Comedy Central's "Klepper" premieres with vet-focused episode

Eye on Veterans
May 09, 2019 - 1:56 pm
Host Jordan Klepper (right) speaks with a vet at a Valhalla Club event in Killeen, Texas

Photo courtesy Comedy Central

Comedic performer and television host Jordan Klepper is best known for his work on "The Daily Show" and "The Opposition with Jordan Klepper" among other projects. One thing he is not known for is his wrestling, but that might change with the premiere episode of his new show "Klepper" on Comedy Central. 

The show kicks off it's first season by visiting the veterans of The Valhalla Club, a pro wrestling organization in Killeen, Texas who help each other and their fans battle PTSD through camaraderie, activity and entertainment. The group's story is fascinating, but Klepper isn't a show where the host simply shows up to tell a story.

In each episode, Jordan Klepper is there for the full experience.

So yes, he entered the squared circle with The Valahalla Club.

A scene from the premiere episode of Klepper at The Valhalla Club
Photo courtesy Comedy Central

"That was one that was maybe less fun getting involved," Klepper tells ConnectingVets.com of his in-ring turn as the bad guy, or "heel" to use the proper wrestling term. "I did get involved all the way through a table at one point." 

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Klepper, who describes himself as a "frail guy," says he left the match with a bruised body and ego but more importantly he left Killeen with a better sense of who the veterans of The Valhalla Club are and the difficulties they deal with day-to-day.

Members of The Valhalla Club, a veteran wrestling organization featured on Comedy Central's Klepper
Photo courtesy Comedy Central

"My pre-conceived notions got thrown out immediately," Klepper says. "I'm walking into a Texas wrestling ring with veterans who are wrestling. I'm thinking 'they're big, they're tough.' And immediately they are so open emotionally articulate and inclusive about the struggle they are having, and other people outside the veteran community who are having that struggle. and very real and open about how that's something they haven't found a solve for."

Interestingly, Klepper's premier with The Valhalla Club is not the only veteran focused episode. Another, examining the issue of deported veterans, will air June 6th.

With the series containing only 8 episodes, that's a full 25% dealing specifically with vet issues. Klepper says there's a good reason for that, dating back to pre-production for the show.

"There was a discussion in the room about how there is this civilian-veteran chasm," Klepper recalls. "Where a lot of times civilians have a hard time understanding and relating to veterans and their issues. So that was a good challenge for us."

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The premier episode of "Klepper" airs Thursday, May 9th at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central, and will be available on demand after that. You can hear the full interview with Klepper below. 

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