One of the freshest talk shows on streaming today, Ziwe Fumudoh’s Ziwe showcases not only her hosting skills but also her flair for comedic scripting. Drawing rave reviews from audiences and critics alike, it is interesting to see how Fumodoh was hosting the prank-heavy Baited With Ziwe on social media and now, she hosts her own creatively fresh talk show.
Fans of Ziwe would definitely like some recent picks that showcase similar observational humor and political satire in the talk show and sitcom format. At the same time, some cult favorite talk shows would also serve as good companion pieces to Ziwe.
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A Black Lady Sketch Show (2019-)
Stream On HBO Max
Just as the name suggests, A Black Lady Sketch Show features some of the best black female comedians of today and puts them into different situations that range from being downright silly to satirically relevant.
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Apart from the lead ensemble featuring the likes of creator Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Denis, and Skye Townsend, it also features cameos from other iconic celebrities like Wanda Sykes, Issa Rae, and Laverne Cox. While Fumudoh herself never makes an appearance, the sketch anthology does share some tonal similarities with her own show’s observations on racial relations and American politics.
The Eric Andre Show (2012-2016)
Stream On Hulu
When it comes to unconventional talk shows, nothing comes close to The Eric Andre Show. The titular comedian along with fellow humorist Hannibal Buress goes on a tirade of over-the-top pranks and awkward, unscripted interviews in every episode.
If viewers enjoy Ziwe Fumudoh’s no-nonsense, up-close style of interviewing, they would have a lot of laughs with Eric Andre’s outrageous hosting on what is one of the best Adult Swim shows of the 2010s.
Pretend It’s A City (2021)
Stream On Netflix
The outspoken writer Fran Lebowitz has been a part of the New York art landscape for quite some time. Her new miniseries finds her revisiting the Big Apple and all of its everyday absurdities that make it unique.
From commenting on the city’s landmarks to the habits of the urban populace, Lebowitz’s sharp wit makes the 2021 Netflix original series a worthy watch for fans of observational humor. Pretend It’s A City is bound to impress those who admire not just Ziwe’s comedy but also her unabashed attitude.
Desus & Mero (2018-2020)
Stream On Showtime
What started out as a series of viral videos turned into a podcast which later evolved into one of late-night television’s most unique offerings. In a TV space dominated by white men hosting talk shows, comedians Desus Nice and The Kid Mero offer a much-needed black and Latino perspective.
With the hosts’ cucumber cool attitude and feel-good humor, Desus & Mero is a must-watch for those who are looking for a fresh talk show like Ziwe. In fact, Ziwe Fumudoh herself has served as a writer on more than 60 episodes of Desus & Mero.
The Graham Norton Show (2007-)
Stream On BBC America
When it comes to British talk shows, The Graham Norton Show, its charismatic host, and craziest guests make it a standout option. Devoid of any gimmicks or sensational interviews, Norton presents a very relaxed format in which a mixed bag of celebrities lounge on the sofa and indulge in witty anecdotes or general musings on their careers.
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While a show like Ziwe is wildly original in the talk show genre, it is a delightful experience sometimes to just unwind and indulge in something simplistic like Norton’s chat show.
2 Dope Queens (2018-2019)
Stream On HBO Max
The titular “2 Dope Queens,” Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, broke out on social media with their podcast of the same name. With their comedy podcast episodes being turned into hour-long TV specials, 2 Dope Queens features them chatting with several celebs in New York. Each episode ends up focusing on random tidbits such as the hosts testing Jon Stewart’s pizza knowledge or getting flute-playing lessons from Lizzo.
Much like Robinson and Williams, Ziwe herself came into the spotlight as a social media star. From her YouTube and Insta Live videos of Baited with Ziwe, the comedienne has come a long way to have her own talk show. In this context of social media offering a platform to new voices in comedy, 2 Dope Queens makes for an exciting binge.
Stream On Apple TV+
Hailee Steinfeld’s best roles include that of the classic poet Emily Dickinson whom she played in the three-season series Dickinson. Even though it incorporates a period setting, the show goes on to subvert historical tropes and use a modern approach to understand gender norms and same-sex relations of the time.
In the same vein as the lead actress, Ziwe Fumudoh also features in the show as abolitionist and activist Sojourner Truth. Not only does she act in two episodes but she also serves as a writer for both. So, if Ziwe does prompt viewers to take a deep dive into the rest of Fumudoh’s work, a subversive comedy show like Apple TV+’s Dickinson would make for a great watch.
Stream On HBO Max
The everyday misadventures of a young woman dealing with a mid-life crisis form the premise of Insecure. With Issa Rae serving as both writer and lead, the show deals with her struggles with relationships, changing professions, and her own identity in today’s ever-changing society.
Even though it just seems like your average sitcom on the surface, there is a lot to unpack in the acclaimed Issa Rae TV show. In fact, Insecure spawned out of Awkward Black Girl, a series of YouTube shorts that Rae used to upload in the early 2010s. Comedy writers like Rae and ZIWE’s titular host are definitely making the best use of social media to attain television stardom.
Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis (2008-)
Stream On Amazon Prime Video
Actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis appears as himself in one of his best roles. In Between Two Ferns, he is the host of this awkwardly funny talk show in which he calls various actors and singers, only to diss them on their faces. With a heavy reliance on deadpan humor, both the host and the guest tend to keep a straight face while hilariously poking fun at each other.
In fact, sometimes, the comedy can arguably cross some personal boundaries but the guests keep on maintaining their calm. It is this intentional discomfort in Between Two Ferns that would impress fans of Ziwe which tends to throw in a dash of awkwardness in its celebrity interviews.
Frank Elstner: Just One Last Question (2019-)
Stream On Netflix
Noted German presenter Frank Elstner gets his own talk show with this Netflix original in which he gets to dine and talk with the country’s leading artists such as actor Daniel Brühl and author Charlotte Roche. The dining table setting provides adequate space for some intimate conversations. Hence, hardly any portion of this talk show feels scripted.
While Ziwe Fumudoh’s no-holds-barred questioning of her celeb guests is exciting in its own right, Elstner’s laidback approach also makes for an interesting contrast of tone.
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About The Author
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Shaurya Thapa is an Indian freelance journalist who mostly dabbles in writings on cinema, music, and human interest features. When it comes to Screen Rant, he writes lists on a wide array of subjects ranging from international films to mainstream Netflix series and comic book trivia. He also hosts a podcast called ‘BhindiWire’, an Indian parody of IndieWire.
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