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Jordan Klepper does not want to learn anything he doesn’t already know.
That’s the shtick of Klepper’s new Comedy Central series, The Opposition (Monday through Thursday, 11:30 ET/PT), the newest late-night companion for The Daily Show. The former Daily Show correspondent offered it up as his own personal golden rule in the series’ debut episode Monday night: “May you only hear from others what you’ve already been telling yourself.”
The Opposition spent most of its premiere episode laying out its worldview. It’s a clear parody of Alex Jones’ InfoWars and other “alt-media” outlets like The Blaze and Breitbart. Comparisons to Jones have been so prevalent that Klepper plays a clip of Jones lambasting the news that The Opposition was coming to Comedy Central.
Mixing real media about himself with his new persona allows Klepper to do some verbal gymnastics to explain away his “other character.” The onscreen Klepper is real, but the off-screen Klepper is a character who might say the onscreen Klepper is a character because that’s the in-character thing to say. Make sense? No? Well, that’s the point. A lot of this “news” doesn’t make sense, and Klepper wants to find the funny there.
The Opposition opens with its point of view and a solid performance from Klepper, whose mile-a-minute speech is a perfect match for the alt-talking heads he pretends to worship. However, he’s less angry and more wryly smug than his real-life counterparts, like when he tells his first guest, author Kurt Andersen, that he only wants to be told a fact from Andersen’s new book that he already knows. Klepper, or “Klepper” as we may need to start calling his “Stephen Colbert”-like character, is always in on the joke, and it’s easy to tell how excited he is to be telling it.
And speaking of Colbert, The Opposition is reminiscent of The Colbert Report in both Klepper’s character and its overall structure. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since it’s a formula that worked for years, and The Opposition has smartly updated the media it’s skewering. It feels more like a natural evolution of Colbert’s bit than an entirely new thing. In 2005, when Colbert…