In Arturo Valls’ new program, swear words are said. Lots of swear words. They are said especially by the guests, he controls himself more, but he also seems eager to let loose. The thing is that Arturo Valls’ new program is something like a party among colleagues, with karaoke, rude words, costumes and moments of profound ridicule. More Spanish impossible, wow. And yet, it has nothing to do with anything we have seen on our television.

“It’s the one to seduce! This man’s!” Nathy Peluso hears the first chords of a song and knows what it is… but he doesn’t remember the name. Rigoberta Bandini throws herself on the floor to act out scenes for Amaia Romero to guess. Paco León suddenly becomes Pitingo singing Ain’t no sunshine. Because in this program he sings even with the presenter, and he doesn’t do it badly: “I look for formats where I can give free rein to my voice because they won’t let me at home,” he jokes.

Every delivery, every night – there are no windows, but with this mess it can’t be anything but night – four guests test their musical knowledge and talents, although that’s the least of it. “The contest is just an excuse to have fun,” Valls acknowledges. Not in vain is it called That’s My Jam, which appeals to the classic party ecstasy that is achieved when singing: “I love this great song!”

The television device came into Valls’ hands at a moment of strong panic over the blank page: “Some time ago, some networks and production companies had asked me to propose their own format, something more personal, and nothing came of it, the truth is.” “, he remembers, about to premiere on Movistar Plus, “they showed me the original NBC format and I said: this is it. Live music, guests, friends, games… It’s just pure fun.”

And that’s how Arturo Valls jumped into the pool and sent an email without waiting for a response. Against all odds, there was water: “They answered yes, that they saw a certain affinity in me with Jimmy Fallon,” he says, and he does it as if it were nothing but you can tell that he received it as a compliment, then he points out: “They were referring to the analogy of the presenter being also in the executive production”.

Indeed, That’s My Jam, the original, is the work of Fallon himself, one of the most powerful men on television in the US, although he has recently been questioned after 16 workers accused him of creating a “toxic” work environment in a report. from Rolling Stone magazine with a devastating headline: “Chaos, comedy and crying rooms.” The news broke 15 minutes before Arturo Valls came out to present his new program at the FesTVal in Vitoria. And of course, presenting himself as “the Spanish Jimmy Fallon” had less glamor… “

“Cancellations are very dangerous, we will have to investigate what happened there. It would be a shame, but look at Ellen Degeneres,” suggests the presenter, in reference to the fall from grace of the great lady of television humor following a similar complaint, and moves the topic aside: “We have adapted the format, not the way of working.” Let’s get back to the format, then.

That’s my jam was born at the end of 2021 as a natural extension of some of the most successful challenges to which he subjected his guests on his late-night The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He noticed that the musical moments were the most successful and decided to develop them as his own format. The result is 50 minutes of maximum television intensity illuminated by fluorescent neon colors and led by a funny radio cassette called The King of Jam and with a master of ceremonies who often blurs the line between the presenter and the contestant. Don’t tell me that this delirium couldn’t have come directly from Arturo Valls’ head.

“They take great care of their format and preferred that it be adapted by a small production company that would do much more artisanal work,” explains the Valencian, “they supervise the adaptation but are quite flexible.” Valls has been faithful to the original duration, 50 minutes, and has maintained “the essence and energy.” The latter, he assures, has been the most complicated: “It is recorded falsely live and there is a lot of improvisation, so in the pauses I had to maintain the energy of the guests so that their energy did not drop,” he says, “I did not suffer with the technical failures, which there always are, but with that, things about not just being the presenter”.

From Spain he has added his characteristic humor, music and a scoring system that prioritizes the show over the competition, in addition to, of course, the guests. “Half of them are friends, of course,” he confesses, “it was difficult for us to convince the artists because here we take them out of their comfort zone: there is no interview or promotion, the guest does not come to sell their new movie or their new album. “Only himself, a profile unknown to the public. And that is something common in the US but in Spain we are not used to it.” Of course, friends or not, the names have a level: David Bisbal, Amaia Salamanca, Carlos Areces, Chanel, Bustamante, Fran Perea, Pilar Rubio, Joaquín Reyes and a long etcetera.

The day before this interview, Arturo Valls was seen harvesting rice in his homeland. One of the farmers, an octogenarian, approached him and said: “I’ve seen you on TV and you’re very funny, but you’re also an idiot, a bastard.” At that exact point is the humor that he defends, at a time when defining humor is a risky activity, and he says: “I am in favor of there being certain limits, and they are set by common sense. On television I have “I’ve made jokes about bald people, about dwarfs, and I haven’t had any problems. The key is in how things are said, when and where.”