Letterman Retires, Conan Waits by Phone
April 7, 2014 8:59 AM   Subscribe

It's official: David Letterman, the bridge between Johnny Carson and today's viral-video-driven talk shows, is hanging up his desk at the end of his current contract next year. The news was broken by, of all people, REM's Mike Mills via Twitter. Letterman surpassed Carson's record for hosting longevity last year, and many thought that his latest extension would in fact be the last.

The inevitable "Who's next?" conversation jumped into gear immediately. Craig Ferguson, the host of Letterman-following The Late Late Show, has a "Prince of Wales" clause in his contract that gives him the 11:35 Late Show upon Letterman's retirement, but that clause gives CBS a buyout option of $8 to $12 million.

Further possibilities (all of which are, of course, somewhere between Really Being Looked At and Their Agent Wants Their Name In The News) include Stephen Colbert (presumably in his actual persona, not his Colbert Report persona), Ellen Degeneres (who actually makes more money than Letterman at the moment), and... well, of course people are making Top Ten lists about it.
posted by Etrigan (352 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really really hope CraigyFerg doesn't take the job (and he's indicated in the past that he doesn't want it). His current timeslot is perfect for his show.
posted by kmz at 9:01 AM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


Wait, wasn't the news broken by Dave, on the show? He's been looking tired, and I think he just came to the realization that he's done. I'll miss him.
posted by theora55 at 9:03 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


As much as I'd love him to get the slot because he deserves it, I'd be really sad if the Colbert Report went away. It's doing some really important work educating people and calling people out, in addition to being one of the smartest and funniest things on TV right now.
posted by jbickers at 9:05 AM on April 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


I say they put all the possible candidates in velcro suits and see which sticks to the wall the longest.
posted by srboisvert at 9:06 AM on April 7, 2014 [37 favorites]


Wait, wasn't the news broken by Dave, on the show?

...Yes and no. Dave made the announcement during his show, which is taped at 5 pm on weeknights. However, before the show got broadcast at 11:30 pm, Mike Mills - who was presumably there at the studio - tweeted the news.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I figure if Seinfeld says no then they'll give it to their second option, Louis CK, assuming he focus groups well ...
posted by sendai sleep master at 9:09 AM on April 7, 2014 [36 favorites]


Conan Waits by Phone

This is the only way I'll ever picture Conan.
posted by Big_B at 9:09 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Babe Ruth is Retiring
posted by Thorzdad at 9:14 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


I fully support the dozens of articles floating around right now that dare to ask the question "Why doesn't a female comedian host The Late Show?" I fully support the names I've been seeing thrown around: Aisha Tyler, Ellen Degeneres, Chelsea Handler, Amy Pohler, Tina Fey, etc.

There are so many amazing funny women out there that it's amazing this isn't super obvious to CBS right now.
posted by mathowie at 9:14 AM on April 7, 2014 [43 favorites]


However, before the show got broadcast at 11:30 pm, Mike Mills - who was there at the studio - tweeted the news.

I can see the network dimwits sitting around a table with Dave where they are trying to explain to him how to make his show more "viral" and Dave holds up a piece of paper that reads:

#Iretire #fuckoff

you mean like that?


At least that's how I imagine it went. He's the last of a dead breed on network tv. A talk show host who doesn't felate his guests.
posted by any major dude at 9:16 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


I think it's past time for a female late night host.

Ellen's safely ensconced where she is, and would lose her core viewership. Plus her schtick is probably a leetle bland for late night. (I LOVE YOU ELLEN DON'T EVER CHANGE).

Two words: Tina fucking Fey.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:17 AM on April 7, 2014 [17 favorites]




In his house at Montauk, undead Cavett waits dreaming.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:17 AM on April 7, 2014 [36 favorites]


There are so many amazing funny women out there that it's amazing this isn't super obvious to CBS right now.

NBC cancelled Law & Order (doonk doonk). Network heads are fucking morons, and the fact that we occasionally get decent TV out of them is pure luck.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:19 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Personally, I'd like to see it replaced with a TV version of the MetaFilter podcasts, with some elements of the old show (e.g. "Top Ten clicker games", "Top Ten reasons for MetaTalk call-outs") retained.
posted by Wordshore at 9:20 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Of course, as much as I'd love to see Fey with a show, I don't know that she'd want it. Those things can be a slog and she's doing pretty damn good as it is.
posted by emjaybee at 9:21 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


So the part of me that loves television wants to encourage CBS to think outside the box and maybe not have a talk show in that slot and instead some sort of new nightly form of entertainment programming.

But the same part of me doesn't want to end up with NCIS New Orleans After Dark.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:21 AM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


Tig Notaro. Tig Notaro sitting in Dave's chair and spending a whole weird hour communing with the sense of strangeness of Dave not sitting there; Tig, holding a stilted, hostile round-table interview with Zach Galifiniakis and a deeply confused Taylor Swift; Tig, staring into the camera for a long time, too long, saying nothing, the audience busting up in nervous giggles and then falling silent again because they don't know what's happening.

Just like one episode of that, at least.
posted by cortex at 9:21 AM on April 7, 2014 [72 favorites]


Also, in no particular order:

Queen Latifah
Lady Gaga (!!!!!!)
Madonna (I'm actually kind of serious about that)
Condoleeza Rice (ditto; the woman is absolutely brilliant even if she has repugnant politics)

OMG OMG OMG GUYS

JULIA LOUIS DREYFUS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:22 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Jane Krakowski!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:24 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


My reaction to this kind of discussion tends to be, "But I like that person! Why would you put him/her in this not-that-great job?"

Especially Colbert. He's doing his life's work. That would be so sad.

Where these stories end well is where somebody is kicking around and doesn't seem to have found their ideal format yet -- which I think was the case with Ferguson -- and they make it something special. Tina Fey is great at what she already does. Why do this?
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:24 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Except for the fact that I'm a complete unknown, I would be so good at this job. I applied to be his replacement at NBC many years ago but didn't even get an interview.

This is one of several areas where I sort of worry myself with my psychosis.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:25 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love Tina Fey, but how is she at conducting interviews? I can't imagine that's something she'd be amazing at.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:26 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


What about Chevy Chase or Shaq?
posted by charred husk at 9:26 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Josh Charles, as Dan Rydell.
posted by spaltavian at 9:27 AM on April 7, 2014 [19 favorites]


Because it's time for late-night TV to stop being the province of old men? Even if one of them is an old man of colour?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:27 AM on April 7, 2014


what's arsenio up to these days?
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 9:27 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Letterman's replacement will be contractually bound to ask each musical act "Are these your drums?".
posted by dr_dank at 9:28 AM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


Out of curiosity, how does the work schedule differ for a host than, say, a writer/producer/actor of a show like 30 Rock? It seems like there's a lot of apples to oranges comparisons between the way the work is structured. They film daily, and basically into perpetuity, which seems somewhat different from how I conceive of a television show like 30 Rock which was on for X months, off for X months. Plus, Tina Fey has begun dipping her toes into movies, and at least historically the talk show hosts didn't have dual careers going on. They were basically full-time hosts without exception, as best I can remember. A lot of the female names are women who seem to have full-blown developed television or movie careers, or developing ones. Maybe they don't want a gig like this. (I obviously have barely any idea how this industry works though).
posted by scunning at 9:28 AM on April 7, 2014


I'm kind of disappointed in Jimmy Fallon. He's fun and funny, but I kind of like talk and a touch of substance. When I was a kid, even Johnny Carson had authors on, usually in the last 5 or 10 minutes, but they talked about books. So, is there a person who does great interviews, has some brains, and isn't old? Cause it will be somebody young.
posted by theora55 at 9:29 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have a hard time explaining to people significantly younger than myself how great Letterman was in the 80's. I'm not sure how much he shaped my sensibility versus being the first to match what was already there, but looking at the many choices we have today I can't believe how lucky I was to have come of age during his early reign. He is truly one of my heroes. I'll miss you Dave!
posted by ericthegardener at 9:29 AM on April 7, 2014 [24 favorites]


I agree that a talk show hosting gig would be a waste of Tina Fey's talents, but I actually wouldn't mind seeing Colbert move on from the Colbert Report. I love that character, but I think it's starting to stifle him. He's a man of many talents, and I'd love to see him get to exercise more of them on a nightly basis.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:30 AM on April 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


Wow, I feel old now. I remember discovering Letterman freshman year in college and being amazed that that they let have a network show. He's gotten stale lately but back then he was so different than anything else that you pretty much expected him to get fired at any moment.
posted by octothorpe at 9:32 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


So, is there a person who does great interviews, has some brains, and isn't old

Russell Brand
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:33 AM on April 7, 2014 [23 favorites]


what's arsenio up to these days?

The Arsenio Hall Show.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:36 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I really hope Conan just stays where he is, does what he does, and doesn't get put through the wringer again.

Side note: if you're ever playing that Movie Titles That Sound Like They Could Be About Pooping game, the showstopping, can't be beat entry is Conan O'Brien Can't Stop.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:36 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Could Conan break his contract and leave for Letterman? I feel like he's the most logical choice frankly. He needs to be back on network television anyway.
posted by scunning at 9:37 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


That would guarantee I'd never watch the Late Show ever again. Ever. There's something about Brand that just sets my teeth on edge. There's no rational reason for it.

Plus they already have a Foreign Accent doing a late night show. Two would be too much.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:37 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Eric Andre or go home really
posted by neustile at 9:38 AM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


Could Conan break his contract and leave for Letterman?

