Former Bay Area comedian W. Kamau Bell says he's getting more comfortable as a late-night talk show host, thanks, in part, to the mentorship of Chris Rock, who he calls the "foul-mouthed Yoda."
"I'm still in the middle of learning curve," said the frontman of FX's "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell." "Nobody is born to be a talk-show host."
To which, Rock interjected: "Regis."
Both Bell and Rock, an executive producer, appeared at a media conference to promote the show that debuted last fall and returns with fresh episodes Jan. 17.
"It's all a bunch of separate skills that, no matter what you did before, you have to pick them up," said Bell, who less than a year ago was busy doing stand-up in the
Along the way, he has gotten plenty of advice from Rock, who has hosted his own late-night show.
"I'm trying to get him out of his young comic head, and to embrace comedy as a whole," Rock said. "I'm also trying him in other ways. Having a show like this is like being a CEO. I'm trying to get him to be a good boss."
Rock, who is busy preparing to shoot another movie and launch a stand-up tour in the fall, was asked if he would ever consider doing a nightly network talk a la Jay Leno and David Letterman. It's tempting -- but also
"There's a part of me that wants to do it but I don't know if I could do it all the time," he said. " ... And I just don't care about Lindsay Lohan."
Rock also had some lively comments on gun violence, which has been a hot topic on the tour. His idea for gun control?
"Most people who go on killing sprees live with their mother. You should have to have a mortgage to buy a gun," he said. "No one with a mortgage has ever gone on a killing spree. A mortgage is a true background check. You know that, even if you go to jail for 30 years, you still have to pay the mortgage."