The new Viceland talk show "Danny's House" is what you would get if you mixed "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" with "Wayne's World" and tossed in a lot of medicinal stimuli for a dash of spontaneity. Detroit hip-hop artist Danny Brown has taken up residency in this odd world as the host for eight episodes slated to debut Wednesday.
The format is simple: Brown will mostly be chatting with his friends, along with a few people he admires: A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q, Ron Funches, Ilana Glazer, Nikki Glaser, Hannibal Buress, Gilbert Gottfried, John Salley, Joanne Calderwood, Jim Duggan and more. Informal discussions will cover everything from a profound examination of UFOs to a revealing look at high school. The one thing the guests are not allowed to do is promote a new TV show, movie or record release.
As Brown describes it, the show is all about friends having a conversation.
"I think A$AP Rocky was fun because we're friends and we're real close. But we didn't really think he would be that funny. He'd just sit there and look pretty, you know? But he came on the show, and it showed the organic relationship that me and him got," Brown says. "I think that one went over well, but I was more so happy to talk to people that I looked up to, like a Gilbert Gottfried and 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan. That was super cool. And Joanne Calderwood, from UFC. I'm a huge fan of her, so I was just, like, smitten by her being there and hanging out with me. I'm cool with a lot of people that was there. Just a fan of them."
Brown went into the project with the idea that no subject was too taboo. There's no telling when the conversations will get real as Brown plans to plow through a lot of subjects. His only criteria are to make sure the topics don't sound like what has been said on countless other talk shows.
The guests will be invited into a world that reflects Brown's connection to Detroit. Because the intention has been always that the set would not look like the desk-and-couch design, every piece of furniture looks well used. All this gives the show a design that feels like the conversations are going on in the basement of Brown's mother's house.
Producer Derrick Beckles ("The Eric Andre Show") says there is a "lot of DNA on those couches."
"We had a chair for the guests and as much as I love to torture people, I looked at the chair and I was like, 'No one is going to sit in that.' It was just like, think of anything that can come out of your body, plus new inventions, and it was on that chair," Beckles says.
As for the audience, Brown is certain his show can be enjoyed by all ages much in the way a program designated to be for children, such as "Pee-wee's Playhouse" attracted young and old. He pauses and suggests the cutoff age would probably be teens.
Beckles stresses "Danny's House" is not trying to copy "Pee-wee's Playhouse," except in the fluid nature of how the show is put together.
"It's just inspired to a certain degree by having people flow through of just people coming and going and just Danny's apartment's like Grand Central Station for just weirdos," Beckles says. "I think that's the great thing about that kind of approach is that you can kind of throw anything into the mix and make it seem like it's plausible, no matter how crazy it is.
"I think if kids watched this show, they'd probably be a lot weirder than the show is. Kids are like – they're psychopaths. You know that, right?" he jokes. "They're very dangerous, and they're psychos, and they should not be messed with. They will kill you in their sleep. They're children."
10 p.m./9 p.m. Central Wednesday, Viceland
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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