Fred Savage Talks ‘Celebrating Fandom’ on New Talk Show ‘What Just Happened??!’
Try to keep up. What Just Happened??! With Fred Savage is a nine-episode talk show in which he and his guests chew over a fan-fave sci-fi series called The Flare, about a solar event’s devastating impact on blue-collar Milford, Illinois. The post-apocalyptic saga is based on the TJ Whitford book series The Moon Is the Sun at Night. But neither the show nor the novels exist.
“We wanted to do something fun that would make us laugh,” Savage says. “I can’t believe we convinced Fox to let us do it!”
Oh, they did — and they also gave him a cohost, comic Taylor Tomlinson, and a house band, the rock duo Best Coast.
The former child actor and congenial host-coproducer shares more.
How do you talk with celebrities like Rob Lowe, Ken Jeong, and Joel McHale about a series that doesn’t exist?
Fred Savage: Well, that’s just the jumping-off point to get into the interviews, remote pieces, and comedy bits. We’re borrowing the DNA from our favorite talk shows, such as [those hosted by] David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, and hopefully creating something new.
So this isn’t a spoof of aftershows like Talking Dead?
We’re not trying to parody anything or make anyone look silly. Every one of us has that thing that we love. We’re embracing and celebrating the fervor of fandom. One guest is [Breaking Bad creator] Vince Gilligan, who knows this passion.
Do you think you missed your calling as a talk-show host?
I don’t know if I missed it — I might be living that fantasy right now! I love talk shows and watching clips on YouTube. I watched Richard Lewis on Letterman yesterday. And I’m really interested in people. I’ve had these opportunities come up, whether cohosting with Kelly Ripa [on Live!] or doing a game show [Child Support] with Ricky Gervais on ABC. It was never part of the plan, but once I sat there, I enjoyed it.
What about you — do you have fandom for a certain series?
My life is consumed by my kids — [their] passions are my passions. It’s a terrible answer! I have a 12-year-old son, an 11-year-old daughter, and a 6-year-old son. And this show is all I’ve been thinking about. That’s an even worse answer.
What Just Happened??! With Fred Savage, Series Premiere, Sunday, June 30, 9:30/8:30c, Fox