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Comedians Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi Take 'Throwing Shade' to TV

Comedy duo Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi talk to NBC Out about bringing their "Throwing Shade" podcast to late-night television.
Host of "Throwing Shade" Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson.
Host of "Throwing Shade" Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson.Courtesy of TV Land

Successful comedy duo Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi are taking their talents to the small screen. After years of entertaining audiences with their hit podcast, "Throwing Shade," they're turning their winning formula into a late-night talkshow.

The weekly TV series, also titled "Throwing Shade," debuts January 17 on Viacom-owned cable network TV Land. Like the podcast, the television adaptation will provide a comedic take on pop culture and politics through both a feminist and LGBTQ lens.

“It’s obviously a big transition to go from an hour on the podcast to 22-and-a-half minutes on television," Safi told NBC Out. But, he added, “We’ve been doing the podcast now for five years; it definitely feels like we’re ready to go into a [new] medium to create something engaging and exciting."

The prospect of creating a TV show was not something Gibson and Safi had in mind when they originally launched the podcast back in 2011.

“I didn’t think a show hosted by a feminist and an out gay person would be something a network would want. This is very exciting for us,” Safi said.

The challenge of building a TV show around the podcast, which has amassed a loyal fanbase over the years, has been an exciting one for Gibson and Safi. The TV Land program will include the duo's humorous commentary and banter, but it will also have additional features -- like comedy sketches -- sprinkled in, so fans have new ways to engage with the content.

“It’s so exciting. It’s also been really fun to turn what we do in the long-form on the internet into a half hour, into segments and into packages,” Gibson added. For the two alums of the renowned Upright Citizens Brigade improv comedy group, a return to comedic sketches was a welcome homecoming.

Fans of the podcast need not worry. The duo will continue to make the “Throwing Shade” podcast while they work on the TV show.

“They put a recording studio in our office here, so we just walk to Erin’s office, record the podcast and then walk into the writers' room,” Safi told NBC Out, “I can’t imagine ever stopping the podcast.”

“It’s almost second nature to us because we’ve been doing it for long,” Gibson added, “Also, we really love doing it, so it wasn’t considered an option to not do the podcast anymore.”

Gibson and Safi are excited for the response to the new show. The series is filmed in front of a studio audience, so they'll get immediate reaction from the audience.

"We have permission to be exactly who we are on the podcast on the TV show. They are letting us run with it, which is what excites me about TV Land," Gibson said. “I think that people are going to be really impressed with what we are doing in a half-hour.”

In the end, they want to serve the groups whose issues they are discussing -- the type of audience they developed through the "Throwing Shade" podcast, namely "women and the LGBTQ community," according to Safi.

"I think there's an expectation that we make this show for everyone. We want this show for the people that care. We are hoping that people will watch the show, laugh and lift their spirits,” he said.

“We do test well with straight men under the age of 30, so if they want to come along for the ride they are welcome to join us,” Gibson added.

"Throwing Shade" airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. on TV Land beginning January 17.

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