Dead Air: The Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, especially if you’re in talk radio. [The California Sunday Magazine] By Saul Elbein Photographs by Jes Aznar
When Elgin Damasco’s radio talk show was over, his bodyguards would hustle him out of his fortified studio and into his car. They would drive him through the leafy streets of Puerto Princesa, capital of the western Philippine province of Palawan, and bring him home. There he would hunker down until morning. Police had warned him that men had been casing his house. “I don’t even have the freedom to go to the mall,” Damasco told me. Inside the cinder-block walls of his studio, the cherubic 32-year-old felt safe. His sonorous voice was hooked into the most powerful transmitter on Palawan island. He was charging forth, as his station ID went, “to defend the weak and criticize the corrupt.” From 4:00 to 5:30 weekday afternoons, no one could shut him up.
Few people afford Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Cartoon Network’s strange, seminal comedy, its rightful place in the pantheon. But from its bargain-basement launch in 1994 to its place at the center of the wildly popular Adult Swim lineup in the 2000s, it helped introduce cringe comedy to the American viewing public, deconstructed the idea of the talk show beyond repair for a generation of comedians, and changed the look and feel of the entire animation art form.
A hard-hitting panel show that isn't afraid to tackle the tough issues, with a balanced panel of right-wing, left-wing, libertarian and other guests, No, You Shut Up! "takes on the issues of the day until everyone gets too angry to discuss them any further." [more inside]
Tonight Craig Ferguson will host The Late Late Show for the last time and wrap up with an interview with Jay Leno. If you can't stay up late enough to watch it live, you can stream it tomorrow (at least in the USA.) [more inside]
According to Kathy Griffin, when she expressed interest in hosting The Late Late Show, she was told they were "not considering females at this time." This is especially ironic considering that the current Late Late Show host, Craig Ferguson, stated that he thought the next host should "unquestionably be a female." Even worse, there was some talk about David Letterman's Late Show hosting spot going to a woman after he stepped down, but no dice. [more inside]
For those of us who remember, it's hard to believe that the "Morton Downey Jr." show (and consequently the height of Downey's stardom) lasted just two years. A new documentary has attempted to fill in the blanks of his life before and after that very brief celebrity. [more inside]
"2013 has brought an unprecedented wave of new late night shows, some more formally innovative than others. But years before The Colbert Report, another topical show occupied its coveted post-Daily Show spot. A mix of the roundtable debates of Politically Incorrect and the unpredictability of live standup, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn was possibly the purest form of comedy ever on television."
For over five years, journalist and TV presenter Ding Yu headed up a massively popular Chinese TV talk show. Every week, She would sit down with convicted murderers and interview them about their life and crimes, before they were taken out and put to death by either firing squad or lethal injection. The show, "Interviews Before Execution", was taken off the air in March 2012. [more inside]
Rainn Wilson, former beet farmer and paper salesman, interviews friends in the back of his traveling magical van. Questions focus on belief, the meaning(s) of life, life after death, and other oft-overlooked topics. Features exploding blenders, beards intertwining, suspenders, chess-related nightmares, chicken burgers, and more. (youtube channel) (previously)
The Jim J. and Tammy Faye Show was a short-run syndicated talk show from 1996. Staring the eccentric duo of Jim Bullock and Tammy Faye Bakker Messner (replaced by Ann Abernathy due to Tammy Faye's initial cancer diagnosis that ultimately took her). Some off-beat guests included Hula-Hooper Mat Plendl, Sweepstakes King Steve Ledoux, Handwriting Expert Bart Baggett, and in this insane, hot-dog waving intro from episode 6 features sword swallower Zamora The Torture King.
And now, a 1984 talk show performance of Whistling On My Mind. (stupefying SLYT)
After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?! That's right. The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer -- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences (including the iconic animal puppets): "ABC" by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance" by Irene Cara, "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka" by Shakira, "Men in Black" by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant" by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!, "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)" by Tino Rossi. Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious -- he responded to Arthur's "homáge" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
Jeremy Kyle, the morning UK talk-show described by a judge as 'the human equivalent of bear baiting', is, like its closest US equivalent Jerry Springer, famous for featuring 'white trash'/'chav'* storylines and aggressive moralizing. But while Jerry Springer saw his latter-day career turned into an opera, Kyle has been given a rather more urban treatment. [more inside]
Celebrities do odd commercials, and not just in Japan. (SLYT) The same Norwegian program has brought similar joy (?) to the world before.
