TV host aims to build core audience
Published: Monday, September 27, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 16:09
Standing under the old Chicago Water Tower wearing a white toga and holding a megaphone last Friday night, late night TV host Jake Sasseville directed the crowd of Chicagoans who joined a giant cardboard tube battle – to defend the Republic.
"Late Night Republic" is Sasseville's new show that launched this year in nearly 50 million homes, which Sasseville said he plans to bring to Chicago by December.
While touring the country to promote the show, "Late Night Republic" is making stops in more than 40 cities and 15 college campuses. At each stop, Sasseville hosts outrageous events and concerts.
The cardboard tube battle is one of those events. Distributing 1,000 cardboard tubes to a few prepared warriors and a host of adventurous and fun-loving pedestrians, the battle commenced. Split into two groups based one what day of the week participants were born, they stood facing each other before running at the other group.
Sasseville said, "It was a battle well fought and well won."
Although he said he was expecting mostly young people to join, the people included young children, middle-aged professionals and even the elderly. "There was a grandma fighting," Sasseville said.
Avery Sherman from Lincoln Park said, "I was just screaming for the last half hour."
Before the battle started, Sherman said he was just sitting there with his friends when they got invited to join the battle and help hand out the tubes.
"It ended up being really fun. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for the show," Sherman said.
The tour is also stopping at college campuses and for every school the tour stops at, ticket sales and donations will be used to build a new school in Southeast Asia.
"We're actually impacting the lives of thousands of children in Southeast Asia, by mobilizing the generation in this country to give and donate," Sasseville said.
"I believe that to really eliminate poverty is to elevate education."
At 24, Sasseville is already a recognized philanthropist, entrepreneur and producer. He started his television career at age 15 with a talk show "The Edge with Jake Sasseville" on local TV in his hometown in Maine.
Sasseville said, "I've always known that I've wanted to use a late-night vehicle to motivate others and inspire others, and most importantly to entertain others, because laughter heals."
In 2007, "The Edge" aired on ABC after Jimmy Kimmel, appearing in about 30 million homes based on a business model that Sasseville created himself.
His success has only come with hard work and plenty of rejection from television networks.
"There are far more people that are far more funny and better looking than I am, but when you desire to succeed and just decide that you're going to do it, it helps to sort of blow out all of these rejections that you get," Sasseville said.