“I’m not Ryan Seacrest”: David Spade on being an “anti-game show host” on new show, ‘Snake Oil’

FOX/Tom Griscom

Fox’s new game show, Snake Oil, takes a page from Shark Tank but with a twist: Some of the contestants looking for investors just may be plugging a fictional product.

Helping to separate fact from fiction is host David Spade. The Saturday Night Live veteran explains to Emmy magazine, “It used to be, ‘Don’t do a game show, don’t do commercials.’ But then, one day, it was like, ‘Why are we so precious about all this?'”

He says his friend Will Arnett helped convince him to take the gig. “He thought I might be a good host,” he explains.

“At the initial meeting, I said, ‘I don’t think I’m really good at this. I’m not Ryan Seacrest,'” Spade recalls. “They said, ‘We want an anti-game show host,’ [and] I thought … I can handle that.”

As it turns out, Spade was a fan of the genre, saying he loved Match Game, Card Sharks, Wheel of Fortune and Hollywood Squares back in the day.

He explains, “Those shows were all pretty basic, but now game shows have really advanced. Snake Oil has a huge stage, and there’s a lot going on. And the audience really gets into it. I was surprised. With one crowd, we had to tell them to tone it down.”

Spade says of the new gig, “I get to make fun of the contestants, the crowd and the celebrity advisors. That part is fun. But I’m really the straight man trying to organize the show.”

He says most can’t tell the fake products from the real McCoys.

“So many people get it wrong!” Spade says. “That’s what we’re loving,” he adds, noting, “I was wrong most of the time.”

Snake Oil airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET.

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