Carson Entertainment Group, which owns the archive of the late-night host's 30 years on "The Tonight Show," is set to announce Wednesday that it has digitized all 3,300 hours of existing footage from the program and created a searchable online database for producers and researchers. (way previously) [more inside]
The King Is NOT Dead, he's just retiring from his nightly show you didn't realize was still on in order to spend more time with his family and less with Hannity and Maddow. The NYT's David Carr wins the prize for perfectly-timed speculation. So what will happen to Kevin Pollak's "Larry King Game" now?!? [more inside]
Boemerang! Boemerang was a fictional TV Chat Show hosted by Erik Hartman. It comes from Flemish sketch show In De Gloria.
A Turn For the Worse
Pictures From the Daily Mail
Tales of the Unexpected
A Strange Theory of Light and Matter
A Turn For the Worse
Pictures From the Daily Mail
Tales of the Unexpected
A Strange Theory of Light and Matter
On August 8, 1997, the audience of Late Night with Conan O'Brien was made up entirely of eight-year-old children. The episode in five parts: one, two, three, four and five. Andy Richter remembers on This American Life (starting at 50 minutes). [more inside]
The show is loaded with intramural cracks, tedium, desperate looking guests reaching for laughs, mechanical dolls that wave their arms and drop their pants, additional tedium, and the apparent illusion that several million people want to watch 120 minutes of the scriptless life of a semi-educated, egocentric boor. The rise and fall of a late night TV talk show host. [more inside]
After David Letterman signs off and the Worldwide Pants production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Scot making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of puppets (and a couple of scantily-costumed stagehands). Now on YouTube for your viewing pleasure, the complete collection of Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show musical numbers: "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti and Spearhead - "White Lines" by Duran Duran - "Wonderful Night" by Fatboy Slim - "Istanbul" by They Might Be Giants - "Oops!...I Did It Again" by Britney Spears - "MMMBop" by Hanson - "In the Navy" by Village People - "Fireball" by Don Spencer - "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz - "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music - "She Taught Me How To Yodel" by Frank Ifield - "Fire" by The Prodigy - "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" [more inside]
A chance meeting between Kevin Pollak and Jason Calacanis at a poker game gave birth to Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, a weekly, web-based interview program. Episode 29, with guest Weird Al Yankovic, will be streaming live at 8PM ET/5PM PT. While you're waiting, check out previous episodes with guests like Eddie Izzard, Hank Azaria, and John Hamm. Or try your hand at the Larry King Game.
Eric Lieber, producer of the groundbreaking Dick Cavett and Mike Douglas talk shows as well as the creator of (my own beloved guilty pleasure) Love Connection, has passed away of leukemia at age 71. [more inside]
Live from her minivan, it’s The Jeannie Tate Show! Everyone’s favorite soccer mom runs errands around town with the help of special guests like Bill Hader (SNL), Rashida Jones (The Office), Lonny Ross (30 Rock), and Rob Riggle (The Daily Show). Of course, she’s willing to leave the van behind to visit her heroines, Hillary and Oprah. [more inside]
"I'm on Setanta Sports" with José Mourinho. Fantastic. The Special One returns to the world of football with his very own talk show. Very good. More clips inside. Be champions! [more inside]
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Bumper Art Site, mostly from HD TV screencaps. [Personal faves: 1, 2, 3.]
Is Bill Clinton the next Oprah? (nytimes, reg. required) Bill Clinton is looking into the possibility of hosting a daytime talk show. Regardless of you personal and/or political feelings towards Clinton, how do you feel about someone who was the leader of the U.S. becoming a talk show host. For those of you not in the U.S., do you think the general population in your country would view one of their leaders doing this differently than Americans will? (LA Times story)
Politically Incorrect to be no more?! I think this is the best talk show on TV. Politics aside, Maher never panders to his celebrity guests---image, on this show, is just that. I really hope someone else picks it up...
Jerry, Jerry, Jerry... The coolest/funniest BlogSpot blog I've ever come across — for those of us who don't watch a lot of TV, we can still get our Springer fix.
Bill Maher savagely attacks the handicapped. I know its not the brightest or wittiest of shows, but I was amazed when I read the transcript for this episode of Politically Incorrect from last week. Skim the assaults on the overweight at the beginning if you like, but the real action is in the last topic of conversation before the show is over, where Bill compares mentally handicapped children to dogs and Martin Short calls him a "hideous, cold person."