From an intern at The Tonight Show With Jay Leno to a panelist on Chelsea Lately, Ross Mathews is slowly rising to stardom. This fall, the comedian will be at the helm of his own interactive, pop-culture obsessed talk show, and Star caught up with him about taking center stage.
Has either of your former bosses offered any advice?
Leno taught me that to work longer in this business, be the first to show up and the last to leave — and be nice to everybody. I’ve always made a mental note to do that. And Chelsea just said, “Don’t be afraid to be you. You don’t have a cookie-cutter personality; you have a unique point of view that resonates with people.”
What is that point of view?
Superfan. I’m unapologetically an ultimate fan of everything pop culture, and there was no show that existed for people like that to come together and say, “I love it, you love it, let’s talk it out.” So many people think it’s stupid, but we love it.
It seems like you really love it.
My personality is all-natural. I’ve always been like a cartoon person, kind of floating around the real world. That hasn’t changed, and it never will.
How interactive will the show be?
We really engage our fans on social media. We’re not going to Central Casting to find someone to play a Lady Gaga fan. We’re scouring Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and blogs to find them and give them a platform to talk and ask our celebrity guest questions. Our audience is the sidekick.
What’s it like to go from intern to bona fide talk show host?
Every day is a pinch-me day. I’ve wanted to be a talk show host since I was 8 years old, watching Regis and Kathie Lee with my mom. But I’m not freaking out. I’m just thrilled to get here. It’s a lot of work right now, but at least I have an office and a parking spot!