"There's like a looseness to it," Mero says. "We just want to keep things as light and off-the-cuff as possible ... you're not getting that anywhere else on late-night."
"Our show is like a deconstructed late-night show," Desus adds. "What you see on our show hopefully you won't see on any other show—and shoutout to Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon—we know those guys and we've done their show, and there is definitely a market for it, but the show has been done so many times, you know the format: monologue, house band, guest one. While that works, there has to be some sort of change or a different option on late-night and that's what we're trying to deliver on our show."
Their rapid-fire humor was honed in New York City public schools, where they met in summer school before reconnecting on Twitter years later. The two bonded over a shared hatred of their monotonous jobs.
Desus calls their high/low brand of humor "very New York."
"That's the tradition in New York City public schools," he says. "You have to learn how to be really quick and fast and you roast people. And ... we do have very eclectic backgrounds. I was working at a financial magazine, so I probably know more about tax forms than the average person. So stuff like that you can work into your riffs and people appreciate that. We're able to be like, 'Oh this reminds me of the treaty of Versailles,' or something like that. You could just really mix it up with people and they're like, 'Wow, this isn't all just hood jokes about drugs and guns. There is a level of intellect here."
With their first in-studio guest, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., they had the chance to flex both their Bronx bona fides and their ability to pull off a substantive interview with a newsmaker. After asking about the Green New Deal and Twitter trolls, the two paid a visit to the congresswoman's D.C. office on Capitol Hill where they gifted her some reminders of the Bronx, including a rack of plantain chips and a Puerto Rican flag. They left a pair of sneakers hanging by the laces on the chandelier on the ceiling.
"We call it late-night for the people, because there's a demographic of people who do not see themselves represented in late-night or don't see the comedy and information they want represented in late-night, so we're trying to deliver that," Desus says.