Skip to Content

Jon Kelley is funny, serious, self-deprecating, and a lot like Anderson Cooper

Now that the new host of The Mole has been announced, there’s an obvious question: Is Jon Kelley up to the challenge? Ahmad Rashad did okay with the show’s blend of witty seriousness and quasi-farce, but he also presided over a bastardized version of the series that had celebrities, not regular people, as its cast. His predecessor, Anderson Cooper, really set the standard, combining dry wit and self deprecation with a warm, friendly presence tempered by objective detachment.

So what do we know about former Extra correspondent Jon Kelley, who we won’t see on screen until the show debuts May 26? Based on three clips of his past TV work, he looks like a near-perfect candidate, and on screen comes across a lot like the show’s first host. First, he’s not afraid of having fun, although he’s upstaged by his celebrity co-star in this lighthearted advertisement for Extra:

However, he can also be serious and talk about subjects intelligently, and also casually name-drop celebrities using their first names only (“Ashton and Demi”). Here he is discussing the effects of Hurricane Katrina:

Perhaps best of all, he’s no stranger to ABC reality shows–and could be more like Anderson than his biography suggests. At the very least, he’s not above having some fun and flirting with fellow TV stars:

Extra: Close to the Stars (Eva), Jon Kelley- ROckworks Riff, and Extra: Dancing with Carrie Ann Inaba [YouTube]

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More great stories

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to them.

Happy discussing!