Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jordan Klepper is about to launch his late-night comedy show, and it's entirely possible there has never been a tougher time to do that.
Not just because there is so much competition. But because, what with Donald Trump in the White House, reality is so unreal.
"There has been a great normalization of bull---- in America," Klepper told members of the Television Critics Association this week. "America has always had its level of bull----, its McCarthyism, its 9/11 truthers, its birthers, its Ted Cruz's dad-is-on-the-grassy knoll. But it's usually been on the fringe."
That changed when "we elected the most famous conspiracy theorist in the world to the highest office in the land."
Trump won't be the only target of "The Opposition with Jordan Klepper." It will mock the alt-right media, which already seems like a parody of itself. Klepper, a correspondent on "The Daily Show," will create a character somewhat based on Alex Jones, whose lawyer admitted that Jones' screaming lunatic persona on "Info Wars" is a character.
(Whether that's true is up for debate.)
"I'm going to be playing a heightened version of myself. A character. Somebody who is a know-nothing provocateur," Klepper said.
Well, it worked for Stephen Colbert for more than nine years on "The Colbert Report." When "The Opposition" debuts Sept. 25 after "The Daily Show," Klepper will be channeling Jones the way Colbert channeled Bill O'Reilly.
There will be similarities, but he's not going to be doing an impersonation. The faux Jordan Klepper will be drawn from "a handful of different points of view."
"I like to see myself as Alex Jones meets Garrison Keillor," Klepper said.
And he will be doing fake news. Proudly. Although he's seen the real news assailed at Trump rallies, which he "covered" for "The Daily Show."
"Obama being a secret Muslim was a belief held by some, but very few. And then, by the end, it was something that was emblazoned on T-shirts and hats," Klepper said. "The media started out covering these events, and by the end, they were the No. 1 enemy of these events.
"I was even called fake news, which, to be fair, is completely accurate. But it still stung," he joked.
At one of the last rallies he attended, Trump supporters "were yelling at me and saying that myself and my crew were part of the deep state and that we were working for Hillary Clinton and for the CIA. And sadly, we were working for something more sinister — [channel president] Kent Alterman and Comedy Central."
Klepper expressed at least mild surprise that "Donald Trump calls himself the outsider as he tweets inside the Oval Office."
"And that's why we are the opposition. We are not mainstream. We are not establishment. We are not listening. And we are definitely not helping."