Wouldn't need to. His contract is up in 2015.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:38 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Gillian Anderson

Not an obvious choice, but she's really funny.
posted by desjardins at 9:39 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love Russell Brand but I think he would be exhausting as a late-night TV show host. Although maybe at 11:30 p.m. that's not so bad?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:40 AM on April 7, 2014


The few episodes of Fallon's and Meyers' shows I've seen have bored me senseless. There's an opportunity, here, and hopefully CBS doesn't stupid their way into a mess like NBC did...

Which is to say: Very, very few people can do this kind of job well. And I'm not convinced that many (if any) of the talented comedians I've seen listed so far have what it takes. CBS might have to get brave and pick someone out of left-field, someone who doesn't already have an established brand or reputation, for this to work.
posted by chasing at 9:41 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Allan Havey used to have a talk show on Comedy Central a hundred years ago, he's probably the best interviewer I've ever seen. Guests would routinely get shaken when he told them the interview was over, like they forgot it was being taped. Wish they would pick someone who actually likes talking to people for a change.
posted by any major dude at 9:41 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Nice out of the box choice on Gillian Anderson, but I get the feeling she is a committed ex-pat these days. She loves the UK and gets tons of good work over there.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:41 AM on April 7, 2014


Hey guys what about Jay Leno

ow not the face
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:41 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Gillian Anderson

Not an obvious choice, but she's really funny.


I would watch the shit out of that.

And notwithstanding my previous comment, Jennifer Saunders. Possibly in character as Eddie. Periodic visits from Pats.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:42 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Which is to say: Very, very few people can do this kind of job well. And I'm not convinced that many (if any) of the talented comedians I've seen listed so far have what it takes. CBS might have to get brave and pick someone out of left-field, someone who doesn't already have an established brand or reputation, for this to work.

Letterman, Conan and Ferguson were all left-field picks, and they're awesome.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:42 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


(And yes I saw that show Vivian Vyle. Not the same at all)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:44 AM on April 7, 2014


They should give a 1-week stint to every person suggested in this thread, and basically anyone else (with sufficient audience pull) who wants it. Put up a permanent survey on CBS.com and take the top 4 "acceptable" names once a month. Forever. That should would be awesome and I would affirmatively try to watch it whenever someone I cared about was on, as opposed to trying basically never, like I do now.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 9:46 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Joe Garden
posted by josher71 at 9:46 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Steve Martin?

I could see Steve Martin being an exceptional late-night host.
posted by schmod at 9:46 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Letterman, Conan and Ferguson were all left-field picks, and they're awesome.

I'd argue that Letterman wasn't as left-field as you think. Dave has been a TV guy practically from day-1, starting in college and continuing straight through to today. Yeah, he did some stand-up, but he's always been focused on TV gigs (anyone remember his daytime show on NBC?)
posted by Thorzdad at 9:46 AM on April 7, 2014


For me, Brand's unpleasantness is largely the jittery unblinking intensity, plus the creeping sensation that same intensity comes from a continuous, near mortal terror that if he is not being noticed, he will wink out of existence.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:46 AM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


Joey Buttafoucault: "They should give a 1-week stint to every person suggested in this thread, and basically anyone else (with sufficient audience pull) who wants it. Put up a permanent survey on CBS.com and take the top 4 "acceptable" names once a month. Forever. That should would be awesome and I would affirmatively try to watch it whenever someone I cared about was on, as opposed to trying basically never, like I do now."

Sadly, this formula doesn't seem to work for SNL about 80% of the time, and that only needs to air once a week.
posted by schmod at 9:47 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Letterman, Conan and Ferguson were all left-field picks, and they're awesome.

I wonder if Letterman or anyone over at CBS has had the idea to scour some popular podcasts. Seems like an interesting way to discover new talent that are capable of creating quality content on a schedule, interviewing guests, and also coming at the whole thing with a truly different perspective.
posted by chasing at 9:48 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Truthfully, Maron would be one of the few genuinely interesting and promising picks they could make in terms of putting the substance back in the interview portion, but again, I don't know why, creatively speaking, he'd want that gig instead of the one he has.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:49 AM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


I could see Steve Martin being an exceptional late-night host.

If not for the fact that he's two years older than Letterman, sure.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:50 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Howard Stern. His Sirius contract is going to be up in 2015 and he's made the move to prime time TV, so it might be an outside possibility, albeit not a popular one. His interviews are amazing (although the self promotion may not go over well). Plus, Letterman gave Stern a national audience back in the 80's. So there's history there.
posted by Benway at 9:50 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Carson's problem is that he had very little competition and was actually very funny, so he didn't really need to resort to the garbage the newer generation has had to and he knew when to leave, something Letterman should have done many years ago.

Does the show actually need to continue to exist? Is there some law of economics that demands a comedic platform for late-night sales pitches made by meandering entertainment personalities that can be easily sold as cultural events to the uninformed?

The could easily have a fifteen year-old play their favorite Youtube videos of the day while explaining them to someone thrice their age. Same audience.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:50 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


> There are so many amazing funny women out there that it's amazing this isn't super obvious to CBS right now.

I think the problem with this premise is that the great talk show hosts seem to exist at the intersection of the sets of good comedians and good interviewers, and that subset is really small.

It's a challenge to be both a good talker and a good listener, after all.

Which isn't a challenge to the idea that a woman could or should replace Letterman (who hardly ever did standup or acting outside of sketches on his show). It's that the roster of our best woman comedians is not necessarily the place to start looking.
posted by ardgedee at 9:53 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


They should give Aisha Tyler a looksee. She's a good interviewer on her podcast. My only hesitation with her is that like Conan, she can sometimes come across as too smart for the room.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:53 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


If it does end up being another caucasian male, I sure hope they consider Chris Hardwick. Instant and young audience, already in place.
posted by jbickers at 9:53 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Howard Stern.

Is only six years younger than Letterman. CBS won't want to pour millions of dollars into someone they won't get at least a decade out of.
posted by Etrigan at 9:54 AM on April 7, 2014


Neil Patrick Harris or Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:55 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


names I've been seeing thrown around: Aisha Tyler

Plus: Brilliant, funny.
Minus: Would feel compelled to quickly change channel if wife walked into room and saw me watching her.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:56 AM on April 7, 2014


I enjoy Hardwick for what he is, and I listen to his podcasts and watch his stuff. But he's an even bigger fawning suckup than Fallon, so that would give me pause.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:57 AM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


Steve Martin?

I could see Steve Martin being an exceptional late-night host.


Yeah, as (on preview) Sys Rq alludes to, Steve Martin will be a few months shy of 70 when Letterman's run ends. Letterman will be 68 next year and the Grand Old Man himself, Carson, was 66 when he left the airwaves.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:57 AM on April 7, 2014


End of an era. I drifted away long ago, I guess mostly because the guests were so boring at shilling whatever they were there to shill, but this is sad.
posted by thelonius at 9:58 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gillian Anderson

I will support this idea only if her sidekick/bandleader is Mads Mikkelsen, and each night he's decked out in a different Hawaain shirt.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:00 AM on April 7, 2014 [16 favorites]


I remember on Johnny's last night, Bette Midler sang to him. Who's Dave gonna get? (I'm hoping Tom Waits). (or at least Richard Simmons).
posted by jonmc at 10:00 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


I guess I'm showing my own age here, but I'm just old enough that I'll always think of Dave as the upstart, irreverent kid to Johnny Carson's Establishment. He had the sort of "Let's see what we can get away with" vibe that Ferguson has now; maybe that just comes with the later time slot, but it went so well with Dave's personality.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:00 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's weird, I really want it to go to a female comedian, but I actually don't think there's anybody out there -- with the exception of Chelsea Handler -- who is a likely choice.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are sketch/sitcom actors, not standups, and usually talk show hosts have at least some standup background.

Ellen Degeneres has too big of a thing going in daytime, and it would be hard to completely re-create her brand and ditch her current audience for a different audience that would have to be built from scratch.

Aisha Tyler also fits more into the "comedy actor" slot than the "comedian's comedian" slot, though she does have some standup background, so maybe? And isn't she on The Talk, which gives her reasonable talk show bona fides? I might be wrong about this "no woman has the right background" thing. Aisha Tyler is pretty well poised for it.

I was recently musing about how Margaret Cho needs her own late night show, though I think I was imagining something more like her taking CraigyFerg's spot when he takes Letterman's, or something on cable.

In real life, I think the most likely candidate aside from Ferguson is Pete Holmes. Or maybe Chelsea Handler?
posted by Sara C. at 10:01 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]




Who's Dave gonna get?

Cripsin Glover will, with tearful gravitas, not quite kick him in the head again.
posted by cortex at 10:02 AM on April 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


Neil Patrick Harris or Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Neil Patrick Harris AND Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Two Neils, six names, one show - this fall on CBS.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:02 AM on April 7, 2014 [40 favorites]


CBS should just go balls-out and get Lena Dunham.
posted by nerdler at 10:03 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Joel McHale? His name came up in speculation about possible hosts of Late Night ( now with Seth Meyers,) but I haven't seen him on any of these recent lists. As a dark horse pick that certainly wouldn't break the mold: Bob Odenkirk.
posted by Lorin at 10:03 AM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]



If it does end up being another caucasian male, I sure hope they consider Chris Hardwick. Instant and young audience, already in place.

We do love some @Midnight at our house, so I'd watch.

Joel McHale might be a good pick. Or not. Funny people aren't necessarily awesome interviewers.

I'm also sort of wondering if this whole thing isn't played out. Do we need another chat show?

I vote for videos of cats from 12:35 to 1:35
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:04 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Who's Dave gonna get?

