Gary Whitta is on fire in 2020! The Rogue One screenwriter has been keeping himself more active than most over the past few months. He’s co-authored a Joker comic with Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller. His Twitch streaming has been top-notch, and he’s helped entertain Star Wars fans during quarantine by collaborating with IGN to host a live-stream of Rogue One via IGN’s Watch From Home Theater. Even more, Whitta’s embarked on an incredible weight loss journey! But, Whitta’s crowning jewel for the first half of 2020 has to be his Animal Crossing talk show, Animal Talking.
Animal Talking Has Taken Flight
Coined “2020’s hottest late-night talk show” by The Verge, Animal Talking has taken the late-night TV scene by storm. A few weeks back, we reported on Animal Talking when it first streamed on Whitta’s Twitch account. In our initial report, we said that Animal Talking is “truly a blissful program…the type of content that we need”.
These praises still hold up. Animal Talking is everything that we expect from a talk show/interview-style program and then some. Its placement inside Animal Crossing itself keeps the entire show lighthearted and refreshing. That said, the show remains grounded in reality thanks to the professional nature of Whitta and his team.
One may think that a talk show set inside a video game might not matter to audiences outside of the gaming community. That person doesn’t know Animal Crossing: New Horizons and its impact in 2020. ACNH has transcended popular culture, and everyone is playing it. Musicians, actors, politicians, streamers, your neighbor. Everyone.
Given this, no one should be surprised at the star-studded lineup of guests Animal Talking featured this past week.
A-List Gamers, Actors, Artists, And Personalities
On the gaming side, Whitta’s good friend Greg Miller made an appearance. Tim Schafer and the ladies of What’s Good Games stopped by the show a few days later. Those names would be enough for anyone familiar with the gaming world, but Whitta didn’t stop there. On May 14, Animal Talking featured an epic roster of guests. Danny Trejo, Elijah Wood, and Greg Grunberg all featured on the show that night.
Possibly the biggest fish of all for Whitta was T-Pain! Yes, that T-Pain.
As if megastars like T-Pain, Danny Trejo, and Elijah Wood weren’t enough, Whitta is currently in the process of getting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (yup, the real AOC!) on an upcoming episode.
The Future Of Late Night TV
Will Animal Talking fizzle out once the world returns to normalcy? Maybe, but I’m not so sure about that. Whitta’s passion project has grown into a global event each week, and people have noticed. Perhaps in a post-COVID-19 world, there won’t be enough time to host Animal Talking several nights per week. But it’s hard to believe that the show would fade quickly.
Viewers are loving it, and people will replicate the process. Either with ACNH or another flavor of the month game, the video game talk show formula is a hit, and it’s only a matter of time until the field grows.
We’re bound to see other streamers take a crack at similar projects. Corporate sponsors will look to recreate the magic of Animal Talking in the future, as they should. Hypotheses aside, the road that Animal Talking is paving will form a highway for new talk show programs. Animal Talking is shaping the future of late-night talk shows. Mark it down now, take it to the bank, and thank Gary Whitta later.