James Van Der Beek Is Returning To Comedy & He's Bringing Diplo With Him


In further confirmation that 2017 may turn out alright after all, Deadline is reporting that James Van Der Beek is developing a new comedy you'll want to watch immediately. The show — which features the working title of What Would Diplo Do? is executive produced, written by, and starring Van Der Beek in the titular role of Grammy-winning DJ, Diplo. It's set to premiere on Viceland later in 2017. You might remember that Van Der Beek starred as Diplo in the musician's hilarious promo for the Mad Decent Block Party tour back in June 2016, so it comes as little surprise that the idea has grown into a far bigger one with the same creative team behind it. Because, as Van Der Beek's Diplo might say, "It's totally lit, fam."

Described by Deadline as following "a fictional version of DJ superstar Diplo in [a] collection of parables about life as told through the eyes of [a] guy who can bring 60,000 people to their feet… but kind of sucks one-on-one," What Would Diplo Do? sounds delightfully absurd. And with the superstar DJ also serving as an executive producer on the show, it looks set to provide the sort of irreverent, ironic comedy that Van Der Beek has completely excelled at in recent years.

With a meta-parody role as an exaggerated version of himself in Don't Tell The B---- In Apartment 23, Van Der Beek showcased a tremendous comedic flair, but also an admirable capacity to satirize his own public image.

He capitalized on this with various Funny Or Die videos in which he played up to that image with great finesse, doing spoof adverts based on his own meme-worthy celebrity status. And though my lifetime membership to the Dawson's Creek fan club may have made me completely biased, I have to say that each and every one was an absolute riot.

With that in mind, What Would Diplo Do? feels like the perfect next step for the actor. Not just in terms of performance (though, clearly, he nailed it from day one), but also in terms of constructing comedic, fictional storylines based on a celebrity identity.

Having deconstructed his own public persona and celebrity for comedic effect, Van Der Beek clearly has an awareness of what depths and nuances need to be targeted in order to push the "funny" button. And I am so ready for it.

Because honestly, I was completely and utterly bereft when Don't Tell The B---- In Apartment 23 was canceled. And though a large part of that was just a very pure, overall affection for the show itself, a lot of it was because of just how much I enjoyed Van Der Beek's performance. Witnessing an actor happily drop his ego in order to mock his own celebrity was thrilling and refreshing, but more than that, he was genuinely and surprisingly funny, too.

Suffice to say, two seasons of that show were simply not enough to fully appreciate the brilliance of his performance, so it's incredibly exciting to hear he has this new comedy in the works. Because I need more, guys. I've already waited too long.

Van Der Beek's Don't Tell The B---- In Apartment 23 performance showcased the perfect pairing of grandiose arrogance and heartfelt vulnerability. And those are two qualities which would likely lend themselves supremely well to playing a fictionalized version of a global megastar like Diplo.

And honestly, I have nothing but excited anticipation for his on-screen, comedic return. So, let's do this, fam.