Karamo Brown began filming his new syndicated talk show, Karamo, just two weeks before its September 19 premiere (weekdays at 1:00 p.m. on WPIX/Ch. 11).
“I’ve been shooting ‘Queer Eye’ in New Orleans for the last four months and had no lead time at all,” Brown said. “On the first day, I got to say hello to our executive producer [Kerry Shannon, “Judge Jerry”] was the first day we shot…but so far it’s been great.”
Brown, 41, is no stranger to talk shows; He made several substitutions for host Maury Povich at “Maury” last season and was named his replacement of the day when Povich announced his retirement in March.
“There were talks [about replacing Povich] But in this business you never know until the ink is dry,” he said. “I could tell the NBCUniversal distribution team had faith in me … and when they announced Maury was retiring, it was like, ‘Let’s make it official.'”
Brown, whose long TV resume includes The Real World: Philadelphia and Dancing With the Stars, has been the “culture expert” on the second installment of Queer Eye since the show premiered in 2018.
On “Karamo,” he’ll focus on relationships, helping his guests put their lives in order — including occasionally allowing them to lock their or their partner’s cell phones.
“I’m not a believer in lie detector tests, it’s not my job,” he said. “Everything we hold dear, in our phones; We literally scour people’s phones – locations, secret photos – and really help the conversation and the guest’s growth.
“It’s no longer that he/she said, but ‘Here’s the proof, let me show you.’ And I’m very proud of that.
“If you have problems with your mother, your father, your children, your parents, your friends … I can help you to solve your problems,” he said. “We’re all inspired by each other… and I always make sure to contribute myself. I also like to have a lot of fun, but I am also a great empathetic listener and good at communicating.
“On my show, people have to talk calmly and not start raising their voices,” he said. “It doesn’t lead to effective communication, and conflict doesn’t mean shouting and it doesn’t mean drama. I make sure the guests understand that.
“We go deeper to think about what we should do,” he said. “I had a 16-year-old guest on the show whose mother said, ‘My daughter is wild. She’s having sex and she’s out of control.” I thought it sounded like a kid who needs more love, and I said so [16-year-old]”I’m not going to talk to you like your family [would]. How are you? do you want to do these things There is no judgment here’ and she broke down and cried and said ‘No one ever told me they loved me.’ We changed the narrative.”
Celebrities will occasionally appear in “Karamo,” but only to maintain the show’s focus on relationships.
“I’d love to have Meagan Good with me after what she’s been through in their relationship [with DeVon Franklin], and Tisha Campbell went through a relationship where she made it,” he said. “Growing up with a single mom and four sisters, I want strong women who know they can overcome. I want Kesha there – I don’t think she gets any credit for the journey she’s been on.”
Brown said he doesn’t pay much heed to social media in terms of criticism or praise – but he’s been a devoted student when it comes to studying his show segments.
“Am I looking at comments? No, I won’t do that, except in a constructive forum,” he said. “Sometimes social media can be devastating when people are looking for attention.
“Any host who says they can’t see themselves on TV is lying or doing themselves a huge disservice,” he said. “Unless I can watch [the show] and see what the audience reacts to… I need to be able to see if there’s something I can do better.”