The Bodega Hive are still reeling from July’s news that Desus and Mero would be pursuing solo ventures. In an interview on the Basic! Podcast with Doug Herzog and Jen Chaney, Mero spoke about his split with Desus, which was apparently a long time coming, and gave some hints at what’s on the horizon.
“Desus and I had discussed pursuing separate interests over a year prior to the show coming to an end and that conversation solidified us in signing overall agreements that recognized our intent to operate independent of one another,” Mero said, per Variety. “As far back as June of last year we were both pitching or looking to join existing projects as individuals.”
Mero stressed that the pair would continue to support each other, and intimated that he would be pursuing more writing and screen opportunities. He also said he hopes that late-night TV will continue to diversify its hosts and give a wider range of people opportunities in front of the camera, based on the success that they had in their four seasons on Showtime.
“If you have something that’s buried in basic cable and it’s still getting looks, still getting rave reviews from critics, still shifting the paradigm of what late-night is…that speaks a lot to the impact you have as a creator,” Mero said. “It speaks a lot to the fact that this is a viable product, you can get a Black man, a Black woman, an Asian man, an Asian woman, you name it, a gay man, a gay woman. People who are not just another white guy, to host and lead these conversations.”
Desus and Mero worked on a slew of projects together throughout the 2010s, ranging from their hugely popular Bodega Boys podcast to their Desus & Mero Showtime show to voice roles in Neo Yokio. Most recently, they were seen as talking heads in ESPN’s The Captain docuseries about Derek Jeter. Rumors of friction had been simmering for months, in part because the duo had not released an episode of Bodega Boys since November 2021.
According to Mero, this was at least in part intentional. “It was a strategy and one that we all agreed on,” Mero said, using a vintage ‘90s New York Knicks metaphor to explain their decision. “At the end of the day, things wind up and wind down and when things are winding down you got to recognize that they are winding down and not supermax Patrick Ewing when he has two toddler mattresses around his knees and you know his career is coming to a close.”
But the split might be a bit more complicated than that. Mero’s Basic! Interview comes on the heels of a Puck story which reported on manager Victor Lopez’s role in the breakup. Per Puck, Lopez, a producer on Desus & Mero, was accused aggressive and rude behavior, to the point that Showtime wanted him to stop attending tapings and meetings, which Desus apparently supported, but Mero did not. Mero also apparently found new representation in February 2022, while Desus earned a spot as a guest host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! over the summer. As far as statements, Desus hasn’t spoken to anyone about the split, but on July 19 when the news initially broke he did tweet “Shouts to showtime & shouts to the hive, thanks for being part of the journey. proud of the show my staff made every episode. Big tings soon come.”