Shelby K. Smith - Staff Writer

Max Rykov RGBThe city of Birmingham is about to get its very own live talk show. “Are We There Yet?” is an upcoming show that will be hosted by local fixture Max Rykov. The first episode of “Are We There Yet?” will be located at the Continental Bakery Downtown on Wednesday, April 8th at 7:30 p.m. Admission is a $5 (suggested) donation. All proceeds will help keep the show running.

The format of the show will surely be familiar to those that indulge in late night television. Comedians and talk show hosts produce quirky and funny episodes, but they use that same humor to touch on “hot button” topics.

“Are We There Yet?” will be a monthly live talk show that will, like its counterparts, use humor to shed light on global and local issues and events. “The interviews and games I play with my guests will explore both the history of the issue at hand, its current situation, and how we can get to where we want to be with it,” Rykov said. The show will feature local musical artists and well known figures like the Birmingham News’ John Archibald and spoken word poet/actor Sharrif Simmons.

Rykov came up with the idea for the show while hosting fundraising events for non-profit organizations. Instead of the your run-of-the-mill fundraisers, Rykov used his colorful background in education, theatre and comedy to organize and host games and award shows to raise the money.

“Ever since I was in middle school, my dream job was being a game show/talk show host,” Rykov said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have my efforts be well received in the city,”

Jon Stewart, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert have inspired Rykov with their witty combination of humor and journalism. “Like them, I try to be quite engaged and informed about the world I live in,” Rykov said.

Community development is Rykov’s passion, and he’s intent on making a change in his home city of Birmingham. “There’s quite a lot to discuss and change in Birmingham (and in Alabama),” Rykov said.

The host describes his approach to change with his favorite Oscar Wilde one-liner: “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” The show will also feature Mark Kelly, of weekly publication Weld for Birmingham, and American-born lawyer and philanthropist Laurence Brahm.

Rykov insists that Birmingham will be a great place for his show to become a lasting force for change. “The city is thriving right now. I want my home to be the best and coolest place it can be,” said Rykov. “Intelligent and humorous shows belong here.”

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