Today, we have the privilege of interviewing the charismatic and accomplished Jonathan Sposato, the host of "JoySauce Late Night" - a groundbreaking late-night TV show that's taking the entertainment industry by storm. Jonathan is also the mastermind behind the JoySauce Network, a dynamic media platform dedicated to shedding light on the often underrepresented Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Jonathan's journey into the world of late-night television and media innovation has been nothing short of remarkable. Recently, he was honored with a Silver Telly Award, a testament to the success and impact of "JoySauce Late Night." But there's more to his story than just late-night laughs and accolades.
As announced by Variety, the JoySauce Network is a multimedia platform with a mission - to celebrate and amplify the voices of the "American Asian" audience and its allies. It showcases iconic figures from the AAPI community, including celebrities, disruptors, innovators, and game changers, across a wide range of content, from on-camera series to podcasts and hard-hitting journalism.
What's even more intriguing is Jonathan's motivation behind this endeavor. He was inspired by a stark lack of representation in mainstream media, particularly the absence of humorous and relatable Asian American roles. This fueled his determination to create a unique late-night talk show, "JoySauce Late Night," that not only entertains but also brings forward the Asian-American experience, supports emerging talent, and truly spotlights the AAPI community.
Jonathan Sposato isn't just a late-night host; he's a serial entrepreneur with an impressive track record. As the Chairman of GeekWire, the founder of PicMonkey (the world’s most popular web photo-editor), and the visionary behind WeCount.org, a non-profit using consumer internet technologies to aid the homeless, Jonathan's journey through the tech and startup world has deeply influenced his approach to crafting the JoySauce Network.
Today, we have the privilege of delving into his experiences, motivations, and vision for the future of the JoySauce Network and "JoySauce Late Night." So, without further ado, let's get to know Jonathan Sposato and discover what makes his journey so compelling and inspiring.
Can you share the inspiration behind launching the JoySauce Network and "JoySauce Late Night"? What drove you to create a platform dedicated to highlighting the AAPI community in the entertainment industry?
Jonathan: Two years ago, I was looking at movies, and in mainstream media, I really felt like there just wasn’t a strong Asian American role. They don’t show the more humorous side of the Asian American world, it’s all straight. Doctors and lawyer roles in films and on TV. So, I decided that JoySauce had a home in this world and the response has been amazing! We are fully run by and feature Asian Americans and its a breath of fresh air to have a platform like this.
"JoySauce Late Night" has garnered explosive growth and recently earned a Silver Telly Award. What do you attribute this success to, and how do you see the show evolving in the future?
Jonathan: We currently have 6 episodes, but the JoySauce Late Night show is breaking the mold in late-night TV. I am sure that the very last thing that you or most people could imagine was Late-night TV being filled with Asian American faces. But, It's working, and as long as there is an audience we will keep producing episodes. As I mentioned before, All the guests are Asian American, as well as the host and co-host. It’s all humor-based, from the cold open skits, to the interviews, and more. We wanted to show the fun and exciting side of our culture as Asian Americans instead of the serious side that Hollywood and mainstream TV give. I think people like it and that is why they watch it.
The JoySauce Network aims to feature iconic figures in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Could you tell us about some of the most memorable moments or interviews from your show that have had a significant impact on your viewers?
Jonathan: There have been so many great memories, but the couple that stands out is David Henry Hwang; the conversation with him was incredible. He's a thought leader in the Asian American world. Also, George Takei, who worked on Star Trek shared his childhood experience of being incarcerated during WW2 times and how it changed his father.
These are just a few of the guests that stand out to me.
As a serial entrepreneur, you've been involved in various ventures, from founding PicMonkey to launching WeCount.org. How do your experiences in the tech and startup world influence your approach to creating and managing a media platform like JoySauce Network?
Jonathan: I was one of the first people to sell a tech company to Google, The first business was Fatbyts, then PicNic, and then I created PicMonkey which was purchased by Shutterstock. WeCount.org was an app to help those in the unhoused community by facilitating the donation of spare products. You could list products on the app that were free and people could come collect it and donate it to the unhoused community. That app was eventually gifted to the city of Seattle. I learned a lot about business and public speaking from these brands and selling them, My experiences in the tech and startup world have taught me to be innovative and find creative solutions it's this skill set that really does assist me with being a part of JoySauce.
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