The Bachelor franchise finds itself in a tricky place at the moment, vis-à-vis staffing. That’s mainly because series host Chris Harrison—who departed ABC’s small universe of dating shows earlier this year, after facing criticism both within and without the Bachelorverse for comments he made about race during the controversy surrounding recent Bachelor contestant Rachel Kirkconnell—really was the series host, plural. Harrison not only helmed every season of both of the franchise’s alternating flagship shows, but also its various spin-offs, most notably the still running Bachelor In Paradise, which sends popular contestants from various incarnations of the franchise off to tropical locales to see if any secondary sparks can be struck.
Over in The Bachelorette proper, Harrison’s hosting duties have been outsourced to former capital-B Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, advising and supporting new series star Katie Thurston. But the lighter BiP is going a much different, and arguably much stranger route. After all, who would you call to helm a weekend of island romance, if not David Spade?
That’s right: Joe Dirt himself is making his way to Paradise, where he’ll serve as one of several celebrity comedian guest hosts keeping the romance moving. Per Variety, news of Spade’s agreement broke before any other comics could finalize their deals to appear, which might explain why this is such a Spade-forward story at the moment. (“Ah, sweet romance,” the show’s producers presumably did not intend for us to think, “Thy name is Tommy Boy and The Wrong Missy star David Spade.”)
ABC and Warner Bros. have so far stayed decidedly quiet about all of this—not just Spade’s unexpected attachment to TV’s most heavily marketed fairy tale romances, but also Harrison’s overall status with the series. His original departure, which came after an interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay that subsequently saw him be called out in an open letter signed by a number of contestants from the show’s most recent season, was characterized as “stepping away”; no word yet on when, if ever, he might end up stepping back, and whether any members of the Just Shoot Me cast will be there if he does.