Fans were shocked when it was announced last month that talk show hosts Desus & Mero had ended their professional partnership, but The Kid Mero (aka Joel Martinez) says it was a planned, amicable separation.
In a new interview with the Basic! podcast, hosted by former Comedy Central and MTV executive Doug Herzog and Vulture TV critic Jen Chaney, Mero says he and his co-star had been "pursuing separate interests" for a year before the announcement.
"Desus and I had a discussion, and we had been pursuing separate interests for over a year before the show came to an end," Mero explained. "That conversation solidified for us in signing overall agreements that recognized our intent to [break out] independent of one another. So as far back as June of last year, we were both pitching or looking to join existing projects as individuals. … It was a strategy."
Mero added, "If you have to force a partnership that's coming to a natural end, it's not going to be the same. Knowing that, we had a conversation. We had a sit-down and we were talking about it more than a year ago. The intent was to go our separate ways in a way that was supportive of each other."
Mero did not specify what projects he and Desus are separately working on, but said he's looking to write "features, series, books, you name it. I want to get into all of it."
Past episodes of Desus & Mero are available to stream on Showtime.
Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.