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PAUSE WITH SAM JAY Invites Us to Her Apartment on May 21

by Jef Dinsmore
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Back in this post from October, we shouted out that SNL’s Sam Jay was out to enter the talk show arena at HBO and it has just been announced that PAUSE WITH SAM JAY is that gig. It comes to HBO beginning May 21, 2021. Here are details via a press release.

Emmy-nominated writer and stand-up comedian Sam Jay hosts the six-episode, half-hour HBO late-night talk series, PAUSE WITH SAM JAY, debuting FRIDAY, MAY 21 (9:00-9:30pm ET/PT). PauseWithSamJay

The series will air on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max. 

Created by Sam Jay (Netflix’s Sam Jay: 3 in the Morning) and Prentice Penny (HBO’s INSECURE), the series features a new take on the late-night talk show format and uses a fresh lens to plunge into the cultural issues that divide us. Each week, Sam hosts a party at her apartment, where she and her guests explore current topics. Conversations are further expanded upon throughout the episode with additional interviews, sketches, and animation. In an era of discord, Sam sets out to listen, learn, and ask questions to those with different perspectives. 

Just a few gut reactions to this, if I may. I’m hoping that little teaser doesn’t do the real show justice, but we won’t know that until May 21. It appears awfully loose and unstructured to me, that’s all. I’m down with a new approach to the format, I’m down with popping into her apartment to do it and I’m down with seeing how it plays out. Hell, I’m even down for seeing who her friends are. What I am also interested in is the concept stated in that last line of the presser above – “… Sam sets out to listen, learn, and ask questions to those with different perspectives.” I hope that is true. Does her collection of friends, urban blacks, truly have diverse PauseWithSamJay_Picopinions or do they really hover close to the same thoughts, especially regarding all the travails black culture sees today?  

I also got to ask if these seemingly simple get-togethers are free rambles or are indeed somewhat structured. I hope they are not truly unwieldy sessions, otherwise, the flow of conversation might be hard to follow. That opinion is not all fair upon judging just one quick trailer, but it did come to mind. I’ll reserve praise until I have an episode or two before me. One last quibble, it is billed as a “late-night” program, but it isn’t if it airs at 9:00pm.  

Oh, one last thought, okay? Clearly, Sam Jay and company aren’t worried about social distancing and the rest of the pandemic protocols. They are all in an apartment without masks and all. Our minds think of these things nowadays, don’t they? Perhaps they are all tested, or all vaccinated or perhaps they all are anti-vaxxers? Hah, who knows? Perhaps the pandemic and their behavior regarding will be the first topic?    

Anyway, there you have it, Sam Jay is in the house or, more precisely, we are in hers. She asks us to pause and come on over beginning Friday, May 21. Are you game?     

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