Drew Barrymore?
posted by mudpuppie at 10:04 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I wonder how Chris Rock would do as a talk show host.
posted by surplus at 10:06 AM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


Someone asked about the difference in schedule between Late Night and a sitcom/other types of TV:

The main thing is that you have to do a show EVERY DAY. Day in, day out, pretty much year round. You get weekends off, but I imagine that you're not really off, since the writer's room and various other production concerns (suit fittings, pre-taped bits, research, important meetings, etc) never really rest.

With TV, unless you are the central protagonist of a sitcom, you only work on the days your scenes shoot. And you get two months off per year to either not work or pursue other projects. I think it's tough for someone like Tina Fey or Louis C.K. who are in practically every scene and also work closely with the writers, but if you're, for example, Aziz Ansari, you probably actually go to work maybe 2-3 days a week.
posted by Sara C. at 10:06 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Most of the people on that "11 women who could host Late Night" list are absolutely out of the question.

Anyone who isn't a comedian on some level (Madonna, Gillian Anderson, Lady Gaga, Shaq), is not in consideration at all, never will be, and more importantly shouldn't be.

I would love to see Tig Notaro in this! She won't be considered because she has no real track record of this kind of thing, but I'd love to see her with a baby late night show on cable somewhere, racking up experience and biding her time.

I really hope it's not Jerry Seinfeld. He's the worst interviewer, per his Comedians In Cars With Coffee web series.
posted by Sara C. at 10:08 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


any major dude: He's the last of a dead breed on network tv. A talk show host who doesn't felate his guests."

The Felate Show?
posted by chavenet at 10:09 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Retta could be pretty great, though, again like Tig Notaro, she needs to start with a baby starter show now to prove she has what it takes.
posted by Sara C. at 10:09 AM on April 7, 2014


How about Joseph Dreamboat Levitt then? Gives good interviews, is funny...

And Sara, my whole point was picking someone way the hell out of the box to rejuvenate the idea of late night TV before the wasteland of infomercials.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:10 AM on April 7, 2014


If there wasn't a terrific amount of schtick involved in the format of a late-night talk show, I'd put money on Marc Maron getting the gig.
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:10 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think they should hand it over to MeFi's own YoungAmerican.
posted by brundlefly at 10:12 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know how America would react to Maron doing 25 minute long opening monologues about cats and his girlfriend every weeknight.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:12 AM on April 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


Bring back Space Ghost!
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:12 AM on April 7, 2014 [25 favorites]


I'd like to see Charles Barkley fill in for a week or two.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:14 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Kevin Pollack's Chat Show podcast is pretty good, and I think he has the right sensibility for 11:30.
posted by KingEdRa at 10:14 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lorin, I was going to say Bob Odenkirk, too! (I mean, if none of the excellent female host suggestions don't pan out and they absolutely must go with a middle aged white guy.) Totally my dark horse candidate.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 10:14 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


If I were CBS, I wouldn't replace Dave at all.

I'd get rid of a talk show at 11:35 and do something more interesting. Talk shows are boring and not enough people, especially in the "core demo" watches them.

In the demographic everyone wants, Adult Swim crushes Letterman and Kimmel (and Conan and Colbert). And unlike CBS/ABC, those channels have almost zero relevant lead in like the local news. Something to chew on while we imagine just swapping out hosts.
posted by cell divide at 10:14 AM on April 7, 2014


Hmmm. Graham Norton previously. I wonder if he is free?
posted by aesop at 10:15 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wonder how Chris Rock would do as a talk show host.

He had one for 4 years...

posted by Fidel Cashflow at 10:15 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


How about Joseph Dreamboat Levitt then? Gives good interviews, is funny...


Levitt already has a show, a far-end of the cable dial thing called HitRecord on TV. Not that a person couldn't leave a tiny gig for a bigger one, but HitRecord is very close to his heart. (Also, his show is kind of like an explosion at the twee factory. It's nice, but I doubt it shows what CBS would want.)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:16 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


my whole point was picking someone way the hell out of the box to rejuvenate the idea of late night TV before the wasteland of infomercials.

They won't do this.

They might pick someone "out of the box" in terms of Not Craig Ferguson Or Conan O'Brien, but they won't pick someone who:

Doesn't have a comedy background on some level

Has never done standup

Has never done anything in a daily talk show format before

They might pick someone who is a relative unknown and who has never specifically had a late night talk show of their own, like Aisha Tyler or Tig Notaro. They would probably consider someone like Chris Rock or Jerry Seinfeld, whose names are such huge draws that it doesn't matter if they are great interviewers or have the staying power to do 5 shows a week for 20 years.

They won't pick Mindy Kaling. Period. Not because she's not cool, but because she just doesn't have the specific skill set you need to be a late night host.
posted by Sara C. at 10:16 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Garry Shandling.
posted by goethean at 10:16 AM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


Garry Shandling? Why not just throw up back to back Cheers re-runs, they'd probably do rather well.
posted by Lorin at 10:18 AM on April 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


In the demographic everyone wants, Adult Swim crushes Letterman and Kimmel (and Conan and Colbert)

I'm pretty sure network late night talk shows are not going for "The Demo" in the way that Adult Swim is. They're looking for the older 35+ demographic who watch prime time shows, then the local news, then A Late Night Show.

Especially CBS. They know nobody under 40 watches their network, and they don't care.
posted by Sara C. at 10:18 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Personally I see nothing stopping me from hosting The Late Show.
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM on April 7, 2014 [15 favorites]


So I'm not completely speaking generalities, here are the numbers from late March. Tonight Show is down but actually still winning. These are all 18-49 % of viewers watching numbers:

NBC “Tonight,” 1.70
Adult Swim, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, 0.85
NBC “Late Night,” 0.76
ABC “Kimmel,” 0.68
Adult Swim, 12:30-1:30 a.m. ET, 0.59
CBS “Late Show,” 0.55
ABC “Nightline,” 0.41
Comedy Central, “The Daily Show,” 0.39
TBS, 11 p.m.-midnight, “Conan,” 0.37
CBS “Late Late Show,” 0.35/2
Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report,” 0.30
posted by cell divide at 10:20 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actual Pick: Amy Sedaris a thousand times Amy Sedaris.
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on April 7, 2014 [21 favorites]


I am willing to throw my unconditional support behind The Whelk for this position.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:20 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I would love to see Chelsea Handler in that spot, but wonder if her style is too risque for conservative CBS. Aisha Tyler makes a lot of sense: She has the stand-up chops to deliver great monologues and her podcast has proven her to be an excellent interviewer.

Howard Stern. His Sirius contract is going to be up in 2015 and he's made the move to prime time TV, so it might be an outside possibility, albeit not a popular one. His interviews are amazing (although the self promotion may not go over well).

Selfishly, I would hate to see this. While I agree that Stern is without peer as an interviewer, part of what makes his interviews so great is the format of satellite, where he can have a deep, in depth, enlightening conversation with someone for up to 90 minutes. The idea of that format being scrapped in favor of a quick, superficial "Here's a preplanned anecdote and a plug for my movie" conversation is depressing. Plus, I agree that it's doubtful CBS would pick someone who is already 60 years old and looking to wind down (based on his current 3-day a week radio schedule).
posted by The Gooch at 10:20 AM on April 7, 2014


It's time Hank Kingsley got his shot at the big chair.
















hey now!
posted by COBRA! at 10:20 AM on April 7, 2014 [15 favorites]


Especially CBS. They know nobody under 40 watches their network, and they don't care.

Nope. They're all going for the demo. It just means they can sell ads for more money, which is the only name of the game. 35+, as long as they are under 50, are still solidly in the demo.
posted by cell divide at 10:22 AM on April 7, 2014


I think they should just give it to Geoff Peterson from The Late Late Show and cal it a day.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:23 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I am willing to throw my unconditional support behind The Whelk for this position.

Coming to you live from my celebrity dungeon a mile underneath the Ed Sullivan theatre.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know how America would react to Maron doing 25 minute long opening monologues about cats and his girlfriend every weeknight.

By switching to Fallon, no doubt. I guess Maron's more of a Tom Snyder anyway.

Amy Poehler strikes me as a great option, except I see her getting bored with it after a year or two.

It seems that you'd have to be willing to put 25 years into this job. Most everyone that's been suggested for this role seem to be folks that could excel in a number of formats and wouldn't want to get trapped into this kind of career.
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:24 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Giancarlo Esposito in character as Gus Fring.

If a guest wasn't working out Esposito would calmly start changing into a pair of lab overalls.
posted by bondcliff at 10:24 AM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


I am willing to throw my unconditional support behind The Whelk for this position.

you owe me a new keyboard
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:24 AM on April 7, 2014


I have a feeling The Whelk's celebrity interviews would be a lot like Jack Black's appearance on The Puppet Telethon in The Muppets.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:25 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually, duh, all of this mention of Maron reminds me of the one true answer to this: the TV industry has owed Gallagher a show for at least 30 years. GALLAGHER! GALLAGHER!
posted by COBRA! at 10:26 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


That would satisfy the melon lobby, I'm sure.
posted by brundlefly at 10:27 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I remember on Johnny's last night, Bette Midler sang to him. Who's Dave gonna get?

Bill Murray.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:27 AM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


John Roderick for Late Show.
posted by rocketman at 10:28 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


The problem with suggesting anyone who doesn't already do this for a living isn't that they couldn't pull it off. Lots of them probably could. The problem is that they'd have to give up whatever they are currently doing to make time. Does anyone really want to give up The Colbert Report? Louie? Maron?

I personally think Neko Case would be dynamite. Have you ever heard her interviewed? She's literate and thoughtful, but self-deprecating and charming. And on @Midnight, she showed she has a rapier wit. But I'd straight-up kidney stab anyone who tried to get her to put her music on the backburner.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:30 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


In this day and age, I wouldn't think CBS would feel like the next Late Show host will be expected to be a lifer. Seems like only the Tonight Show would have that expectation.

