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‘Desus and Mero’ give a nightly serving of real talk





When it comes to dudes cracking jokes about whatever happened today, there’s no shortage of available options. You’ve got sly Stephen, your hammy Jimmy, your chummy Jimmy, your snarky Seth, your corny Conan, your (still) tremulous Trevor, and, of course, James Corden, a shouting birthday party clown with barely any jokes and zero chill.

And then, thank goodness, you have Desus and Mero, a.k.a. Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, a.k.a. the Bodega Boys. The duo’s popular eponymous podcast is now 60 episodes deep, they had an online series hosted at Complex, and last fall Vice signed them for a slapped-together nightly news roundup on Viceland, the network that always seems a little high. As the two enjoy saying, “The brand is strong!”

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And so’s the show, which airs nightly at 11 p.m. on Viceland. It’s a brisk “PTI”-style romp through the day’s events (ranging from the real and consequential to the viral and stupid), lightly torched and sent on their way by Desus and Mero, who in any living room would be the types you’d happily allow to talk over the TV. (Oh, and they bring friends. Recent guests have included Rachel Maddow, Faith Evans, and Joey Bada$$, among others.)

For one thing, they’re extremely easy to listen to, showcasing an effortless comedic rapport that most hosts have trouble faking for two minutes let alone volleying for 22. Most of their jokes have a way of dissecting powerful figures in politics and the media with the kind of day-after trash talk you’d reserve for your dumbest friend.

Which isn’t to say the two aren’t incisive commentators on the circus of politics under the Trump big top. (And you just need to behold the conniptions they experienced upon hearing Maddow’s tax return announcements to know that they care deeply about their material.) But rather than just delivering a neatly arranged pile of zingers drafted by committee that afternoon, Desus and Mero drop their bombs from their comfy chairs with a far more freestyle approach; and in doing so, they’re the only late-night hosts not afraid to say what the rest of us are tweeting.

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at mbrodeur@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.


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