When we talk about late-night talk shows, everyone always thinks of a guy in a suit behind a desk, a monologue, and an onslaught of guests and a performer rinse and repeat. This formula for late-night isn’t wrong and has worked since the creation of television. Some hosts have tried to break the mold and make it new and fresh, but have not stood the test of time. And channels like HBO have had their hand in the late-night show game with multiple shows like Last Week Tonight and Real Time with Bill Marr. These Shows are good, renewed for numerous seasons, and still have a strong fan base. But sometimes you have to change the game. On May 21st, HBO premiered a new Late night show that breaks the traditional mold of Late Night television. It’s hosted by Comedian and Writer Sam Jay.
PAUSE with Sam Jay premiered on May 21st, 2021. This show completely breaks the mold of late-night television, and Sam Jay makes the show her own and paves a new lane for herself in late night. The late-night comedy series takes place in Sam’s apartment during what seems to be a party with some of her friends. Sam and her friends engage in serious conversations in a light, honest and raw way like any friend group would. The show cuts from the discussions to interviews and comedy sketches.
The debut episode got a lot of excellent reviews from the audience and critics. The first episode, titled COON is a discussion in which Sam discusses how the black community overuses the word coon or uncle tom in regards to fellow black people. A coon or uncle tom are derogatory words used to describe people within the black community that sell out their people and are subservient to white people. Sam discusses how loosely the word is used today. She also sits down and interviews black conservatives to get their viewpoint on the term as well. Pause is a show that will be candid and bring many perspectives to the table for a dialogue. These are topics that are not so easy to talk about on television. With Sam’s character and comedic timing, she navigates through them with ease in her own way. With Sam being a black queer, women take center stage to give a perspective that most do not typically hear because it’s been quieted down for years. The show airs on Fridays, and you can watch it on HBO and HBO Max.