Is Spike Feresten the next Conan O'Brien?

If you know the name Spike Feresten at all, it’s because you’re a Seinfeld fanatic who recognizes his name from the credits, as a writer of such classic episodes as ”The Soup Nazi.” It’s certainly not because you recognize Feresten from his on-camera work, which is limited to a walk-on role in Pauly Shore’s movie Jury Duty.

Nonetheless, he’s the guy Fox has tapped as a talk show host as it dips its toe into the late-night pool again. (Guess Fox decided 13 years is enough time to do penance for having aired The Chevy Chase Show.) This fall, the network is launching Talk Show with Spike Feresten to follow MADtv on Saturday nights.

Sure, Feresten isn’t a seasoned performer, but Fox needs to develop some farm talent for when the next late-night tectonic shift occurs (in 2009, when NBC will have Conan O’Brien take over for Jay Leno). Besides, O’Brien was an unknown comedy writer once, too. Read Variety‘s description of the show, and look at Feresten’s head shot, and tell us if you think this is something you’d watch.


Comments (22 total) Add your comment
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  • Ep Sato

    Aww Gary. Yet again totally skipping over the most obvious examples in hopes of making a point. Allow me to make two necessary corrections. First, Fox doesn’t need to repent for Chevy Chase half as much as they do for the Pat Sajack show.
    Second, the article makes it look as if Fox never had any success with the late night format. Maybe Gary went to bed too early to watch Arsenio? The Arsenio Hall tv show impacted popular culture (woo woo woo woo woo),redefined latenight tv and helped to get a PRESIDENT elected. Gary, where’s the love dood?

  • sam

    wow this spike guy looks like a complete nerd. this will never work. besides his show is airing opposite snl.

  • Vivi

    No one will ever be the “next” Conan! No one! Long live Conan O’ Brien!!!

  • Fmah

    Ummmm… EpSato? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Pat Sajak’s show on CBS?

  • rhino

    “the next…”, “the next…”, “the next…”…not fair. This guy has written for SNL, Letterman, Simpsons, Seinfeld. The juice in Conan was finding him when he was fresh on the air and sweating bullets, then yapping to all my goofy friends about how funny he was. Give this guy a shot. For poops sakes, we could all use a ‘lil midnight love.

  • Di

    Spike Feresten? Puhlease!! He sure has gotten very lucky throughout his “career.” He’s not funny at all. What he has tried alone has not succeeded. His sense of what is comedy is truly lacking. I can’t believe he’s now got this gig. How much luck can one guy have. This truly amazes me. Fox will certainly have a failure come this fall. Mark my words.

  • earl h.

    Dear Di, What the *%$! do you put in your oatmeal? This guy is funny and the show is going to be great. You could not be more wrong, or, dare I say, dumb. Why wouldn’t you give him a chance…?…or at the very least keep your inane, worthless, comments to yourself. Have a wonderful day.

  • Steph

    I can’t wait. Spike is very funny and was smart enough to leave the Michael Richards Show before he got thrown under the bus. Hope it makes it to weeknights as well.

  • Franny

    I think it’s going to be great. I found free tickets to the tapings! (One of the benefits of living in the LA area!)But it’s TOMORROW, Friday 8/25 at 6pm and next Thursday, 8/31 at 6pm.
    Check it out at

  • Franny

    I think it’s going to be great. I found free tickets to the tapings! (One of the benefits of living in the LA area!)But it’s TOMORROW, Friday 8/25 at 6pm and next Thursday, 8/31 at 6pm.
    Check it out at

  • Al Lawrence

    Give this guy a chance. I still remember him at West Bridgewater High School (Massachusetts). He played ‘Black Betty ‘ on the guitar with his tongue during a talent show. My only question in, why him? His father is much funnier.

  • Joe Washington

    Spike is a funny guy who I wish all the best. This is a guy who once threw a huge party because he wanted a new girlfriend. It was at the top floor of the Holiday Inn in Hollywood and hired Buckwheat Zideco was the band. It was the greatest party I’ve ever been to. Good luck Spike. With 3 kids under 6, we’ll be catching you on the DDR.

  • Joey Chantavsno

    Missed the opener, but I have high hopes, whether it’s great in the beginning or not. (Remember when Conan sucked? Remember when Craig Kilbourne sucked before he got kind of good and then sucked again?)
    I’m not sure it was “Black Betty,” “Al,” but I agree his father is funnier.

  • Joan

    I was pleasantly surprised to actually be entertained Saturday night when I flipped to Spike. I think he’s got potential. All the greats had a rocky start!

  • Ron Taub

    I like Spike. He is quick and fresh. Hopefully me liking him doesn’t doom the show to failure. Di sounds like she needs to lighten up- a lot!

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