Jake Sasseville

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Jake Sasseville
Jake Sasseville - 2013.jpg
Birth name Jacob-Steven Sarto Sasseville
Born (1985-11-30) November 30, 1985 (age 28)
Lewiston, Maine, United States
Nationality American
Subject(s) Entrepreneurship, Entertainment, Spirituality, Popculture
Notable works and roles "Delusions of Grandeur' (executive producer, co-director, co-writer, star, 2011- )
"The Mash" (Tribune, Development EP, 2011-2012)
'The Edge with Jake Sasseville (ABC, host and EP, 2001–2010)
Late Night Republic (Fox and CW, host and EP, 2010–2011 )
Next Step Campus Music Tour (host, producer 2007 - ) (executive producer, 2010- )
Website JAKE INC

Jake Sasseville (born November 30, 1985) is an American media propietor, television host, producer, writer, director, author, entrepreneur, speaker and philanthropist. He became well known as the youngest host ever in late night broadcast TV history on ABC affiliates after Jimmy Kimmel Live! at age 21.[1] He is currently the president and CEO of his development and production studio, JAKE INC.

Every studio and TV network rejected Sasseville's first talk show, "The Edge with Jake Sasseville" in 2005 and 2006, when he shopped the show in Los Angeles. He got it on the air thanks to his bold and irreverent business tactics with Madison Avenue's largest clients, generating millions of dollars in advertising and endorsements outside of the typical Hollywood model. Advertisers cut checks to Sasseville's studio directly, which he then produces and distributes content from.[2] When needed, he'll go directly to Chief Marketing Officers of fortune 500 companies, as reported by Inc Magazine.[3]

He is the author of Slightly Famous, his first book.[4]

Sasseville was named by the White House as one of the top entrepreneurs in America in 2012.[5] He's a frequent keynote speaker, selected engagements include Bono's One Conference, the David Letterman Lecture Series, the National Association of Television Programming Executives, the United Nations World Food Program[6] among others.

He lives in New York City.

Personal life[edit]

Sasseville describes himself as a member of the Baha'i Faith.[7] His father is French Canadian and his mother is a descendant of the Mi'kmaq Native American tribe.

He has become friends with Roseanne Barr, Rainn Wilson, Philadelphia 76ers owner Pat Croce, controversial AshleyMadison.com Founder Noel Biederman and best-selling author Tim Ferriss.[8][9][10] He's lived in New York City as his primary residence since 2004, but says that he prefers a "lease free lifestyle," opting for extended stays in San Francisco, London, Munich, Tel Aviv, Dublin and the island of Culebra.[11]

Sasseville at his heaviest in 2003. He lost 100 pounds and nearly 20 pant sizes

Sasseville grew up in a single-wide mobile home in Auburn, Maine, where his father still resides.[12] He was 17 years old when his brother Alex died of leukemia, a cause which Jake frequently spoke out about and fundraised for since his family did not have the means to pay for the hospitalization.[13]

He attended Edward Little High School in Auburn.[14] He left Maine when he was 15 to study abroad in France, something he initiated on his own.[15]

He received remarkably low scores on his SATs (880) in high school, despite taking the test three times, which prevented him from getting into any of the colleges he applied to (he applied to nine). He applied and got into New York Institute of Technology [16] and transferred to Marymount Manhattan College [17] in New York City for two and a half years, before dropping out of college to pursue his career full-time.

Sasseville has openly struggled with his weight, weighing in at his largest of 325 pounds and a size 54-inch waist. He lost 100 pounds (45 kg) through low carb diet, exercise and meditation.[18]


Creatively, Sasseville has become known for evolving TV genre formulas, such as the reality-talk formula as seen on "The Edge.".[19] He launched Late Night Republic on CW and FOX, one of the first crowd-sourced and created late night talk shows ever.[20] In 2012, he created "Delusions of Grandeur" which has elements of reality and sitcom combined.[21]

Sasseville is the creator, executive producer and star of the loosely scripted sitcom "Delusions of Grandeur," which, after it was cancelled by ABC Family in 2012, grew to an audience of 250,000 viewers an episode after just four weeks online.[22] He was the host and executive producer of Late Night Republic on CW and Fox which ran from 2010-2012,[23] and the host of The Edge with Jake Sasseville which ran from 2007-2010. At its peak on ABC affiliates, "The Edge" broke 1.0 AA18-34 ratings, without any traditional promotion.[24]

