Season three of the Fusion original series “No, You Shut Up!” premieres Thursday night at 10 pm. (You can also check it out ahead of time with our nifty new Apple TV setup.) Regular episodes will air Thursday nights at 10:30 pm. We sat down with host and comedian Paul F. Tompkins to learn a little more.
FUSION: For the uninitiated: What is “No, You Shut Up!”?
PAUL F. TOMPKINS: “No, You Shut Up!” is a current affairs program about the news of the day, hosted by me, and featuring – as correspondents and panelists – puppets from the Henson Company.
FUSION: Right, you work with the Henson Company on this. Is it appropriate for Sesame Street viewers?
PFT: It is not. It is appropriate for people who used to watch “Sesame Street” when they were children. But they should not be children any more if they are watching it now.
If you are currently learning the difference between “near” and “far,” do not watch this show.
FUSION: Who are some of the puppets people will meet on the show?
PFT: We have Star Schlessinger, who is a conservative Christian squirrel. We have Yerd Nerp, who is an alien from another planet. We have Hot Dog, who is an actor, a model, and a hot dog. And we have Armond Mite, who is a rude little kangaroo rat and film critic.
FUSION: What can viewers expect in season 3?
PFT: We’ve gone from a 15-minute show to a 30-minute show, so there are more segments. We’re going to have more special guests on the show, and just more opportunities to be weird. And topical!
FUSION: How will this season be different from the previous two?
PFT: We have a new set, which is nice. We’re introducing a lot of new characters in addition to old favorites. And mixing the human and puppet worlds even more than we did in previous seasons.
FUSION: You’re trapped on a desert island with only one of your co-stars. Which one do you choose and why?
PFT: (long pause)
FUSION: You could eat Hot Dog. Just, theoretically.
PFT: Yeah, but he’d make a lot of noise the whole time.
FUSION: You could start with the head.
PFT: That’s true. But I think whatever he’s made of is worse than what’s in real hot dogs.
I think I’d choose to be trapped with Star Schlessinger, because we’d disagree on almost anything, but she expresses her hateful views in such a charming southern way.
FUSION: What do you like about doing this show?
PFT: It’s a great mix of scripted and improvised comedy. I love interacting with the puppeteers, who are all hilarious. It’s just fun all day. It’s really great people that keep me on my toes and make me laugh.
FUSION: OK. So. Why should people watch this show?
PFT: Because there’s nothing else like it on television.