Can Blackish Star Out-Trick Letterman’s Iconic Bit?

It wasn’t any surprise, that David Letterman’s iconic ‘Stupid Pet Tricks’ would be sorely missed when he retired a few years back. To fill that void, it appears that the Blackish TV comedy star Anthony Anderson is stepping into those big shoes, with his new weekly show, Animal Nation. Like Letterman, its talk-show-variety format is said to celebrate the unusual talents of animals and the folks who love them.

Dave’s Stupid Pets

First introduced on NBC’s “Late Night with David Letterman” back in the early 1980s — the segment was the brainchild of the show’s head writer at the time, dog lover Merrill Markoe. It featured fun, crazy and unforgettable tricks performed by dogs and other pets, including the best of the best, which are still available on YouTube.

Those segments consisted of three pre-selected participants and their pets who together demonstrated an unusual talent or stunt on stage. Letterman often preceded the segment with the tongue-in-cheek warning: "Remember, this is not a competition, it is only an exhibition — please, no wagering."

Animal Nation

Anderson’s show will also feature masters and mistresses and their pets — but his show will include celebrity guests and animal experts versus your average Joe.

“Some of my favorite TV moments have been watching iconic hosts like David Letterman interact with their animal guests,” Anderson said of his new hosting duties. “They are some truly classic unscripted moments that made TV history.”

Each week, the guests will join Anderson to discuss some hilarious, shocking and emotional occurrences they’ve experienced with their pets. Advance word indicates that the upcoming roster of stars will include George Lopez, Bellamy Young, Cheryl Hines, Jerry O'Connell, Dermot Mulroney, Loni Love, and more. Also, joining the guest lineup are Animal Planet's own exotic animal handler Dave Salmoni and Jackson Galaxy host of My Cat From Hell.

Here's a preview with Dr. Ken star Suzy Nakamura who is discussing the new and wacky Internet craze of cat-bearding.

Tune in . . .

The programming will also offer spontaneous moments when Anthony comes face-to-face with extraordinary and exotic creatures. Anderson and his sarcastic sidekick, Tina the Brain Coral, voiced by actress and comedian, Tiffany Haddish, also curate entertaining and curious animal videos while comedian correspondents report from the field.

To kickstart the show with a major ratings booster, the debut show followed Animal Planet’s widely-popular annual Puppy Bowl which aired February 5 at 5PM. Then commencing on February 10, it will fill it’s regular Friday timeslot at 10PM.

So, be there or be square, and let us know if you think Anderson measures up to that high bar set years prior? And . . . remember those immortal words of Letterman: “This is not a competition, so please, ladies and gentlemen, no wagering.”