RuPaul has a new daily talk show, and TV Insider is all in — and you should be too!
At a taping in Los Angeles, the host sported a look that might surprise fans who know him only from his Emmy-winning competition show, RuPaul’s Drag Race: a perfectly tailored men’s suit (albeit in pink brocade), and no wig or makeup.
The 6-foot-2 actor, singer, model and world’s most famous drag queen last captained a chat show 20 years ago on VH1. He’s always loved the format. “I was late to school every day because I was up late watching Johnny Carson,” he told us. “I liked the sense of a conversation, a place where people could feel comfortable, where a show business tribe would stop in and relate to one another.”
RuPaul premieres June 10 on select Fox stations (listed below) for a three-week summer run. Here are five reasons you must watch!
You Miss Oprah
Yes, that’s a huge name to drop so we do not make the comparison lightly. It’s the rare person who can relate deeply to everyone. We saw it with our own TV-weary eyes: RuPaul makes authentic connections with the folks who visit the cheery, chic set designed to feel like you’re stopping by his living room.
The show is even executive-produced by Jill Van Lokeren, who was a producer on The Oprah Winfrey Show. “It's hard to find someone that can maybe have that impact on people,” Van Lokeren said. “I believe Ru has all those ingredients. He humanizes celebrities. He elevates real people. The conversations they have, I haven't seen elsewhere.”
The Bestest Guests!
Everybody and their mama wants to be at this party. The first week alone features Late Late Show host James Corden; Jonathan and Drew Scott AKA The Property Brothers; singer, dancer, choreographer Paula Abdul; presidential candidate Cory Booker and more entertainers, athletes and regular people doing extraordinary things.
We can’t give away the name of the (very) famous pop star we saw at our taping, but we did learn some new things about him. RuPaul is real, so it brings out the real in everybody else. “I have a curious nature,” he told us. “I'm riding the energy of natural conversation.”
It’s for Everybody
“Ru, even though he's an out and proud gay man, he can talk to anybody,” says singer/DJ Michelle Visage who, with her fellow Drag Race judge Ross Mathews does sidekick duty on RuPaul. “I think a lot of people would think it's just going to be gay topics. That's so opposite of the truth.”
Subjects covered include everything from parenting, marriage and family issues to home design and fashion. The show has an inclusive vibe as audience members of all shapes and sizes enter the studio by walking a runway (the highlights are part of the broadcast) to thumping music and supportive cheers.
For Flat Out Fun!
No applause sign needed. Seriously. The audience, clapping wildly, leapt to its feet so many times that the director had to tell us not to stand up because it blocked the cameras. “It's joyful, it's happy, you want to clap, you want to laugh and you're going to be moved,” Mathews says. The good times roll (and roll!) with one-off fun segments about trends and news.
We saw a mini game show called “Name That Queen!” Mathews hosted (“Ru always let’s Michelle and me shine,” he says.) while contestants RuPaul, Visage and that mystery singer competed to be the first to identify various queens pictured on a screen. It went off with all the hooting and hollering of Let’s Make a Deal.
To Get All the Feels
Yes, there was crying onstage and in the audience as guests told their touching and inspiring stories. We won’t reveal what brought us to tears but it’s no spoiler to say that we heard how some everyday people overcame their prejudices and transformed themselves into helpers not haters. We’ll be tuning in for more inspiration. “Take the Ru challenge,” Mathews says. “Watch us for 60 seconds and I promise you, you'll be back the next day.”
RuPaul airs on the following stations:
New York: WNYW FOX 5 at 7 p.m. and WWOR My9 at 5 p.m.
Los Angeles: KTTV FOX 11 at 6 p.m. and KCOP My13 at 8 p.m.
San Francisco: KTVU FOX 2 at 2 p.m. & KTVU Plus 13 at 3 p.m.
Houston: KRIV FOX 26 at 3 p.m.
Phoenix: KSAZ FOX 10 at 2 p.m.
Minneapolis: WFTC My9 Plus at 8 p.m.
Charlotte: WJZY FOX 46 at 10 a.m.