Orlando Jones on why his new show won't annoy you -- The former ''Mad TV'' joker explains what sets his FX late-night gig apart from his competition

By Dalton Ross
Updated June 06, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

If you have a nightly talk show, you’d better have something to say. Thankfully, Orlando Jones (whose late-night talk/sketch comedy program debuts June 16 on FX) is blessed with the gift of gab. The 35-year-old former ”Mad TV” star shared this precious gift (along with more than a few expletives) with us while discussing his return to television.

Orlando on…what makes his show different My favorite description is ”no white guy, no desk, no band.”

Orlando on…his late-night predecessors I like Magic. But if you can’t talk about basketball and you’re an NBA player, chances are a talk medium is not the right place for you. And I look at Pat Sajak and I go, sure the guy was very witty — on a game show.

Orlando on…only going halfway The pacing of late night drives me crazy, ’cause I’m part of the MTV generation. My show’s a half an hour because I don’t understand what takes an hour! There’s always that bit where they do the monologue, and they pause, and they laugh at their own joke, and they pause again. And the monologue has maybe 3 minutes of comedic material, but it takes them 10 minutes to do it. As an audience member I go, ”Dude, can’t you just cut this down to 5 minutes and move on?”

Orlando on…guests and their agendas I know why you came out here, so let’s get your f—ing plug in. Let’s run the damn clip before you f—ing walk out and when I throw to break, we’re done with your plug. Now it’s f— around time. I know your publicist is happy because you got your plug in up front. I don’t really need to go, ”Hey, how ya doin’, bulls—, bulls—, whatever, whatever, bulls—, bulls—.” I don’t need it.

Orlando on…late-night pressure I think sports is the best analogy. There comes a point where if you’re accustomed to having that pressure on you, you either have a choice to not want to take the clutch shot or be the guy that says, ”Give me the f—ing ball.” I’ve always been the guy that said, ”Give me the f—ing ball.” I’m gonna do the best job that I can do, and if it works out, great. And if it doesn’t work out, rest assured I’ll be doing something else.