Rove turns on the charm in LA
COMEDIAN and talk show host, Rove McManus expected his new life in Los Angeles to be different from his old life in Australia.
But he never imagined just how dissimilar it would be.
Even though he's lived in the US city for 18 months, McManus is yet to master the 23 freeways, get used to the difference in seasons or become accustomed to having strange, wild animals walking through his backyard.
However, he is happy in LA and loves the "crazy discoveries" he makes every day.
And that is exactly what the multiple Gold Logie winner will be bringing to Australian fans in his new series Rove LA.
McManus will be taking viewers off the beaten track to introduce them to the "real LA", everything from the gift shop at the LA County morgue to the Mexican masked wrestling, burlesque and comedy show that is Lucha VaVoom.
"The show is a postcard home," he said.
Next week the Fox8 show will premiere, and when asked whether he was nervous about his return to TV, McManus did what he does best, made a joke out of it.
"It's not like the movie Speed. I'm not Keanu Reeves trying to keep the speed from dropping on the bus," he said.
"I'm ready for it. I have had enough time lounging by the pool."
The Aussie icon said he felt rested and recharged and excited about the show.
"We did a shoot on Hollywood Boulevard last week and lots of Aussie tourists came up and said they were glad I would be back on TV," he said.
"They were really sweet. It genuinely meant a lot to me."
Rove LA will be the first time where McManus features but doesn't have back-up.
"This show is just me," he said.
"It is the first time without Peter (Helliar).
"I'm flying solo. There is no one to help you or give you some breathing space."
In LA, McManus will be slotting in with late night chat show heavies, such as David Letterman and Jay Leno as well as many, less-well-known hosts.
"I am not in direct competition with Letterman or Leno but I am the same city as them," he laughed.
"I am literally right up the hall from Craig Ferguson (The Late Late Show).
"They are all great people and very inspiring."
McManus said he had looked up to the LA late night guys since his early days on Rove Live.
Although that chapter of his life is over, he said it felt like yesterday he announced the last show.
Looking back on his 10-year stint on the Channel 10 show McManus said he was glad he finished while he was on top.
"I wanted to get out on my own terms. I didn't want to people to tire of me. I didn't want to be dead in the water. Choosing to finish was best," he said.
The last show was not publicised because he didn't want to be another Oprah, announcing his final show a year out.
"I didn't want any fuss. I just wanted to disappear," he said.
His move to LA was "to avoid spending every day hearing about what everyone (entertainment industry peers) else was up to".
"I didn't want it to knee-jerk me into coming back too soon," he said.
He was also after a bit of anonymity which LA gave him - but with his new show starting soon, who knows how long that will last.
Rove LA can be seen on FOX8 on Mondays at 8.30pm.