I wonder what Dave would do down the road. I'd like to see him co-host a low-key show with Regis and Grodin. Just three old guys bantering. Limit guests to guys like Bill Murray and Steve Martin.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:33 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Dana Carvey.
posted by Melismata at 10:34 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


If I were Conan, I'd be grinding my teeth in bed at night. Would it have killed Dave to retire a few few years ago, when Leno was pulling his shenanigans at NBC? What poetic justice it would've been to see Conan pushed out of the "Tonight Show" just like Dave was -- and by the same guy! -- only to jump ship and compete with him, just like Dave did. It would've saved Conan the indignity of going to basic cable, and Dave four years of doing a show he obviously had little interest in anymore.
posted by Missiles K. Monster at 10:35 AM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


How about Janeane Garofalo? She's done stand-up and has two years of experience as a co-host of a show, albeit in radio. And at 49(!) she should be young enough for a good run on the The Late Show.
posted by orange swan at 10:37 AM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


I remember on Johnny's last night, Bette Midler sang to him. Who's Dave gonna get?

Hologram Zevon
posted by thelonius at 10:38 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


This thread is too much about the next Dave and not enough about The Dave.

I first heard of him in the summer of 1980, as I killed the last few months of my "gap year" before starting college. I watched the shit out of that daytime show. Mrs. Marv Mendenhall, produced by "Space Age Meats", Stupid Pet Tricks.... It's hard to describe how different his sensibility was then, because at this point it's been so thoroughly been absorbed by pop culture. But I'll try. Before David Letterman, if you were an entertainer, you took yourself seriously. You didn't mock your own work or the form. You were earnest and you wanted to be liked. There were some exceptions -- early SNL (particularly Bill Murray and Chevy Chase), Mad Magazine, Albert Brooks.. but Dave wrapped it all up and delivered it fresh every day. (Needless to say, the daytime slot was not ideal for him.)

Was the mainstreaming of Irony a good thing? Lots of people, including me on my cranky days, would say no. It became an attitude you hide behind because you're afraid to commit. (I still don't know whether anyone really likes PBR.) But David Letterman brought irony and intentional stupidity into people's living rooms and it was new, exciting and entertaining as hell to watch.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:38 AM on April 7, 2014 [28 favorites]


It's time Hank Kingsley got his shot at the big chair.

I would be hilarious to see him guest-host a show in character!! Back from two decades out of show business to finally have his shot.
posted by beau jackson at 10:39 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


How about Janeane Garofolo?

Got my vote.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:39 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


This thread is too much about the next Dave and not enough about The Dave.

Letterman changed the way I laugh. Not in a metaphorical sense. I absorbed his giggle into my normal laugh when I was 18 or so and have never been able to get rid of it.
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:41 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Strong Bad
posted by mcmile at 10:42 AM on April 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


Dylan Moran, but only in the character of Bernard Black.
posted by gohabsgo at 10:44 AM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


I don't think Conan will get it. His cable show doesn't have the ratings. I think Ferguson will get it because he is cheap and is good counter programming for Fallon and Kimmel.
posted by humanfont at 10:47 AM on April 7, 2014


Speaking of Black Books folk, I'd watch Bill Bailey. Yes, I would. He's funny, witty, and would be his own Paul Shaffer.
posted by droplet at 10:49 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


If I were Conan, I'd be grinding my teeth in bed at night.

He could be the Irish Rodney Dangerfield. Cohen O'Brien.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:51 AM on April 7, 2014


So I'm not completely speaking generalities, here are the numbers from late March. Tonight Show is down but actually still winning. These are all 18-49 % of viewers watching numbers:

All of whom are in this thread, apparently

I mean, I don't think I know anyone in real life who watches late-night talk shows but not only do the people here watch them, but watch them enough to have strong opinions about them.

Seriously though, it's interesting, the current "resurgence" that late-night seems to be going through recently.
After basically being cultural background noise for ages, lately it seems I can't turn around without someone mentioning Fallon or another talk-show.
posted by madajb at 10:51 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Paul Rudd, and every clip for every guest is that one from Mac and Me.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:52 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


My love for Craig Ferguson is pure and true, but I don't want to see him leave the Late Late Show for the supposedly greener pastures of the 11:35 Late Show. He gets the freedom to be weird on the Late Late Show, and try out weird things like going to Paris with Kristen Bell and having a robot skeleton sidekick. I'm not sure he'd have that in the more mainstream 11:35 slot.

I don't want to see Colbert leave the Colbert Report either. It feels a little weird to call a satirical TV show important work, but it really is for all that it sometimes falls short of the mark, and I'd hate to see Colbert leave it for something so bland and unchallenging as the standard late night talk show.

I've seen some people kicking Jon Stewart around as another possibility, and that's yet another person I don't want to see leave their regular gig. Seems like a lot of the best candidates are people I wouldn't want to see leave their regular gig. Maybe Chris Hardwick, but I agree with others that he's a little too fawning as an interviewer.
posted by yasaman at 10:53 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Only if Paul Rudd tells us the location of the magic spring that made him eternally youthful and unchanging.
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 AM on April 7, 2014


What about the other successful ex-Daily Show Steve: Carell would be pretty personable behind the desk. Funny, witty but more of a mainstream taste than Colbert or Stewart.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:55 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've seen some people kicking Jon Stewart around as another possibility, and that's yet another person I don't want to see leave their regular gig

Five'll get you ten that Stewart leaves at the end of the next season.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:57 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


HIRE JULIE KLAUSNER

She does great interviews. She's hilarious. And she even interned at Letterman back in the day. She's so fucking perfect for this.

And Greg Behrendt should be the band leader.
posted by mullacc at 10:57 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Maybe the world is finally ready for Max Headroom.

Maybe.
posted by davelog at 10:57 AM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


From his wikipedia entry -

Letterman began his career as a radio talk show host on WNTS (AM), and on Indianapolis television station WLWI (now called WTHR) as an anchor, and weatherman. He received some attention for his unpredictable on-air behavior, which included congratulating a tropical storm for being upgraded to a hurricane and predicting hail stones "the size of canned hams."[19] He would also occasionally report the weather and the day's very high and low temps for fictitious cities ("Eight inches of snow in Bingree and surrounding areas") while on another occasion saying that a state border had been erased.[20] ("From space you can see the border between Indiana and Ohio has been erased. I'm not in favor of this.") He also starred in a local kiddie show, made wisecracks as host of a late night TV show called "Freeze-Dried Movies" (he once acted out a scene from "Godzilla" using plastic dinosaurs),[21] and hosted a talk show that aired early on Saturday mornings called "Clover Power,"[22] in which he interviewed 4-H members about their projects.[23]

It's going to be hard to find someone as effortlessly amusing as Letterman, who enjoys taking risks on camera. In the '80's, his show was consistently funnier and edgier than SNL, and the way he went after McCain in '08 was amazing.

Who else is going to book Harvey Pekar, multiple times, set up an on-air feud with him, and sic him on a rival production one studio over? Who else is just going to let Harmony Koine just talk for a bit? Who else is going to book a professional wrestler and a comedian to attack each other? (And if you think Dave wasn't in on that...)

No-one listed so far really qualifies. (Not even Conan.) Replacing David Letterman isn't enough. You need to replace the show, and with something new and relevant.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:58 AM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


Seriously though, it's interesting, the current "resurgence" that late-night seems to be going through recently.
After basically being cultural background noise for ages, lately it seems I can't turn around without someone mentioning Fallon or another talk-show.


I'd say it's because of Youtube. I don't watch Fallon on the actual TV at all, and wouldn't call myself a regular viewer or anything, but I do often check out clips of his show on Youtube, and Fallon's Tonight Show seems to regularly court viral video success. Fallon does fun sketches and musical performances that play well in clip form, whereas Letterman is the classic leave it on as background noise pick. And I love Ferguson, but the charm of his show is in basically hanging out with Craig Ferguson and Geoff Peterson for an hour, which is exactly what some people look for in a late night show, but isn't exactly the reason there's a late night resurgence lately.
posted by yasaman at 10:58 AM on April 7, 2014


What about the other successful ex-Daily Show Steve: Carell would be pretty personable behind the desk. Funny, witty but more of a mainstream taste than Colbert or Stewart.

pre-Office Steve Carell would have been a great scouting pick. Now that he's a movie star, I doubt he'd want to take a step back.
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:59 AM on April 7, 2014


Let's see, Fallon's funny but silly-funny, not witty-funny, and he's notable for his taste in music, and CBS is CBS and when trying to counter Fallon they will miss the mark by about 10 years because they don't know anything about Kids These Days - CBS presents The Late Show with Zach Braff.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:02 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, how many people here actually watch Letterman on a regular basis? I haven't since high school. Letterman himself is a genius but it always seemed like the show format was a major handicap.

Who wants to see interviews with the current round of celebrities promoting movies? Fans who appreciate Letterman would seem the least likely to want to see those. At least that's how I feel.

And the monologues are too topical and superficial. So much talent wasted trying to come up with timely jokes four times a week whether or not there was anything worth goofing on.

I blame this dumb format for robbing us of the full experience of Letterman's comedy. It would have been so much better to see him once a week in a more free form context.
posted by mullacc at 11:03 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hologram Zevon

You can't start it like a car. You can't stop it with a gun.

Perfect.

I'd add Eddie Vedder doing an acoustic version of Black.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:06 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


It would take a lot, on an epic Hercules-Augean Stables scale, to get me to give the smallest of shits about late night TV again. Letterman stopped being watchable 15 years ago. Unless and until the networks really stop being miserable Ouroboros-style self gratifying swamps of cultural vomitus, hire someone with chops, and start talking about shit that is a couple of removes from the current bastard child of the UK's Daily Mail and the National Enquirer, it will continue to be irrelevant and not a little sad.

