Were you concerned you were just giving cover to a white male host who wasn’t qualified to speak on the subject?
If that was how it went down? Sure. But that’s not how it went down. I’m the one being like, I need to do this. He’s the genius moving out of the way. [Laughs.] And I’m here. I’m prepared. Seth’s the guy who was like, get this child a show already. That’s him; he did that.
How did you finally get your own show?
A couple years ago, we put together a show idea, and it didn’t go. But then NBC came to us and were like, hey, there’s this thing called Peacock. Can we do that show you pitched a while ago?
Were you disappointed when they previously passed on the show?
It was their fourth pass on me, sir, so I’m good. I’ve sold them three pilots, one of which we shot. At least with this, it was just a pitch document. Unlike a sitcom, you don’t have to spend a year writing it and rewriting. You just pitch it, like: It’s a late-night show. Do you want it? No? Cool.
What will the format of your show be?
It is going to be a monologue, a piece of comedy, just like a lot of other late-night shows. But then we’re going to do another piece of comedy. Another piece of comedy. And another piece of comedy. It’ll be like the first part of a late-night show, but over and over and over again. [Laughs.] I’m really just trying to disguise the fact that it’s a variety show.
Are you glad to be filming your show from the same studio where “Late Night” is recorded?
What’s most comforting is the fact that there’s no audience here. So if you want to fall flat on your face, do it. Coming out and being like, hey everybody, welcome to “The Amber Ruffin Show,” while looking 200 people in the face, might have been a lot. I was wondering how I was going to pull that off without tearing up or getting too scared.
Will you continue to work on “Late Night” while you do your own show?
Yeah! And if you have a third show, I will work on that. [Laughs.] It’s too much fun. No one ever leaves Seth’s show.