‘Taskmaster’ makes its U.S. debut on Aug. 2. HL spoke with creator and Taskmaster assistant Alex Horne about the series, working with Greg Davies, his hopes of expanding the show internationally, more.
Taskmaster is set to air Sundays at 9 p.m. on The CW. The International Emmy and BAFTA-nominated comedy game show stars comedian and actor Greg Davies as the Taskmaster and show creator and Taskmaster assistant Alex Horne. HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Alex ahead of the show’s U.S. debut about what viewers should expect from the hilarious series.
“Taskmaster is a show featuring comedians, and it’s made by comedians,” Alex told HollywoodLife. “The comedians on it don’t have a script so they can f**k around and show how funny they are in a different way than other shows I suppose. Greg Davis is the taskmaster, and he’s a giant of a man. Everyone is scared of him. He’s also very funny. I’m his little assistant, and we set tasks to the cast of comedians. It’s the same comedians throughout the series, so you get to know them. They all compete one by one to do these things. They are desperate to win because comedians are awful, competitive people. And then we all come together in the studio and we show them what they’ve done and cast judgment on them. I don’t know if that sounds like a good program or not, but it’s a bit like a king in his court and they’re the jesters. It’s quite British, but I really hope the Americans get it as well.”
The inspiration from the Avalon-produced show came after Alex’s wife had a baby. When Alex didn’t go to the Edinburgh Festival that year, he came up with the inner workings of the show. Taskmaster made its UK television debut in 2015.
Taskmaster is now in its ninth season and shows no signs of slowing down. HollywoodLife asked Alex what it’s been like working alongside Greg and forming that amazing onscreen chemistry. “It’s been a really happy dose of luck, I’d say,” Alex continued. “We knew each other before. The UK comedy circuit is quite small, so we’ve all worked together over the years, and we all meet up in clubs near the Edinburgh Festival. But we’ve never worked together on a TV show. We became friends on stage, and we might not look like friends but we became friends in the studio and the dynamic is very natural. He is the ultimate alpha male, and I’m not even beta. I’m gamma or somewhere down there. It is a natural fit. I love being his assistant, and I think he loves being my boss. But it’s also grown and he’s occasionally affectionate to me, and I’m occasionally brave. So it’s been really fun working that out in front of the cameras.”
With Taskmaster premiering in the U.S., Alex is totally opening to expanding the show to have an American version. “I’ve always thought someone like Sarah Silverman, who I love from afar, I’d love to see her do the show. Now. We’ve had the Canadian and Australian and New Zealand [versions], but I’d love it to be properly international because I think people bring so many different things to it. The Brits are British about it. When we had Katherine Ryan, who’s much more dominant North American, it’s a really fun dynamic. So yes, absolutely. If you have someone like Will Ferrell on it and then Jack Dee from over here, I’d watch that show.