Starr. The show’s host says audience members can expect a night to remember, with performers as close as their television screens.
“It’s an intimate evening of entertainment and it just so happens there’s a desk and special guests,” said comedian Ike Ufomadu, who lives Downtown.
Each night’s show will be different from the last, Ufomadu promised, as Brooklyn artists, choreographers, and burlesque dancers plop down in the chair across from him for a grilling. And like the small-screen talk shows that inspired it, each the live show will include an opening monologue, a chat with a sidekick, and a musical performance.
Ufomadu has been in the talk show game since 2014. He draws inspiration for his onstage persona from former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson, who commanded the iconic late night gig for 30 years.
“He projected a tremendous amount of confidence as a host and I think that was fascinating to watch,” he said. “He almost seemed as trusted a name in entertainment as Walter Cronkite does for news.”
The host does not dream of taking over the small screen, he said, unless he could break the standard talk show format — then he might do it.
“If the stars aligned and it seemed like a special thing rather than just one more talk show in a sea of talk shows,” he said. “I think I’d want to feel like I was contributing something new to the stream of human culture.”
But for now, Ufomadu is focused on preparing for his Bushwick run — a task that requires tons of research about each guest so he can ace the interviews. But he can never really be prepared for what’s going to happen at a live performance, and that unpredictably makes each show exciting.
“You can prepare for each show but you can’t really plan what’s going to happen and I think it’s better that way because it’s a challenge,” he said.
“Ike at Night” at Bushwick Starr [207 Starr St. between Wyckoff and Irving avenues., www.thebu