In an interesting shakeup, Comedy Central has chosen to replace This Is Not Happening host Ari Shaffir with Roy Wood Jr.
This Is Not Happening is based on the web series/live show co-created by Shaffir, it features comedians telling insane and true stories based on a theme, like families or drugs. It’s been a great platform for comics to showcase their skills beyond being able to deliver stellar stand-up sets; and because Shaffir made an effort to solicit submissions from up-and-coming comics, it’s also been one of the few cable TV shows lesser-known comedians can realistically dream of appearing on.
Now, after three seasons, Comedy Central announced that they’re putting Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. in the host position. After the news, we happened to briefly catch up with Roy Wood Jr. at Clusterfest. He expressed his excitement about the opportunity to host such a great show, said he spoke with Shaffir to get some pointers, and was prepping hard to be ready to host the show in just a few short hours.
Shaffir addressed the news on his Skeptic Tank podcast stating, “Unfortunately, due to some things that are out of my control, and I’m really sorry about this, I won’t be there to host this year. Some sh*t came up and it’s so last minute and we’re not going to cancel the show [tapings] because I can’t be there to host the shows. So, we got Roy Wood Jr., who is an outstanding comic, to host.” Shaffir added, “we still have great comics and the shows are going to be tremendous.”
If you are one for timing, this all came shortly after Shaffir made his own announcement on Instagram about his upcoming pair of Netflix specials:
I have a humongous announcement! My Netflix double special comes out July 18! Mark your calendars! I’m so fucking excited!!!! pic.twitter.com/gxNX5jeqvL
— Ari Shaffir (@AriShaffir) June 3, 2017
This effusive announcement – that his specials Double Negative: Childhood and Double Negative: Adulthood will start streaming next month – has a lot of compliments for Netflix, with Shaffir explaining exactly why the digital network is the best possible home for him. For those good at reading between the lines, it seems the split between Shaffir and Comedy Central might not be entirely amicable – especially since it happened after Shaffir’s announcement about taking his new specials to Netflix.
While Shaffir is leaving This Is Not Happening, he still helped curate the fourth season’s lineup; the performers slated to appear (though we’re hearing there may be a few changes) include the following comics:
Gastor Almonte, Louie Anderson, Tone Bell, Sandra Bernhard, Joel Kim Booster, Byron Bowers, Drew Carey, Tommy Chong, Rob Christensen, Kelsey Cook, Thomas Dale, DeRay Davis, Joey Diaz, Chris Distefano, Chris Garcia, Tom Green, Tiffany Haddish, Darrell Hammond, Lil Rel Howery, Krystyna Hutchinson, Louis Katz, Martha Kelly, Kyle Kinane, Michael Kosta, Talib Kweli, Dave Landau, Jay Larson, Steve Lemme, Dave Macklovitch (of Chromeo), Kathleen Madigan, Al Madrigal, Howie Mandel, Shane Mauss, Ralphie May, Michael McDonald, Kurt Metzger, Jim Norton, Jay Oakerson, Ryan O’Neill, Sean Patton, Eddie Pepitone, Chris Porter, Chris Redd, Jessa Reed, Tom Rhodes, Rita Rudner, Yamaneika Saunders, Tom Segura, Ali Siddiq, Doug Smith, Kevin Smith, Dan Soder, Scott Thompson, Brandt Tobler, Carrot Top, Theo Von, Brooks Wheelan, Brad Williams, and Harland Williams