(Janeane Garofalo? Sure.)
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:08 AM on April 7, 2014


I'm really into Aziz Ansari doing this. Or (left-field, I know) Alison Brie.
posted by naju at 11:09 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


And there's no way this would work, but it's hilarious imagining it: Maria Bamford.
posted by naju at 11:10 AM on April 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


There needs to be a late night panel show consisting of Charlie Sheen, Sean Young, Gary Busey, and Danny Bonaduce discussing sports, politics, and chemtrails.
posted by horsewithnoname at 11:11 AM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


They’re probably looking for someone with a higher profile, but there are a bunch of Daily Show alums springing to my mind who would make good hosts in their own right. I love Mo Rocca’s show on The Cooking Channel; he has a way of interviewing that makes it seem like he really enjoys talking to people, and he can tease them without coming off as mean-spirited. Plus, he already works for CBS.

Five'll get you ten that Stewart leaves at the end of the next season.

Bit of a Stewart derail: I wish they'd change the color of the Daily Show backdrop to go better with his graying hair. The bright blue glow makes him look like a vintage blue-rinsed Grandma.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:13 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


This thread is too much about the next Dave and not enough about The Dave.

Stream of consciousness:

The Guy Under The Seats
Larry "Bud" Melman
Brother Theodore
Linda Ellerbee
My mom coming in to turn off the tv and catching my (HS) BF & I doing it.
Velcro
Bill Murray
"And how do the Kennedys feel about having a black ploughman in the family?"
"Hyp-NO-tize"
Hal Gurtner Gurnee
Cher
Steve Martin
How I still think he's on NBC
The home office in Sioux City, IA

I haven't really watched any late-nite TV in years, but Letterman was such a huge influence. Thank you Dave.

If I had to throw a name into the ring for replacement, my vote is for Bonnie Hunt.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:14 AM on April 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


Chris Elliot. Dave signed a blood pact with him after Cabin Boy tanked.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:14 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm putting my vote in for Watson.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:15 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


They have to go young to counter Fallon (who isn't young, but plays young). A woman would be a welcome choice but you can immediately rule out the ex-SNL contingent unless they want to burn all their bridges with Lorne Michaels.
Garofalo has her funny moments but can't carry a show, IMO. Amy Schumer or Sarah Silverman could, but they would be in danger of pushing the limits of offensiveness for CBS.
My pick for female host would be Wanda Sykes or Ellen DeGeneres.
If they go male, I could see Jon Stewart getting the offer.
posted by rocket88 at 11:16 AM on April 7, 2014


If he wants it it'll be Kevin Pollak.
Doubt he wants it though.
posted by fullerine at 11:16 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


This thread is too much about the next Dave and not enough about The Dave.

Stream of consciousness:


We Drop Stuff Off A Five-Story Tower
We Crush Things With a Steamroller
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:17 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]



I'm really into Aziz Ansari doing this.


I feel like he'd be a good talk show host, but not for another 15-20 years or so.
posted by sweetkid at 11:18 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Who else is going to book Harvey Pekar, multiple times, set up an on-air feud with him, and sic him on a rival production one studio over? Who else is just going to let Harmony Koine just talk for a bit? Who else is going to book a professional wrestler and a comedian to attack each other? (And if you think Dave wasn't in on that...)

No-one listed so far really qualifies. (Not even Conan.)


Craig Ferguson comes closest as the guy who's done some off-the-beaten-path stuff like interviewing Desmond Tutu (and winning a Peabody for it), having a show that's a long-format interview with Stephen Fry, doing weeks' worth of shows abroad, doing fun song-and-dance lipsync numbers, etc. I just wonder how much of that stuff he's allowed to do thanks to the relative lack of scrutiny of the Late Late Show timeslot, and because he doesn't always get the A-list stars as guests.

I've liked Letterman best when he's straight up weird, and I've really appreciated his show's music choices, but it's always seemed like he's been constrained from doing his best comedy by the show's format. Sometimes I feel like he was close to reaching Space Ghost levels of absurdity, but then the show would always return to the usual flogging of guests' latest projects.
posted by yasaman at 11:19 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


And there's no way this would work, but it's hilarious imagining it: Maria Bamford.

I'm OK with this as long as she still has time to do Adventure Time voices.
posted by drezdn at 11:25 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]



I'm really into Aziz Ansari doing this. Or (left-field, I know) Alison Brie.
posted by naju at 2:09 PM on 4/7
[2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


And there's no way this would work, but it's hilarious imagining it: Maria Bamford.
posted by naju at 2:10 PM on 4/7
[4 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Yes! YES TO THESE
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:25 AM on April 7, 2014


How about... Sara Benincasa?
posted by drezdn at 11:25 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I could see CBS pulling Wayne Brady or Drew Carey off of Let's Make a Deal or The Price is Right, actually. That seems like a very CBS move.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:26 AM on April 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


I just googled Chelsea Handler, because this thread and something random that happened this weekend reminded me that she exists.

There are a bunch of news stories about her being on the shortlist for this.

Her Wikipedia page mentions that her contract with E! is up this year and she is looking for her next project.

I don't want to say the writing is on the wall (the job is Ferguson's if he wants it, and there are a few other people on the list), but it's pretty clear that CBS is considering a woman, at least.
posted by Sara C. at 11:26 AM on April 7, 2014


As derided as his gig hosting the Oscars was, it produced my favorite Dave and Oscar moment.

He managed to bring in a dog and his owner to do a Stupid Pet Trick (and got Tom Hanks out of the front row to assist). The "trick" was that the dog spun around at great speed, and Dave said something about you can't have yourself a TV program without spinning dogs. The takeaway I have from that moment (other than Hanks' incredulous expression) was that Dave did it just to communicate to everyone watching that even though some treat the Oscars like a royal coronation, when it comes right down to it, IT'S JUST A GODDAMN TV SHOW.

And so, with all the efforts over the years with Jon Stewart and Seth MacFarlane and everyone else to take some hot air out of the broadcast, I think Dave did it first and did it best.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:28 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Drew Carey and Craig Ferguson swapped shows for April Fool's Day, and I have to say, Drew Carey was not good, at least for the 3 minutes or so I watched before I couldn't take any more. The jokes were just bad and the worst kind of late night, low-hanging fruit fare. I sure hope he's not in the running.
posted by yasaman at 11:31 AM on April 7, 2014


Paul F. Tompkins.
posted by frenetic at 11:32 AM on April 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


Drew Carey and Craig Ferguson swapped shows for April Fool's Day, and I have to say, Drew Carey was not good, at least for the 3 minutes or so I watched before I couldn't take any more. The jokes were just bad and the worst kind of late night, low-hanging fruit fare. I sure hope he's not in the running.

Yeah, I don't think he'd be good either. But CBS' big thing is "don't rock the boat with the existing demographic", so I could see them choosing familiarity over quality.

Paul F. Tompkins.

This would be the most wonderful thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:34 AM on April 7, 2014


My favorite Letterman bits weren't his iconoclasm, which I think requires little skill, but his understatement. I feel like a lot of the humor of younger generation comedians revolves around exaggeration. Especially Stewart, who sometimes seems to base 10% of his punchlines on profanity, or Conan, much of whose material revolves around mugging for the camera. Compare that to Letterman's brevity and absence of expression when he skewers Kristen Stewart around 5:15 in this interview, without her even realizing it. Despite the superficial differences in their styles, I think that mastery of understatement is a big part of why many considered Letterman Carson's true heir.
posted by gsteff at 11:34 AM on April 7, 2014 [13 favorites]


Drew Carey and Craig Ferguson swapped shows for April Fool's Day, and I have to say, Drew Carey was not good

Drew Carey is so creepy and weird on "The Price is Right" and I can't figure it out. He seems, I don't know, bored? Disdainful? But also like he's covering it up by being really sugary and fake? I don't care for it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:34 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]




Paul F. Tompkins

I dunno, I was thinking maybe Buddy Valastro. Or, you know who would be fun? Garry Marshall.
posted by cortex at 11:35 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just transplant Comedy Bang Bang over to the Late Show's time slot and have Tompkins on as every third guest.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:37 AM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


More from Splitsider: not only is Chelsea Handler on their shortlist of potential replacements, she was already in talks with CBS about replacing Craig Ferguson, before Letterman announced his retirement.

So it seems like, if Craig Ferguson goes to the earlier timeslot, Chelsea Handler is already waiting in the wings to take his slot.

(That said, are there other people already definitely taking meetings with CBS about this? Does CBS having met with Handler about other potential projects equal OMG LATE SHOW WHUT?)
posted by Sara C. at 11:46 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't stand Chelsea Handler, though Ferguson getting Letterman's spot and Handler getting Ferguson's makes the most sense here.
posted by sweetkid at 11:49 AM on April 7, 2014


with a possible side of Colbert getting Letterman's spot, though Colbert hosting a show as Colbert is an unknown quantity, as Splitsider says.
posted by sweetkid at 11:50 AM on April 7, 2014


I feel like Colbert hosting a show as himself and not in character could end up being very Cavett-like. Which would be great, but The Late Show would also come with a side of some pretty severe creative limits.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:52 AM on April 7, 2014


Because I can't stop linking from Splitsider, apparently Colbert is in a similar "CBS wants him, he's interested in the gig, there are potential talks happening" boat to Handler.

What if CBS completely shakes up their late night lineup and throws Craig Ferguson over for Chelsea Handler, even if Ferguson doesn't go to Letterman's spot?

