Talkshow host brings humor, tour

Jake Sasseville holds concert to raise money for schools

By Sam Fetters

Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010

Updated: Thursday, September 30, 2010

A student listens as “Late Night Republic” host Jake Sasseville speaks at professor Carol Sullinger’

Nick Kneer/ IC

A student listens as “Late Night Republic” host Jake Sasseville speaks at professor Carol Sullinger’s marketing strategy class in the Savage and Associates Building on Wednesday. Sasseville is touring with the “Pringles Xtreme Campus Music Tour.”

As we walked from Stranahan Hall to the Student Union Building, Jake Sasseville made sure he was the center of attention, whistling at girls leaving their math class and teasing me about my Midwestern accent.

The 24-year-old college dropout-turned-entrepreneur from Maine is the host of the television show "Late Night Republic," which airs on MyTV. According to one of Jerry Springer's producers, Sasseville can be best described as the "bastard love child" of talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Howard Stern.

Sasseville was in the area promoting the "Pringles Xtreme Concert Tour," which stopped at UT last night.

Apart from producing his own television show, Sasseville is the host and part owner of the "Pringles Xtreme Music Tour," which features artists such as We the Kings, Lights Resolve and J. Cole, Jay Z's newest protégé.

For each campus the tour stops at, the event organizers pledge to build one school in southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Laos or Sri Lanka.

The building of the schools is funded through money raised at each event, as well as grassroots donations from companies and individuals. Sasseville said the purpose of the tour goes beyond just the music or building schools; rather, he hopes to inspire this generation to be more giving.

"The only way to eliminate poverty is to elevate education," he said.

Sasseville feels education is the answer for the world's poverty and said education leads to opportunity and creativity, which in turn leads to better health, improved infrastructure, better technology and financial prosperity.

Sasseville stopped at different UT classes yesterday to give inspirational talks about self-promotion, business and networking.

"Do it first, say sorry later," he said.

He told students to be disruptive in the workforce and refuse to be complacent. He also encouraged students to "kick it up a notch" and settle for nothing less than being exceptional.

One of the keys of Sasseville's success is his expert use of advertising. "Late Night Republic" is funded directly by companies instead of television networks. Proctor and Gamble, Ford, and FRS energy drinks have all invested in Sasseville's works.

"There really wasn't any other way [to get the money]," Sasseville said. "Nobody was going to fund me, so I had to be very creative. I feel truthfulness is not only funny but it's real and authentic. I'm not going to try and hide [the advertisements], because kids are too smart. Everyone treats this generation like we're stupid, but we're not — we're geniuses — so why would I try to pull one over the kids' eyes and have some sort of subliminal message?"

When Sasseville was in high school, he lost his younger brother to a terminal illness. The death of his brother sparked something in him and gave him the drive to get out of bed in the morning and do something positive.

Sasseville said a family member's death "changes your life."

"I decided to not whine around or fall into alcoholism or something, I decided to hopefully use my life as a symbol [of what one can accomplish through adversity]."

When speaking with Sasseville it's apparent that he has a genuine passion for his work.

"I'm not the best looking guy, or the funniest guy, and the only thing that has carried me through when I've been completely down and out has been the passion. The ability to get up and say, ‘I will do this thing and I will break through.' And you know what? Everybody is going to laugh at me initially, but I'm still gonna break through."

"Late Night Republic" starring Jake Sasseville airs on MyTV at 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays and replays at 3 p.m. on Sundays, More information on Jake Sasseville, his show and the Pringles Xtreme Music Tour can be found at Latenightrepublic.com.

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