Stephen Colbert has already been pegged to take over for David Letterman next year, but maybe Late Show producers will be re-thinking that decision after seeing what Colby James West can do behind the desk.
West will be unleashing his unique brand of ski-themed comedy in a talk-show format during the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF), and a few lucky folks will get a chance to pack the Whistler Conference Centre for the first-ever taping of The Colby West Show on Friday, April 18.
"I really enjoy watching late-night TV shows, in that style (of) Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and I even like Ellen," West told Pique on April 11. "I enjoy that comedy and I like the feeling of the live audience there, so it was just something that I always wanted to do.
"It should be challenging, but I think I'm ready to do it. I'll give it a shot."
Expect special celebrity guests, comedy skits and more during the show, which will be aired online starting Tuesday, April 22.
West is a three-time Winter X Games medallist, but has also found fame with a number of funny short videos on the web. Some memorable ones include "My Friend is a Pro" and "Ballin' (Kind of)," rap parody videos with a skier's twist.
More recently, he teamed up with Vancouver filmmaker and Voleurz co-founder Darren Rayner to make a series of comedy clips for ESPN during this year's X Games. In one, West puts on a gorilla suit to scare other athletes, plus Aspen locals and a few dogs, with hilarious results. In another, he takes on a "sports psychologist" persona to conduct unconventional interviews with X Games gold medallists.
For this latest project, Rayner is on board as director. West said the show's content will be similar to what we've seen from him in the past, but he's excited to be more ambitious with his comedy.
"All the other videos and segments that I make are sponsored by a specific company... this is sort of my first time attempting to make something that's straight comedy for comedy's sake," said West. "I do enjoy challenging myself with this stuff, and this is also a good way that I can show everything that I'm capable of."
The finished episode will be about 20 to 25 minutes long, and West said having so many action-sport fans and personalities already gathered for the WSSF made Whistler a perfect place to film it.
He's no stranger to the festival, having competed in several editions of the World Skiing Invitational right up until last year. But the New Hampshire native said he would be feeling a new kind of pressure to perform once the taping is underway on Friday.
"Yeah, for sure," West said when asked if he's feeling at all nervous. "For me, whenever I make a video segment or something like that — a ski segment or just a funny video online — we don't even start filming until it's completely planned out.
"We're just planning out all the content and who the guests are going to be, and those nerves will hopefully go away quite a bit once we have everything on lockdown."
Tickets to the taping are free, but very limited. Visit the WSSF will call desk starting at 10 a.m. Friday to grab yours. Anyone picking up a ticket must commit to attending the taping. The final product will appear online at ESPN.com, EpicTV.com and West's YouTube channel.
"We hope that everyone enjoys the show," said West.
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