After 13 years on the stand-up circuit, Lil Duval’s no newcomer to the comedy game. The niche for his latest show, however, is still relatively young.
Duval brings a celebrated background to Ain’t That America, a sketch program laden with internet clips that premieres Tuesday night on MTV2. Duval is not a stranger to the network after stints on Guy Code and Hip-Hop Squares, but the show marks his best opportunity yet to showcase his eccentric, guileless style of humor.
“I like to show and prove,” Duval told PolicyMic Tuesday before the first episode aired. “I think if you just watch it and take it for what it is as entertainment, there’s no way you can’t like it. Unless you just don’t enjoy entertainment.”
Entertainment is certainly this guy's speciality. Duval has appeared everywhere from BET specials to T.I. music videos, but he knows that Ain’t That America will garner a discernibly different audience than any of his previous work. Toeing the line between Tosh.0 and The Chapelle Show, Duval's show will spawn sketches from internet videos and gags while hosting a live studio audience. Though the show may critically examine American pop culture, he believes that it’s nothing but a good time.
“It’s going to be a fun feel. It’s [Daniel] Tosh ridiculousness with late-night like Conan. We interact with our crowd, we’ll be choppin’ it up watching videos, enjoying them and laughing,” he said.
The viral nature of the videos he screens makes Ain’t That America viral in and of itself, and the program’s brazen nature is a perfect fit for a Tuesday MTV2 lineup sandwiched between Guy Code, Ridiculousness, and the hyped re-up of Wild ‘n Out. Ain’t That America will be palatable enough for those who have never heard of Duval, while rooted enough in blunt comedy to salute his fans, who broach a million followers on Twitter.
Boasting what he calls a “built-in demographic” and plenty of on-screen experience, Duval’s not shy about his first major-network feature project. Despite competition with so many late-night shows, Duval said that audiences will tune into whichever host is most charismatic and accessible, allowing for production of the program to be a light process.
Tuesday’s premiere is nothing to sweat, he added.
“I’m prepared, I’m just excited,” he said. “It’s been proved that this stuff is what people already like, with a comedian they already like.” He’ll watch the airing of the final product from a viewing party in Atlanta.
Perhaps the exposure of Ain’t That America will catapult the Jacksonville, Florida, native to some more second-wind stardom. Though he’s 36 years old, Duval’s got plenty in the tank, and told PolicyMic that he’s got more in store with Nick Cannon besides the MTV2 slot, including a movie that could be released in the fall or early winter.
Ultimately, Duval just has to do what he does best: entertain. The fact that he inherits off-the-wall subject matter from YouTube makes the job even easier.
“I take this country for what it is. We have so much time on our hands that we can act a damn fool,” he said. “We can do a lot of stupid stuff, other countries don’t have that luxury.”
Ain’t That America premieres tonight on MTV2 at 11:30 ET. Check out an exclusive clip to get ready.