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Robert Rodriguez

Desus & Mero Were the Late Night Kings of the TV Season

The Showtime incarnation of 'Desus & Mero' is the most fully realized version of the Bodega Boys' vision yet

It's 2019 and broadcast late-night hosts are still wearing suits. Not even Goldman Sachs wears suits anymore! Meanwhile, on Desus & Mero, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero's kicks game is so fresh that there's an Instagram account dedicated to chronicling the sneakers they show off. And now that they're working with a premium cable budget at Showtime, their sneakers have gotten increasingly rare and expensive. All those Jimmys and Jameses on those dinosaur shows wish they were half as relevant.

The Showtime incarnation of Desus & Mero is the most fully realized version of the Bodega Boys' vision yet. Before this, they were doing four nights a week on Viceland, no writers, just the two of them sitting in a conference room at Vice headquarters riffing on the news of the day. Now they have a full staff (shoutout to Josh Gondelman) and a studio that echoes the set of Chappelle's Show, their spiritual predecessor. They've come a long way from when they were just two dudes from the Bronx with regular degular day jobs whose hilarious tweets got them a podcast at Complex. They had zero Hollywood connections until about five years ago. They were just guys on the internet. But they were so smart and so funny that they couldn't be denied. Sometimes America actually is a meritocracy. The glow-up is real, the brand is strong.

Showtime

If Desus & Mero Viceland edition built their legend through YouTube clips of Daniel Baker and Joel Martinez's off-the-dome brilliance, Desus & Mero Showtime edition solidifies it. It definitively proves that their New York City-centric sense of humor translates broadly (though even native New Yorkers may have to Google some of the references they make). It gives them a showcase to display their sketch chops (Mero is a master of impressions). And it buys Showtime credibility as the cable network with its ear to the streets. Millennials don't want to watch Stephen Colbert do another monologue about how Trump is bad, they want to watch Lil Nas X's first TV performance of "Old Town Road!" So where do you think the hottest new rapper in the game went?

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The duo is so funny that they can go on other late night shows and upstage the host. They recently made the Tonight Show go viral by making a joke about Taylor Swift that was so fuego that they got death threats from Swifties.

And they're just getting started. Desus & Mero has only been on since February, and it's gotten better every week since then as The Jouvert Boss and The Plantain Supernova get more comfortable with their new surroundings. Desus and Mero are only going to get more necessary, too. Kevin Durant is gonna come on and promise to lead the New York Knicks to an NBA title. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will return to announce her 2024 presidential run on the show. The Bronx will secede from New York City and Desus and Mero will be the mayors along with Cardi B and CC Sabathia. It's already happening. The brand is unstoppable.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation)

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)