Live late-night talk show The Ed Forman Show, with ME! ED FORMAN! has always been something of a parody of Los Angeles lounge acts, so it only makes sense that, after three years at Dante's, Forman creator and alter ego Aaron Ross is moving his show...to Los Angeles.
The final Ed Forman Show at Dante's is planned for Dec. 27. Ross hopes to have an L.A. venue confirmed by then.
"I want to get an agent, and try to do film and television," Ross told WW today. "I want to be a star, baby, a star!"
That's the trademark Forman hyperbole—the character, honed over 273 Oregon shows, is an egomaniacal self-help sleazeball—but Ross is sincerely ambitious. "I wanted to have the opportunity to make [Ed Forman] a television show," he said, "or whatever it can be in the Age of Aquarius. The ultimate goal for Aaron Ross and/or Ed Forman is The Tonight Show."
Ross said he knew earlier this year he was ready to take a swing at Hollywood. "We hit three years" in Portland, he said, "and even before that I felt like, 'We've done what we came to do.'"
The show has grown from an obscure alt-comedy act hunting down guests—"some gorgeous tattooed chick, or a guy who drinks beer out of a shoe"—to an Old Town standby whose guests in the past month have included Dave Dahl of Dave's Killer Bread, Vancouver mayor Timothy Leavitt, and actor Peter Stormare, best known for his Coen Brothers roles as a Lebowski nihilist and a Fargo wood-chipper operator. "I spent five days emailing back and forth with who I think is one of the five most terrifying guys in modern cinema, and he was the nicest guy," Ross said of Stormare.
Ross said he will miss the Burnside torch lights of Dante's.
"I never thought, in my hometown, I would get to do a late-night talk show. It's been a dream job. Frank at Dante's giving me that opportunity, I could never thank him enough."
As for Ed Forman...
"Ed's going specifically because Burt Reynolds asked him to become the curator of his bikini zoo—the place where the girls in bikinis run wild and free," Ross said. "When asked why he was handing it over, Reynolds said, 'Because I'm going to die.'"