Comedy Central to revive ‘Crank Yankers’, add David Spade late-night show

Comedy Central Crank Yankers David Spade
Among the changes taking place, Comedy Central announced a 20-episode revival of 'Crank Yankers', which aired in the early-to-mid 2000s. (Comedy Central photo)

NEW YORK (Heartland Newsfeed) — As an attempt to change their current programming, Comedy Central noted two changes during their stop on the Television Critics Association winter press tour Monday. Among these changes involves the revival of a Comedy Central classic Crank Yankers and the addition to a late-night show hosted by comedian and actor David Spade.

Yes — the prank call show co-created by Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel, which ran from June 2002 until March 2005 on Comedy Central before making a short-lived MTV2 run in 2007, is coming back.

Representatives of the network announced that they have ordered a 20-episode revival of the series, updated for a new era to include social media, e-sporting platforms and other platforms notoriously known for trolling.

Kimmel will serve as executive producer for the revival under his Kimmelot Productions banner, with Carolla and fellow co-creators Daniel Kellison and Jonathan Kimmel returning as executive producers. Jonathan Kimmel will also serve as the series showrunnner.

“’Crank Yankers’ has always been my favorite show to make,” Jimmy Kimmel said. “Nothing is more fun or makes me laugh harder than a great crank call and I am thrilled that Comedy Central asked us to do it again. At this time, I would like to ask all Americans to disable their caller ID. Thank you.”

The series has aired four seasons and 70 episodes between Comedy Central and MTV2 with both Kimmels, Carolla and comedians Dave Chappelle, Tracy Morgan, Seth Green, Wanda Sykes, Bob Odenkirk and Sarah Silverman lending their voices to the prank calling puppets.

David Spade will soon go head-to-head with NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, CBS’ Stephen Colbert and ABC’s Kimmel in a late-night showdown at 11:30 p.m. Eastern in the network’s newest approach to how they do business around midnight.

Comedy Central hadn’t bothered to find a fitting replacement at the time slot following the June 2018 cancellation of The Opposition hosted by comedian Jordan Klepper, who has another program launching in early 2019, but the status of the show ensures it will not be on the 11:30 slot.

Spade, the comedian famous for the “Hollywood Minute” segment during Weekend Update on “Saturday Night Live”, and his show will be following flagship The Daily Show, at a time that once placed Colbert and Larry Wilmore — in addition to Klepper — all of which had rose to greater renown through interactions with either former Daily host Jon Stewart or current host Trevor Noah.

In contrast to the past, this will be the first time the network isn’t deliberately focusing on political themes or national affairs at the 11:30 slot. While the Chris Hardwick-hosted @midnight took up residence on the slot for nearly four years with some success, Wilmore’s The Nightly Show and Klepper’s Opposition didn’t prove sustainable despite some ratings bumps since Colbert and The Colbert Report went off the air for the last time in 2014.

Spade will instead be focusing on other areas of discussion, according to the network, offering a “signature take on the pop culture news of the day.” The yet-to-be-titled program will include a rotating group of celebs and comedians, moving away from the trend of centering late-night talk shows around national news and a 24-hour news cycle driven by current U.S. president Donald Trump.

The trend, led by Colbert’s Late Show, tilts toward the Trump administrations latest misgivings and fumbles. Daily Show alum Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal on TBS is heavily slanted in political satire, as are fellow alum John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO. The network’s latest late-night entry, Anthony Atamaniuk’s The President Show, took a surreal take of Trump hosting a talk show from the Oval Office. While The President Show had two specials in 2018, it was not been determined by Comedy Central if a second season has been ordered.

Spade previously hosted The Showbiz Show with David Spade on the network from 2005 to 2007 as a weekly program parodying celeb-news programs such as Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. Spade has been been quite active in the TV and movie industry since leaving SNL in 1996, the first being buddy comedies with the late SNL alum Chris Farley and on TV shows such as Just Shoot Me and Rules of Engagement.

Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed and GM/program director of the Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and Podcast Network. Leonard is also general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks, an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group and a contributing writer to My Sports Vote.

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