David Letterman wrapped up his late night career over six years ago, but one of his most famous bits will be returning to the airwaves soon. Today TBS announced Stupid Pet Tricks, a 10-episode half-hour series based on Letterman’s recurring segment, which was created by comedy writer Merrill Markoe. Dave himself won’t be hosting, although his company Worldwide Pants will be one of the co-producers, with Markoe also getting a “consulting producer” credit.
With Letterman off the table, TBS has turned to another well-known comedy pro to host this show: Sarah Silverman, who has hosting experience with her short-lived Hulu talk show I Love You, America, will be presiding over all these pets and their stupid tricks. In a press release the Wreck-It Ralph star is quoted as saying, “The rule in show business is, ‘never work with animals or children’ but I choose to work with David Letterman anyway.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Stupid Pet Tricks, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Throughout his 30 plus years in late night, Letterman would regularly have a segment where viewers would show off the unique or unusual skills of their pets—the stupider or weirder the better. A big part of Letterman’s show, especially in the ‘80s, was the regular mockery of show business and the expectations of a professional network talk show, and running intentionally amateurish and vaudeville-style animal acts was emblematic of the show’s ironic detachment. Also, though, it’s just damn good TV to see a cute dog do something silly and stupid; with the massive popularity of goofy animal accounts on social media, it’s no surprise that a network would want to revive Letterman’s old segment.
The show starts production in Los Angeles later this year, but there’s no word yet on when it might air. TBS is promising not just “a parade of pets performing the most ridiculous, impressive, and extraordinary tricks” (to quote the press release), but games, celebrity guests, and comedy bits, all in front of a live studio audience. And each episode will officially crown the Stupidest Trick of the Week, which will no doubt be the biggest honor many of these animals ever receive.