I could definitely see Craig Ferguson taking the $8 million and going to a cable show that would let him play around with the late night format a little more.
posted by Sara C. at 11:53 AM on April 7, 2014


I could definitely see Craig Ferguson taking the $8 million and going to a cable show that would let him play around with the late night format a little more.

I could see Ferguson taking the $8 million, staying at 12:35 on CBS, and sitting in a throne made of bags with dollar signs on them. On air. Forever.
posted by Etrigan at 11:56 AM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


i nominate charles barkley.
posted by bruce at 11:57 AM on April 7, 2014


I really can't understand Handler being on any list, short or long. She's a crap interviewer. Her interviews seem to be merely vehicles for dropping a few stale vodka jokes.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:57 AM on April 7, 2014 [12 favorites]


"Neil DeGrasse Tyson."
This is kind of left field, and as much as I deeply love him the man he is generally the only one who laughs at his jokes, but Tyson is an amazing fucking interviewer and I think could do truly awesome things with the space. Imagine science rather than comedy, just look at IFLS, there is more than enough discovery accessible and interesting to guided laymen going on to support entertaining science education with a new guest and theme every night indefinitely. They could keep the rough frame of a late night show but fill it with Top Gear-esque enthusiastic production excess using the bravado Tyson does indeed have buried inside him and real scientists being badasses.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:57 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


One thing that's weird/interesting is that when the Leno/Conan fiasco went down, the reporter who covered it (and had covered the original Leno/Letterman fiasco) had said that the economics of television are making it harder and harder for traditional late night shows to be viable. He said he thought it was possible they would be gone in ten years or so.
posted by drezdn at 12:02 PM on April 7, 2014


You guys think I should send in my audition tape in the 3-peice pinstripe or the boating jacket with no pants or shoes?
posted by The Whelk at 12:03 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Whatever you go with, run it by David Lynch first.
posted by COBRA! at 12:04 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


They could keep the rough frame of a late night show but fill it with Top Gear-esque enthusiastic production excess using the bravado Tyson does indeed have buried inside him and real scientists being badasses.

Buried inside, hell. Dude won a national Latin Ballroom dance competition while he was in grad school at UT. His bravado is a matter of public record.
posted by Etrigan at 12:04 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Give the show to Philomena Cunk. It's the only choice.
"Hello, famous celebrity person. Who are you and why are you so famous?"
posted by Spatch at 12:11 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Neil Patrick Harris Says ‘Late Show’ Gig Would Be ‘Asinine Amount of Work’

I'm not sure that a standup comedy background is as important as proof of being able to perform live in front of an audience in real time, and react on the fly. And even then, it can take a while for any show host to find their groove and their audience.

Given the amount of work involved, I imagine that many of those who technically could do it would have to think a lot about taking the job, and how long they'd want to do it.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:15 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Dude won a national Latin Ballroom dance competition while he was in grad school at UT.

Someone please tell me there is video of this.
posted by yasaman at 12:22 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Merrill Markoe.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:25 PM on April 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


And notwithstanding my previous comment, Jennifer Saunders. Possibly in character as Eddie. Periodic visits from Pats.

I think it'd be Eddie behind the desk, Saffy as sidekick on the couch rolling her eyes and sighing a lot, and Patsy acerbically insulting the guests from behind a combination percussion set/wet bar.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:28 PM on April 7, 2014


I would love to see a major network "Top Gear" esque formatted science show -- both because AWESOME and also for baldfaced careerist purposes -- but I'm pretty sure that if any network were to scrap their late night format time slot, it would not be CBS, which is the most conservative of the networks.

Also, there's no reason to put a show like that on at 11:30 PM, since the entire audience for the show is likely in bed by 9. Most family friendly content is in the earlier prime time hours, from 7-9 PM. The whole point of the late night timeslot is that it's more adult oriented and potentially risque. (For 1964 levels of risque, of course.)
posted by Sara C. at 12:29 PM on April 7, 2014


"From Jersey City, it's The Best Show On CBS! Tonight: Patton Oswalt! Matt Fraction! And musical guests, Ted Leo & Aimee Mann! Featuring Jon Wurster and the Newbridge Orchestra! Now, here's your host...Tooooooooooooooooooooom Scharpling!"

[Tom enters to a jazzy instrumental cover of a GG Allin song.]
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:38 PM on April 7, 2014 [13 favorites]


Iris Gambol: "Merrill Markoe."

Teri Garr.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:40 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sign off for Dave's last show -- Andy Kaufman comes out as Latka Gravas and says "Thank you very much." Fade to black as he bows.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:42 PM on April 7, 2014 [11 favorites]




It's time Hank Kingsley got his shot at the big chair.

S03E06: Hank's Night in the Sun

There are so many amazing funny women out there that it's amazing this isn't super obvious to CBS right now.

I doubt CBS is constitutionally capable of doing this.

I think it's a bit apparent that late-night talk show hosting is a dying art. While Craigy is probably the closest to Dave's original premise, I think he's too wild (and likes it that way) to make the jump. Arsenio is honestly probably the most traditional of the existing early-shift'ers. Jimmy and Seth are having trouble making the jump from the sketch format, their foundations are too character-driven. Kimmel is Leno II: The Talkening.

A fundamental aspect of this role is chatting. Who is out there who can host and "chat" without their personality overwhelming the situation. Cho would be too silly. Maron, not silly enough. Tyler? I like that. PFT would be great, of course, and I think he fits the "classy, just-a-guy" mold (Fallon probably wishes he was PFT). Tig is too dry. Russell Brand would be too big of a personality. Julia-Louis Dreyfus might be good, but it's hard to say if she can think on her feet enough, she might be a Fallon. Conan is probably seen as damaged goods.

Bonus: Dave's college radio show from 1969.
posted by rhizome at 12:45 PM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Watching Letterman was *a thing* for me in the 80s living a teenage Island of Misfit Toys existence. Absolutely viewed the crap out of that show. I lost it in the early 90s when I was stationed overseas and then a stretch of TV-free living brought on by poverty and perpetuated by whatever it is that TV-free people exude. When I returned I saw it was no longer the show of my youth.

I recall he generally left the flogging bits until the last segment or two of the show and it seems like there were times when he just never got around to those segments because so much fun was being had. I'll add Suit of Alka Selzer and the Fat Tub of Goo, Terry Forster, to the pile of memories. It really felt, to me, like there were two shows being hosted by the same guy--The Dork Show and then the Pay The Bills Show. Sometimes even the Pay The Bills Show was pretty good. When I tried watching it after coming off my TV-free high, it just seemed tired and full-court flogging.

For left field picks, perhaps Tom Scharpling? I have no idea whether he's free or if something like this would ever appeal or whether his radio personna would play on television. I do have a sense, though, that given 30 - 40 minutes at the head of every show something divinely weird and novel would distill onto our screens. Perhaps I just miss The Best Show more than I thought I did.

On Preview/Edit: Ahhh, damn... too slow. Sorry Ian A.T.
posted by Fezboy! at 12:50 PM on April 7, 2014


100% Amy Schumer. First episode she introduces Tig who has Andy Richter's head on a spike.

It goes uphill from there.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:57 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Late Night with Troy and Abed.
posted by drezdn at 12:57 PM on April 7, 2014 [16 favorites]


I think it's gonna be Justin Timberlake.
posted by spicynuts at 12:57 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Memorable:
The 360 rotate show (see above)
The dubbed show.

Is it too much to ask that the last show be shown reshot with hand puppets?

Also, S. Silverman, or any qualified jew (i said qualified, Jimmy)
posted by hexatron at 12:58 PM on April 7, 2014


Arsenio is honestly probably the most traditional of the existing early-shift'ers.

It also makes a little more sense of his current show's weirdly off the radar syndication set up: something to do in the late night space, while he waits for a likely network spot to open up.

On the other hand, he's so off the radar he's going to be a "Who?" to a lot of people.

On the African American male tip: it wouldn't be a very good show, but I'm surprised Steve Harvey's name isn't coming up. Is he too locked in to the daytime show and Family Feud gigs? Most of the names being thrown around do seem to be people with contracts that are known to run out sometime next year.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:58 PM on April 7, 2014


Jimmy Pardo
posted by rhizome at 12:58 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think it's obvious, since Conan is out here in Los Angeles: CBS buys the Burbank studio from NBC that the Tonight Show was taped in and has Conan do the show from there.

In the debut show he has every shaman-type in LA he can find do a mass purification ritual, and nobody ever mentions it again.
posted by davejay at 1:01 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


The only interesting part of Late Night TV these days are the "Late Night Wars". I swear the book about Leno/Letterman was better than what either of their shows became.

Meaning the only logical choice to succeed Dave, and move the show to Los Angeles, is Jay Leno.
posted by cell divide at 1:10 PM on April 7, 2014


Sammy Mazola Jr.







 
posted by mazola at 1:10 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I loved it when Dave and Paul went off on some weird stream-of-consciousness impulsive conversation; one of my favorites, which Lorin found for me here, is when David suddenly got hung up on the lyrics to "All the Young Dudes" and kept doing a literary analysis of them before they did the Top Ten list.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:10 PM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


RuPaul?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:10 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Chris Kattan as Mr Peepers
posted by zippy at 1:13 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tig and every interview is like the interview she did with Gillian Jacobs.

The video of that seems to have been disappeared from the internet. :/
posted by mullacc at 1:14 PM on April 7, 2014


I was in 7th grade in 1982 and you know how pop culture becomes fodder for talking about crap at school? Well there were these promos for the debut of "Late Night with David Letterman" that were playing during prime time and they were wacky, weird and somewhat edgy enough that made an impact on my friends and me.

