"I was always a huge fan of late-night comedy. It was always something that I wanted to do. It was my dream."
Sitting in a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan, 31-year-old Victor Dweck talks about his forthcoming late-night comedy show, simply titled "DWECK."
He explains that he had previously worked on a comedy show, where he absorbed "anything and everything" about the craft. Regarding his own foray into television comedy, Dweck notes that "it was always going to be an extension and an expression of my humor."
When I saw what was going on with the current late-night shows, which were basically just an anti-Trump hate fest, I saw an opportunity to let the people know that my show wasn’t going to be like that.
There’s a vacuum in the late-night landscape, according to Dweck, which has opened up a market for a more unique, conservative comedy host. "If the playing field wasn’t what it is, I probably wouldn’t have even made it known that I’m a conservative. My political views would have been irrelevant."
I want to make it clear that we don’t consider this a conservative comedy show. We’re a comedy show first, and I just so happen to be conservative – which will come out in some of the political things I tackle.
Prior to creating the show, Dweck wasn’t a particularly political animal. He voted for Barack Obama twice, and considered himself a Democrat in the early years of his adult life. It wasn’t until his late twenties, when he began to really pay attention to fiscal issues, that things started to change.
Donald Trump really turned me on to the Republican Party. My political views changed once I started following him, and looking into the failures of the Obama presidency.
Dweck admits that putting together a late-night comedy show with conservative leanings has been difficult. When someone "curses the president" at an awards show, the audience cheers, and those people are often the arbiters of what shows make it to air.
There were even some people who were initially interested in Dweck’s show, but backed out as a result of his beliefs.
At least ten people were interested in doing the show, in me as a host, in the content itself, and then after thinking more about it, they didn’t have the stomach to work with a conservative.
Dweck stresses that it’s not even necessarily related to content, or a fear of being professionally associated with someone who might "like" a tweet from the president, but that many progressives in Hollywood "don’t even respect Republicans on a human level."
I could be putting together a left-leaning show, and in the middle of lunch, they might say, "What do you think of the president?" And if they find out that you like him, they look at you like there’s something sinister about who you are.
As far as the general dearth of conservative content on television, however, Dweck sees it as a "numbers game." The process by which shows are created requires room for numerous failed projects, and there simply aren’t enough conservatives in Hollywood producing content.
"It’s not just that," says Dweck. "It’s a mob mentality. I’ve worked with tons of people that, even if we’re putting out something funny, they don’t want to be associated with anyone who’s conservative."
Several previously filmed sketches from "DWECK" have been released on social media, one of which includes Gilbert Gottfried. As to how someone with seemingly little name recognition could snag a well-known comedian like Gottfried, Dweck gives credit to the show’s co-creator, Tom Leopold.
Leopold is a veteran sitcom writer, having worked on "Seinfeld," "Cheers," "Ellen," and numerous other projects. Dweck says that he and Leopold were introduced last year by a mutual friend.
We met at the Second Avenue Deli for lunch, and hit it off right away. He’s the funniest person I’ve ever met, and a true genius. Tom knows everybody. You name a comedian, and he’s written for them in some way. So, anyone is a phone call away from Tom.
Dweck adds that the content has become a selling point unto itself due to the traction that some of the pre-released videos have gotten on social media.
Regarding what’s to come, Dweck says that audiences can expect a "great late-night show that makes fun of both sides, and isn’t purely political."
It’s going to be the opposite of what’s out there now. They can expect a great, feel-good comedy show with a relatable host that puts humor first. It will have all the standards of a late-night comedy show – cold opens, monologues, celebrity guest interviews, desk pieces.
"It’s a dream come true. I’m so grateful to be able to give some of these people laughter," Dweck says at the end of the interview. "There’s so much pain in comedy right now. You turn on any show, and it just insults you. So, I'm very grateful to be able to remove some of that."
While Dweck is still in negotiations with an undisclosed network or networks, he and Leopold are expecting the show to air by early 2019.
Check out the official trailer for "DWECK" here (WARNING: Strong Language):