Agencies and brands include Overstock.com, State Farm, Starwood Hotels, Invisalign Teen, Ford Motor Company, Pringles/P&G, FRS Energy, Grey Advertising, Optimedia, Davie Brown, Translation, Hill and Knowlton, OMD, Alliance Agency, Cohn and Wolfe, RF Binder, Oglivy and Mather, Dunkin Donuts, AirTran Airways, Bedhead, Coca-Cola (Fuze), Denny's.[25][26][27][28][29][30]

He was executive producer to music campus tours that featured Kanye West, One Republic, Guster, J. Cole, Fabolous, We the Kings, Third Eye Blind. The tours were sponsored by Pringles, Crocs, Ford, Xbox and FRS Healthy Energy and ran from 2007 to 2011.[31][32]

Delusions of Grandeur (2012-[edit]

Delusions of Grandeur is an American television series that premiered on Blip.TV on October 4, 2012. Created by and starring Jake Sasseville, Delusions is a reality-sitcom following Jake Sasseville and his rise to fame, we're just never sure how much of it is real.[33] The show's first season was shot and based in Chicago, and the story is told from several points of view, including actors who play the real people in Jake's life, an on-going pre-production conversation between Sasseville and his long time collaborator David Sonkin, numerous asides where Sasseville speaks directly to camera, and the point of view of the production crew.[34] The series was initially heavily scripted, but Sasseville and Sonkin decided the series was best served with a loose outline.

As is reflective of the series following Jake's real life, season 2 will represent his move back to New York City. The show's premise and major aspects of the main character were inspired by some of 26-year-old Sasseville's real-life experiences.[35]

Late Night Republic (2010-2011)[edit]

Main article: Late Night Republic

On August 6, 2010, Sasseville launched a new show, Late Night Republic, on more than 50 Fox and CW stations throughout the United States. He said that the new show is more reflective of his maturity. "The humor I used to have was indicative of the age I was at the time,” he said.[36]

The show airs one night a week on Fox, MyTV, and CW stations. Since Sasseville’s production company secures deals with individual stations, timeslots vary by city and average a midnight timeslot. In September 2010, Sasseville launched a publicity campaign to keep the show on the air in San Diego, California, after ratings put Late Night Republic's standing in peril on the XETV station.[37]

Sasseville has said that some show content will come directly from viewers, who may offer content and ideas over social networks, adding that by 2011, the show will be "exclusively" produced by viewers.[38] He has indicated that the audience demographic is 16-to-30-years of age.

Early episodes featured interviews with comedian and actor Michael Ian Black and actress Blanchard Ryan, along with a variety of sketch comedy, interview, and music segments.[39] The show does not appear to tape in a single studio and instead resorts to on-location filming in New York or against a white background.[40]

Creatively, he took on Middle East tensions, anti-Semitism and transgendered rights through the Show’s irreverent unscripted segments that featured a simultaneous Hebrew-Arabic language class imposed on unsuspecting international students, an interview with a real-life rapping Rabbi and pitching a phallic-themed send-off party to a Soho-based event planning company.[41][42][43]

By securing funding directly from advertisers instead of television networks, Late Night Republic appears to be following a non-traditional financing model similar to “The Edge.” Sasseville heavily promotes the Procter & Gamble Pringles Xtreme brand during the show, including an interactive contest sponsored by Pringles where viewers can submit comedic videos for judging by Sasseville.[44]

He has been quoted saying that he is comfortable with obvious brand integrations into his show. "If you let your audience in to know that this is what you have to do to make sure that you can pay the bills, they get it and they're okay with it," Sasseville told an interviewer. "It's when people start to try to hide it that it becomes slippery slope."[45]

In September 2010, Sasseville said that he would be visiting at least 45 cities during the fall season as part of a road trip to promote Late Night Republic.[46] In July 2011 Jake announced that he was leaving Late Night Republic on his blog cityofsass.com for other projects.

