Filling the Top Gear-shaped hole in our life is the news that Top Gear America is making a return. It’s coming back in the spring of next year, with a brand-new line-up and a brand-new home. It’ll be streamed on the MotorTrend app instead of traditional TV, and MT is putting some serious clout behind it.
Top Gear America presenters change as often as, well, Top Gear UK presenters, and Jethro Bovingdon, Dax Shepard and Rob Corddry are the latest to step up to the plate. You’ll probably know Jethro Bovingdon from well-known UK car magazines and websites, endurance racing or from two of MotorTrend’s current shows, Head 2 Head and Ignition.
Perhaps taking inspiration from the unlikely success of Top Gear UK’s unusual presenter mix - featuring Chris Harris, Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness - MT seems to have followed a similar formula for Top Gear America. Shepard and Corddry are both US comedians and, importantly, they’re both car enthusiasts. When asked about his passion for cars, Shepard said the only reason he acts is to “acquire money to buy s—t to put gas in”. He’s not joking - his ranch is home to 17 cars and trailers.
Corddry has been in sitcoms like HBO’s Ballers. He was quite surprised to get the call to present Top Gear, as he’s not one to get overly caught up in technical details and complex explanations.
“I’m just gonna fool them for as long as I can,” he said. “And then they’re finally going to be like, ‘Wait a minute, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Let’s get some boring dude in here.’”
The trio may be allowed to improvise during filming, and Corddry added, “If we’re ever given a script, I promise the viewers that I’m going to light it on fire and throw it away!”
With two comedians on board, the three should be able to riff off each other and have natural camaraderie – we’re hoping it’ll manage to avoid looking staged and awkward. Alongside Bovingdon’s Nurburging and endurance racing experience, Shepard knows his way around America’s most famous racetracks including Road America, Willow Springs and Laguna Seca. Two guys with racing experience means one thing: rivalry.
“I think there’ll be a lot of competition between Jethro and I, in a loving way,” Shepard said, “Obviously, he’ll win, and sometimes I’ll win, and it’ll be devastating when I lose, and I think that’ll be fun for everyone to watch.
“Jethro’s definitely got the seat-time advantage on me, and I’ve not driven any of these cars. I’ve never driven a McLaren or half the [cars] that he’s driven.”
While this is going on, Corddry will be stoking the fire. He wants to pit his co-stars against each other, “because I want to watch those nerds fight it out”.
Will you be watching the new Top Gear America?