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“Desus & Mero” — the late-night series that made its debut on Showtime Thursday — isn’t new, precisely. The hosts Desus Nice and the Kid Mero, who make an art form of embroidering wit and delicious flourishes of delivery onto frank talk, had previously had a show similar in format on the Viceland channel. But there’s no denying that Showtime gives the pair greater visibility and access; not merely does airing as the only late-night show on the premium cabler put the series instantly in conversation with its counterpart on HBO, the Emmy-winning “Last Week Tonight,” but also does it grant the show entry to higher-level talent — like, for instance, inaugural guest Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
This was a happy collision of figures who were deeply simpatico and whose rises seemed in some way congruent. Desus and Mero, whose comic sensibility was forged in the Bronx, had risen to prominence at the precise moment that they might book the most-discussed figure in politics — who happens to be a Bronx congresswoman who’s as at home as her hosts at assessing the state of things fairly plainly. All at once, doors seem to be opening such that hosts and guests, both figures heavily in demand, meet on a level playing field.
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TV News Roundup: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Appear on 'Desus & Mero'
Here, though, she was appealingly loose, relaxed enough to speak — even about issues including progressive taxation — in the casual and unaffected tones of the 29-year-old she is. She let “like” slip in between words and stopped herself short, referring to moments when “things hit the fan”; Mero inserted himself...
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Sorry Mr. Franklin, we couldn't keep it.