"The Edge with Jake Sasseville" (2007-2010)[edit]

Sasseville developed The Edge with Jake Sasseville while a fifteen-year-old in Maine. He aired the show on local Public-access television cable TV and later on the local Fox station. After three years of doing the show with local guests, and Sasseville would reach out to celebrities parents to try to get their famous kids on the show.[47] The plan eventually worked when he heard back from executives at the NBC sitcom, "Will and Grace." Sasseville was invited to interview the cast.[48]

After moving to New York, he began to create syndication deals with individual TV stations in 2007. At its peak, The Edge aired on at least 45 million households following a guerrilla marketing campaign called "I want my Jake after Jimmy on ABC" where he got hundreds of thousands of his audience to write-in and e-petition local stations and ABC executives to carry the show.[49] Repeats continued until the summer of 2010.

The program relied heavily on sponsor integration, with promotions for Overstock.com and Ford Motor Company inserted in creative material throughout the programming. For example, 30-second clips would show Sasseville trying to find large, bulky items on Overstock.com in order to take advantage of the company's flat-rate shipping policy.[50] The Coca-Cola Company brand Fuze also sponsored the program and ran a commercial featuring Sasseville prior to movies at theaters in the United States.[51] Sasseville was known for aggressively courting sponsors; when unsuccessfully appealing to State Farm in 2008, he traveled to the company's headquarters 700 miles (1,000 km) away in Illinois and talked his way on to the local morning show.[52]

Early Days: Magician[edit]

At age 13, Sasseville took up magic, taking lessons weekly with local Maine magician Bob Nixon. He began performing card magic and stage magic a few months later, earning $250 per show. When he was 15, he was scouted by "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and met with Ellen's producer, Hedda Muskat in Los Angeles.[53] Both shows passed on Sasseville as guest, despite the fact that at age 14, he was one of the youngest to join the Society of American Magicians.[54] Sasseville continued performing throughout high school, as a means to fund his local access TV show.


Sasseville became known for his off-beat interviews—including a variety of locations and odd pairings. Guests included actor Rainn Wilson of The Office, musician and activist Wyclef Jean, Dennis Hoff from The Bunny Ranch, comedian Jim Norton, musician Andy Grammar, the President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda, Al Capone's gay grandson Chris Capone, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the cast of NBC's Will and Grace, Roseanne Barr, Allison Janey, SNL Castmembers, Broadway star Nick Adams, the cast of "The Office," cast of CIrque de Soleil in Las Vegas, magician Lance Burton, Artie Lange from Howard Stern Show, among others.[55][56][57]

University Speaking[edit]

Sasseville and INC Magazine Editor Donna Fenn are interviewed moments before taking the stage together at the David Letterman Lecture Series in 2012

Jake has been booked frequently on speaking tours, thanks to the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour and the FRS Tour. Colleges include St. Louis University, East Lansing, MI Michigan State University Kent, OH Kent State University Bloomington, IN Indiana University University Park, PA Penn State University Rochester, NY University of Rochester Burlington, VT University of Vermont Nashville, TN Vanderbilt University Gainesville, FL University of Florida Murray, KY Murray State University Raleigh, NC North Carolina State University Williamsburg, VA College of William and Mary Miami, FL Florida International University Richmond, KY Eastern Kentucky University Mobile, AL University of S. Alabama Mississippi State, MS Mississippi State University Tampa, FL University of South Florida Winter Park, FL Rollins College Madison, NJ Fairleigh Dickinson University Mount Pleasant, MI Central Michigan University Cincinnati, OH University of Cincinnati Salisbury, MD Salisbury University Erie, PA Gannon University New Britain, CT Central Connecticut University Albany, NY SUNY Albany University of Toledo, University of CT, Central CT U, Eastern CT U, Kean University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Central Michigan University, University of Louisinna, Nichols College, Penn State, Valparaiso University, SUNY Delhi, Florida Internationl University, Ball State University, University of Denver.[58][59][60][61][62][63][64]

Tours and Events[edit]

From 2007 to 2010, Sasseville hosted and produced portions of the "Crocs Next Step Campus Tour," a music tour that traveled to 15 campuses every semester, featuring Kanye West, One Republic, Guster, Fabolous and Brett Dennen.[65] For his part, Sasseville used the platform to launch his social media campaign, "I want my Jake after Jimmy on ABC" which went viral, and secured his place on ABC affiliates.

