ESSENCE: Do you think the transition from radio to tv will be smooth?
MICHAEL BAISDEN: Absolutely! Talking in front of an audience is what I’ve been doing for the past 12 years, so that comes natural to me. In radio, you you’re doing all the talking, but on TV, I’m not expected to be the only person featured.
ESSENCE: Will the show cause you to relocate?
BAISDEN: It’s just a weekly program. We already shot 13 episodes in one week, so I did it during my vacation.
ESSENCE: Morris Day is the bandleader for the show. What do you expect him to bring to the show?
BAISDEN: Morris is a very real person. He’s the guy I bounce things off of. I plan to incorporate him into the interviews with the artists we feature.
ESSENCE: Who are some of the celebs scheduled to appear on the show?
BAISDEN: George Willbourne, who’s also on the radio program will be featured. You can also expect guests like Ledisi, Lelah James, Angie Stone, Eric Roberson, Frankie Beverly and Maze
ESSENCE: Why do you think the show will resonate with viewers?
BAISDEN: I don’t think there’s enough positive energy on television. Our comedians are hysterical, particularly when they’re in this kind of forum rather than just telling jokes. And the music… You’ll see some of the old- school artists but you’ll also see what we call the B-side artists who will blow people away.
ESSENCE: Your work centers around relationships and their complexities. Will that be reflected on Baisden After Dark too?
BAISDEN: Immediately after the monologue, we’ll have two segments about relationships. It’s strictly for grown folks.
ESSENCE: You obviously have a great deal of tenacity, having self-published best-selling books and breaking down doors in radio. How does it feel to be such an influential man, particularly a Black man, in media?
BAISDEN: It’s hard to imagine yourself as an influential person when you spend 99 percent of your time behind a microphone. I chose not to get caught up in the celebrity. I prefer to be called a servant rather than a celebrity because that’s what I feel like I’m doing every day. I think I’m sharing good information about health, entrepreneurship and men taking care of their families.
For more from Michael Baisden pick up the October issue of ESSENCE (on newsstands now.)
Are you looking forward to Black America having another late-night show? Share your thoughts below.