It’s been awhile since Canadians had their own late-night talk show to tune in to. Since 2004, in fact, when The Mike Bullard Show decamped from Global due to low ratings.
Now, over a decade later, there’s a new kid on the Canadian late-night block. Juno award and Canadian Aboriginal Music Award winner Derek Miller hosts Guilt Free Zone, debuting Tuesday on APTN, a ribald no-holds-barred talker that spotlights Aboriginal artists and performers, Miller’s offbeat sense of humour and a promise to discuss delicate subjects without fear of being judged.
Tuesday’s first instalment, “I Like Sex and Fonzie,” (the first of six episodes taped in front of live studio audiences across the country), sets the offbeat tone from the start with Miller introducing himself and outlining the show’s mantra to chat openly about sex. His first guest is Inez Jasper, a nurse, public speaker and singer-songwriter who stresses educating First Nations youth about avoiding sexually-transmitted diseases and pregnancy by using condoms, at which point Miller produces a handful. Jasper then jumps up and performs an original tune. Miller’s second guest, Jayli Wolf, chats briefly about her acting career on Mohawk Girls before performing as well.
When not chatting with his guests or watching them sing, Miller is yukking it up with a guy dressed up like Jesus who rides by on a Segway.
Guilt Free Zone is a little rough around the edges–there were several moments of dead space between bits and a little bit of stilted conversation–but on the whole I was entertained, especially when Miller grabbed his guitar and jammed with the GFZ house band to close out the episode.
Check GFZ out and let me know what you think.
Guilt Free Zone airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/MT on APTN.