While national television audiences said good-bye to Conan O’Brien in 2010, the University of Miami had its own late-night transition.
On February 18, Max Schloner, a junior double majoring in motion pictures and creative writing, debuted as host of “Off the Wire,” UM’s late night comedy show that airs on UMTV.
Schloner took over for Ben Velazquez, a senior who had reached the end of his unofficial, two-semester host “term limit.” “Off the Wire” encourages their hosts and executive producers to yield their positions to new talent after relatively short tenures.
“We want to make sure we have a quick turnover, so we’re not lying to people when we say you can go far and be a part of the show quickly,” said Executive Producer Jeremy Jeffers about the transfer of power process.
Schloner earned his rank as host during the fall auditions and now he doesn’t hesitate to consult his predecessor whenever he faces problems in his new post.
“Ben has been wonderful as far as offering me advice from how to deliver a line to how to conduct myself in interviews,” Schloner said. “If I ever have a question, he’s there.”
Schloner doesn’t have the standup comedy background of which most late night hosts boast. Most of his time, until now, has been spent acting and directing. But it was his acting experience that convinced “Off the Wire” producers of his potential.
“He’s really comfortable in font of the camera since he comes from an acting background; there’s no stage fright,” Jeffers said. “He does a really good job capturing the tone of the joke and delivering it.”
In helping shape the content of the show, Schloner hopes to bring in more people with close ties to the university while also finding guests that appeal to the interests of the entire student body.
“My dream is to get Lady Gag on the show, but I’m actually very interested in getting a lot more of not only local talent, but also, people who either are currently at or from UM to shine a light on the community here.”
Schloner has no post-graduate planes, but he hopes to continue acting and directing. he also said he would bot be opposed to another hosting gig if an opportunity presented itself.
“When Leno finally retires, I know there will be a spot there for me.”
Be sure to check out Max hosting “Off the Wire” at 8:00 p.m. April 1, 15, and 29 on UMTV, channel 96.words_debora rubi. photo_matt wallach. design_hilary saunders