Josh Wolk
September 08, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”Letterman” and ”Seinfeld” writer gets own talk show

The host of Fox’s talk/sketch series Talkshow With Spike Feresten (premiering Sept. 16 at midnight) may not be a household name, but he’s got connections to the late-night greats. Will it help him stay on TV longer than past Fox hosts Joan Rivers and Chevy Chase?

Relation Spike was a writer from 1990 to 1995 on Late Night and Late Show. Upside Learned from the master of brilliant desk banter and deadpan remotes. Downside If Spike was too impressionable during those years with Dave, Talkshow could seem like Letterman reruns. If he introduces a deli owner named Gupert, we’ll know we’re in trouble.

Relation Bows as O’Brien did: with a top-notch writing résumé (The Simpsons, Seinfeld) but little on-camera experience. Upside Young viewers warmed to O’Brien’s unique comic sensibility, and he’s lasted 13 years. Downside NBC nearly axed Conan when young ‘uns didn’t warm fast enough. Fox was even more impatient: It gave Chase a mere five weeks.

Relation Talkshow‘s executive producer Stewart Bailey worked on The Daily Show for nine years. Upside Talkshow could skewer late-night-chatfest conventions as cleverly as The Daily Show parodies TV news. Downside On second thought, viewers coming off an hour of MADtv may be biologically incapable of handling subtle satire.

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