The most memorable was one where Dave was standing stage front talking about upcoming guests or something (no idea what) when suddenly in the background a lifelike mannequin suddenly falls from above and crashes onto the stage. I'm not even sure if he acknowledged it or what, but to a gaggle of 7th graders this was the funniest thing ever.

Those promos were marketing genius in retrospect, now we wanted to see what the real thing was. But the show came on at 12:30! On a weeknight! And we were only 12 anyway!

Anyway, that's the story of how I learned to program a VCR.
posted by jeremias at 1:20 PM on April 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


Drew Carey would be terrible, but if he brings Wayne Brady along, we might get a daily, late-night version of Whose Line is it Anyway....

Who wouldn't want that?
posted by schmod at 1:26 PM on April 7, 2014


On a related note, it's hard to explain how unusual and cool something like the shoulder cam was 30+ years ago.
posted by jeremias at 1:33 PM on April 7, 2014


Late Night with Zizek.
posted by Schmucko at 1:37 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Drew Carey would be terrible, but if he brings Wayne Brady along, we might get a daily, late-night version of Whose Line is it Anyway....

I haven't seen it, but Aisha Tyler is the current host of Whose Line. I suppose Brady could be her band leader?
posted by Gary at 1:39 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


You see, it's stuff like this from a few nights ago that prove that there's just no replacing the man.
posted by jbickers at 1:40 PM on April 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


I say they put all the possible candidates in velcro suits and see which sticks to the wall the longest.


If this was happening on NBC, this would be the cornerstone of their summer programming with Ryan Seacrest as host.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:41 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gary: "I haven't seen it, but Aisha Tyler is the current host of Whose Line."

She's Lana Kane. I mean, I'm sure she does tons of interesting stuff, but SHE IS LANA KANE.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:54 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Drew Carey would be a Kimmel.
posted by rhizome at 1:54 PM on April 7, 2014


She's Lana Kane. I mean, I'm sure she does tons of interesting stuff, but SHE IS LANA KANE.

YUP
posted by sweetkid at 1:58 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I say they put all the possible candidates in velcro suits and see which sticks to the wall the longest.

How about they let them audition? Pick ten candidates and let them guest host a night each for two weeks and see who does the best.
posted by orange swan at 2:12 PM on April 7, 2014


Chris Tucker. He's super green.
posted by bonehead at 2:14 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jimmy Pardo

I don't think that'll happen, but I was thinking along the same lines. If CBS pulls someone from an existing show (Craig, Conan, Chelsea), Jimmy might take the spot that's vacated, but I don't know if they're gonna make that pull for the 11:35 spot. 12:35, sure. Jimmy could certainly do a good job, and is already checking off the list that was posted above. For those that don't know:
- He's Conan's warm-up guy, so he comes out and tells some jokes and interacts with the audience. So he's already doing that and involved in the talk show format, so he knows the drill.
- He has a regular podcast where he interviews guests (Never Not Funny)

So, I think he's qualified, just not enough of a name.
posted by LionIndex at 2:14 PM on April 7, 2014


Jimmy Pardo seems like a good choice, because late night could use some more guys named Jimmy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:36 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


You either have to be 1) Jimmy or 2) have a name starting with C. Johnny scored a 1.5 on that scale, which is why he's so great.
posted by LionIndex at 2:39 PM on April 7, 2014


Guys I have a great idea for a reoccurring bit.

celeberites give tours of their basements and attics! Storage units of the starts! Combine the glamour of Hollywood with the topical popularity of found treasure and hoarding! It can't lose Jerry! Can't lose!
posted by The Whelk at 2:48 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gary Payton.
posted by lkc at 2:49 PM on April 7, 2014


I dunno, I was thinking maybe Buddy Valastro. Or, you know who would be fun? Garry Marshall.

Alan Thicke!
posted by Room 641-A at 3:08 PM on April 7, 2014


Jimmy Pardo seems like a good choice, because late night could use some more guys named Jimmy.

Recent fact discovery: Jay Leno's birthname is James.

Stop the late-night Jimmy Mafia!
posted by rhizome at 3:42 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


David Letterman Changed Everything
Like everyone else, I grew up watching Johnny Carson. Well, that's true and it's not. I grew up being aware of Johnny Carson. I watched him sometimes, and sometimes he would make me laugh. I only knew he was the King of Late Night because that's what I was told. I had respect for him, for his history and for what he did. Johnny made the audience feel comfortable, so that they could fall asleep knowing that all was still right with the world. But for those of us who could stay awake, Letterman was there to shake things back up. He may have followed the format of the classic talk show -- a few guests followed by a comedian or a musical act -- but there weren't many other rules he followed...

It's actually strange to think that there are people who watch Jimmy Fallon on Late Night now and think that the games he plays with his guests or the Thank You notes he writes or the pre-taped bits have never been done before. Sure, Letterman may not have performed any musical numbers with his best friend Justin Timberlake or played Tiddlywinks with Scarlett Johannson, but if Dave hadn't talked Terri Garr into taking a shower live during the show, or convinced a reunited Sonny and Cher to perform "I've Got You Babe" together, there wouldn't be a Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
tom green! j/k :P
posted by kliuless at 3:45 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Stop the late-night Jimmy Mafia!

If Craig Ferguson vacates the Late Late Show, history tells us to expect his replacement to also be named Craig.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:50 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


She's been mentioned already, but I think Maria Bamford would be genuinely awesome at this job.

Also, Rachel Dratch. Who is the nicest person in the world and totally fearless.

Also, also echoing Amy Sedaris.

Also, also, also Kristen Wiig but only if she does it as Michael Jordan.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:51 PM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think Janeane Garofalo is too political for that time slot. Leading or following "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report" would play more to her skills.

I hate Conan "explain the joke" O'Brien almost as much as I hate "lowest common denominator" Leno and "I'm laughing because I feel sorry for you" Fallon.

Letterman replaced "Overnight" hosted by Linda Ellerbee and some or another grumpy journalist dudes in sequence and I was so mad. Insomniac that I am I loved "Overnight" because it was the only new programming to come on at that hour.

I remember the first "Late Night" which had Bill Murray and Mr. Wizard. That show was a gift to us night owls, it was on late, had dry wit and, as mentioned above, degassed talk shows in general.


The best interviewer ever [though not exactly a comedian and with no stand-up experience] that I've seen in my 50 years, I am serious - is Tom Snyder.
posted by vapidave at 3:58 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Late Night host slot is opening up... only AFTER the death of Oderus Urungus.

Truly, there is no God.
posted by delfin at 3:58 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


jonmc: “I remember on Johnny's last night, Bette Midler sang to him. Who's Dave gonna get? (I'm hoping Tom Waits). (or at least Richard Simmons).”
Dave got the swan song I suspect he'd want more than a decade ago.

*keeps scrolling*
thelonius: “I remember on Johnny's last night, Bette Midler sang to him. Who's Dave gonna get?

Hologram Zevon”
Damn it…
posted by ob1quixote at 4:10 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


The problem with either Maria Bamford or Amy Sedaris is that they are both even deeper into their particular personas than Colbert is. Maria Bamford is like nominally her real self (and OMGOMGOMG I would so love to see a super conceptual late night format thing with her, on maybe IFC or somewhere else alt and edgy), but Amy Sedaris just couldn't do it. Her entire schtick is all wrapped up in elaborate character bits.

I would love to see Amy Sedaris take Colbert's reins, though, as a sort of deranged Ann Coulter type.
posted by Sara C. at 4:11 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


You guys think I should send in my audition tape in the 3-peice pinstripe or the boating jacket with no pants or shoes?

I think you should send it in an envelope. Or maybe one of those bubble mailers.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:20 PM on April 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Wow, I've dropped like thirty favorites already, great thread.

I have zero problems with putting a woman in the spot, there are dozens of fantastic women that could do the job, I just don't like Chelsea Handler. Amy Sedaris would be brilliant, and although I find Ellen's sameness a tad tiresome, I think she'd do an admirable job of it. I'd love love love to see Tig Notaro get it, but we all know she won't.

My dream pick would be either Aisha Tyler or Paul F. Tompkins. However, I don't think the CBS execs are ready to take that kind of step forward. Although Tyler is already under the eye so to speak, and would probably be less expensive than the others, and she works with the boss's wife.

The problem is that Letterman is really a five-tool player, and those don't just grow on trees. Interviewing, monologue humor, "weird shit happens on tv, and isn't that hilarious" humor, "watch me blow shit up/cook shit/etc. and isn't that funny" humor, and complete disdain for the entertainment industry.

The best reason to get Maron to host would be how '70s Tom Snyder with all of the smoking it would be.
posted by Sphinx at 4:26 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Am I the first one to say Ilana Glazer? YES
posted by zvs at 4:41 PM on April 7, 2014


Chris Morris
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:02 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


You guys - ANDY COHEN! I know he's a white guy but he is gay (for the sake of diversity).

Chelsea Handler is probably one of the women who would be a natural pick (other than Ellen) but I agree that her schtick is old and she's not a great interviewer, nor is she all that warm (like Ellen is) and I think if a person doesn't have at least one of those qualities they won't be considered for that slot.

I love Janeane Garofalo but she is way too controversial. Amy Sedaris is a great idea and I would love to see her picked, even though that's a super long shot.

What is the likelihood of a radio personality being considered? I'm thinking Ira Glass or Peter Sagal would both be good.

Either Colbert or Stewart would also be natural choices.