In 2010 and 2011, Sasseville launched The Pringles Xtreme Campus Tour, which featured J. Cole and We The Kings. For every school the tour visited, Sasseville rallied money and energy to build a school in southeast Asia.[66]

To promote his new show "Late Night Republic," he also embarked on a 40-city road tour, speaking at as many as five universities a day, and holding urban events at night. Events were produced by Kevin Bracken, and included The Great American TV Race (racing on top of TV's on wheels), the Cardboard Tube Battle to Defend the Republic and other events.[67]

Books, Stunts, Publicity and Publicists[edit]

Slightly Famous[edit]

Sasseville's book, which came out in 2012. "Slightly Famous: All revolutions are started by a faceless figure in the crowd."

Sasseville has written about the topic of fame on his blog and most recently, in his newly published book "Slightly Famous."[68]


Sasseville has been represented by some of the most powerful female publicists in the industry, including Susan Blond, who was a protege of Andy Warhol and who's clients include Tina Turner, Prince, Michael Jackson, Sade, Luther Vandross [69] and recently and up to present, Yvette Noel-Schure, who has been responsible for Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Simpson, Will Smith, Adele, Mariah Carey, John Legend and Wyclef Jean.[70] Noel-Schure and Sasseville were friends before she began representing him.[71]

Marketing Stunts[edit]

He's become widely recognized as a disruptive strategic marketer and influencer, pulling from a variety of disciplines including those of Tony Robbins, Bryan Franklin, Frederick Dodson, and techniques from NLP, hypnosis and reality creation.[72]

His "Jake after Jimmy" social media campaign got him on the air on ABC after Jimmy Kimmel.[73]

When the restaurant chain Wendy's refused to take his call to advertise with him, Sasseville showed up at the flagship store beside the corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, inviting every woman named Wendy in the area to have lunch with him at Wendy's. He paid for the lunch, gave away airline tickets as his thanks to one special Wendy and broke the world record for the most women named Wendy having lunch at a Wendy's.[74]

When he was pitching State Farm for business, he showed up at the local ABC affiliate in State Farm's backyard of Peoria, Illinois, hosting a live casting for an idea Sasseville had for an integrated character his show, aptly called "The State Farm Dude."[75]

He broke the world record for largest drum ensemble on Pringles Xtreme cans to win the affinity of the brand.[76]



Sasseville became close friends with Carol Hawkins and her family in 2007. Hawkins was the caretaker and personal assistant to Adam Clayton, bassist for the band U2, and lived with the musician at his home in Dublin since 1992.[77] Hawkins reportedly loaned Sasseville tens of thousand of dollars on numerous occasions in 2007 as he started his first show, "The Edge with Jake Sasseville" on ABC affiliates. Hawkins was later arrested in 2009, charged with stealing $3.45 million from Adam Clayton.[78] She was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2012.[79]

The New York Observer and Martha Plimpton[edit]

At a party with Jerry Seinfeld celebrating Time Magazine entertainment reporter Richard Zoglin, Sasseville was overheard by New York Observer reporter Spencer Morgan speaking to his publicist Susan Blond about an incident that happened on the set of his talk show earlier that week. Morgan published a story calling "Jake Sasseville a most Un-PC Talk Show Host,",[80] reporting that Sasseville lost his guest booking of Martha Plimpton ("The Goonies," "How to Make it in America," "Raising Hope," "The Goodwife") when he offended Plimpton's publicist at a separate taping, joking about religions. For his part, Sasseville told The Observer that as comedian, "he's never trying to offend anyone in particular." He also said he wrote an apology to Plimpton's publicist when he heard she was upset.

Banned from Radio Station[edit]

During a 2011 morning appearance on a New England top-40 radio station, Jake non-chalantly suggested to the DJs that they should call his friend Rainn Wilson, star of the NBC show "The Office," on live radio. Assuring the DJs that they were friends, Sasseville provided them Wilson's cell phone number, ignoring that it was 6:00 a.m. at Wilson's home in Los Angeles. Although Sasseville had warned Wilson ahead of time and the two were in on it together, the DJs nor the listeners didn't know that it was a set up. Wilson sounds befuddled upon answering, as if he's just been woken up and pretends not to know Sasseville. He begins screaming at Sasseville and the DJs, exclaiming inappropriate words like "son of a bitch" and "you bastard."[81] Listeners, not realizing that it was a prank, phoned the station's general manager, suggesting that the DJs be fired and Sasseville be banned from the station.


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