I would love to see a woman picked. The only women I can think of that the network would consider for the slot are the already-mentioned Ellen and Chelsea Handler, or Whoopi Goldberg. I think Joy Behar would also be a great choice but I don't see her being considered either. Ultimately, CBS will play it safe, which means they'll pick someone who has already proven to be appealing to the masses. There are very few people out there right now who can walk the narrow line between appealing to the masses while at the same time being widely liked and relevant without being milquetoast.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:24 PM on April 7, 2014


Waiting room etiquette

Starve a duodenal ulcer, feed a fever
posted by any major dude at 5:31 PM on April 7, 2014


I think it's a bit apparent that late-night talk show hosting is a dying art.

Late-night talk show hosting is not a dying art. To some extent it's been refined to near perfection. Broadcasting late-night talk shows is a dying art. This thread is proof - all your favorite Dave replacements suck. They might get the gig, but they won't make it. It's a marathon, but networks aren't run that way. It's only because people around for Carson recognized it in young Dave that they renovated the Ed Sullivan theatre for him. Those people are gone/going too.

But here's the good news: A great talk-show format and hosting template exists. We can rebuild it. We have the videology.

You're missing the most critical part of the formula though - the Paul to Dave's Dave. Don't get stuck on the headliner, without a World's Most Dangerous Band, you've got half of nothing. Paul is royalty.

Dave and Paul are irreplaceable. But late-night talk will be dead for only so long. No one invented late-night, it's our campfire storyteller. There will always be campfires. Heck, you're staring into one right now.

Good-night everybody!
*MeFi theme*
posted by petebest at 5:36 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


When was the last time that 1130 was given to someone who didn't have a 1230 show first? Let me add "and succeeded...." Kimmel was on at 12 at first and then graduated to 1130 (ok 1135). Everyone else who's successful and on a broadcast network started out with a late night show first. Which kind of narrows the field a bit.

Put another way: I think it's a good bet that whoever replaces Dave already has a show. I love many of the ideas people are putting forth, but I don't think that any of them are going to be what CBS risks the franchise on. Assume Colbert and Stewart are the front-runners, Ferguson and Conan the pretenders to the throne. ABC will split profits with Kimmel to keep him if they need to. So the real race is, who takes over for one of those? Who's willing to toil in the 2-slot for a decade or more, for a later shot at the big time?

Another item to consider, there is no generational gap anymore. The day Letterman was born, Carson was midway to his degree at the University of Nebraska, delayed by having served in World War II. Colbert, Conan, Ferguson, and Stewart are within 2 years of each other (49-51), Kimmel's 46, Meyers is 40, Fallon is 39. And, while they all love and respect Carson, their greatest debt, individually and collectively, is to Letterman.

The speculation is fun and is interesting, but for this generation, Letterman broke the ground and laid the foundation. All the pretenders are merely executing his plan. The genre won't change again for another ten years, if, as someone said, it's even around at that point.
posted by aureliobuendia at 6:16 PM on April 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm for whatever deal keeps Craig Ferguson on my television in some form or fashion, otherwise I don't need to stay up after 10 PM Eastern time (God's one true time zone) ever again...
posted by ersatzkat at 6:24 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm not worried about Ferguson being creatively restricted to the point that he can't be ridiculously silly in Dave's time slot as much as I'm worried that he won't be able to do things like his Britney Spears monologue. If he can still have that kind of show in Dave's slot, Ferguson all the way. His candid, thoughtful stuff really deserves the profile boost.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:48 PM on April 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Tom Scharpling? He's available I think and I'd watch that. He'd do a great show even maybe 'the best show'
posted by Akaky at 7:09 PM on April 7, 2014


Ack two previous people mentioned Scharpling. Well that's what I get for reading the first and last ten comments and skipping the middle. Apologies I'm a bad mefiend
posted by Akaky at 7:17 PM on April 7, 2014


*prepares makeup and voice for the dynamo performance of "Nowadays" from Chicago that will will me the coveted TOnight Show Seat.*
posted by The Whelk at 7:33 PM on April 7, 2014


that will will me the coveted TOnight Show Seat.

WRONG NETWORK, IDIOT. If you send NBC a killer audition, you might get stuck covering the 2016 Summer Olympics!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:49 PM on April 7, 2014


It's okay my rendition of the Hot Honey Rag is literally killer. No one who has seen it has survived.
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 PM on April 7, 2014


huh current rumor says Norm Macdonald.

He's very Letterman-like with the deadpan, almost too much so.

Huh.
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


No way. The zeitgeist has moved well past Norm MacDonald.
posted by sweetkid at 8:17 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


The zeitgeist never really paid a call on Norm MacDonald, he's brilliant but definitely a lot more of a niche taste than a Letterman replacement would need to be. I mean, I'd watch the hell out of it, because he would probably turn it into a brilliant deconstruction of the premise, but I don't think it would last long.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:20 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think Paul F Tomkins has the right personality and skills, and could be an amazing host, but would need to do a late late night show first for the network to be comfortable with him.
posted by zippy at 8:44 PM on April 7, 2014


PFT has all the skills but none of the repuations, in 20 years, yes of course.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 PM on April 7, 2014


I actually kind of hope they run the show like they did The Late Late Show between Craigs: Revolving door guest hosts, and may the best one win.

If nothing else, I'd like to see Ferguson bumped up an hour and have them repeat that process for the show it worked so well for last time.

It's a good system, is all.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:08 PM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Prior participants: Michael Ian Black, Drew Carey, Ana Gasteyer, Adam Carolla, Damien Fahey, Craig Ferguson, Jim Gaffigan, D.L. Hughley, Bob Saget.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:14 PM on April 7, 2014


RONNA AND BEVERLY.

(Drops mic, exits stage right)
posted by tristeza at 9:15 PM on April 7, 2014


Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanaugh. Every night is just a guest sitting in on Mike and Tom Eat Snacks.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:19 PM on April 7, 2014


I kinda wonder if Dave stuck around longer than he would've liked, just out of feeling obligated to keep his staff employed. And I wonder if any celebs will come on to jump on the farewell publicity wagon, despite not having been in the show in ages, if ever.

As for if any of us still watch, I DVR every night but there's never any rush. The monologue has become a showcase for YouTube bloopers, and awful edited bits (which sadly used to be Leno's thing). And nowadays everyone has a parody on whatever's buzzing in pop culture... I'm not sure if we need Dave's replacement to just pile on.

The comedy bits used to be fun, giddy, and unpredictable. There was nothing better than the pretaped bits like Dave working a drive-thru, or Fun with Rupert. And the live stuff like just sending a camera to meet one of the neighboring businesses, or seeing how many costumer characters could fit in them.

And I have no recollection of what led up to it, but one of the best moments of those early CBS days was Bill Cosby and Tito Puente climbing a ladder up to the balcony.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:06 PM on April 7, 2014


I would give my very soul to have a collection of Shaffer and the band's performances - including guest intros (with notes on how Paul chose what tune to play for each one) and uninterrupted feeds of them playing during commercial breaks.

Not to detract from the genius that was Dave, but I've always felt the band doesn't get nearly enough recognition for how seriously rockin' they've been all these years, from the original lineup (Shaffer, Lee, Hiram Bullock, and Steve Jordan) onward.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:48 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I fully support the dozens of articles floating around right now that dare to ask the question "Why doesn't a female comedian host The Late Show?" I fully support the names I've been seeing thrown around: Aisha Tyler, Ellen Degeneres, Chelsea Handler, Amy Pohler, Tina Fey, etc.


Amy Pohler AND Tina Fey...except they have to rock-paper-scissors at the beginning to see whose turn it is that night. The loser has to do totally unrehearsed on-air advertisments for the sponsors...the more elaborate, the better. Rachel Dratch as sidekick/co-host.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:47 AM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


The game has changed quite a lot - there was no internet to speak of and no Tivo when The Late Show debuted February 1, 1982. The future is cheap, Tosh and Dyrdek mining Youtube and anyone who is willing to debase themelves, whether on a reality show or on some who-can-hit-the-high-note show.

This is where I hope the staid CBS preserves the form and the schedule [No matter the host]. Having everything at a click means you have everything at a click. Given as much TV and other media people have available and consume, and all the drama usually associated, I think that a show being nightly and current and, well, conversational actually helps people to stay anchored.
posted by vapidave at 2:00 AM on April 8, 2014


While Fey or Poehler would probably do well (I don't see the presumed stand-up experience requirement), I don't see them taking on such a rigorous role, while also competing against Fallon and Lorne Michaels. And the same problem would apply if they went up against Meyers.

It doesn't seem like enough of a counter-programming move where they could just be friendly rivals with completely different audiences.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:02 AM on April 8, 2014


Since I like longshots, I'm putting a hundred on Kutcher.
posted by Twang at 6:52 AM on April 8, 2014


Tina Fey really enjoys family life and seems to be picking projects of a type and in an amount that let her have time for that. Isn't the Late Show kind of a huge time commitment?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:06 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also I just last week walked through an outdoor shoot for UNTITLED TINA FEY PILOT so I think she's busy.
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 AM on April 8, 2014


Amy Pohler AND Tina Fey

The Amy & Tina Show would be Must See TV for me, and the division of labor might make it more appealing for them. As others have said above, I think they both have other projects in the works, but damn, a girl can dream.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:17 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Amy & Tina Show would be Must See TV for me, and the division of labor might make it more appealing for them.

They could switch off every week like James Garner and Jack Kelly used to do on Maverick.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:18 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think Paul F Tomkins has the right personality and skills, and could be an amazing host, but would need to do a late late night show first for the network to be comfortable with him.

Isn't he already signed to play a dad in a sitcom or some damn dire thing? Thought I heard that...
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:51 AM on April 8, 2014


Yes, PFT is doing a pilot for ABC opposite Molly Shannon. Still...just a pilot right now and Letterman isn't retiring until 2015, so plenty of time for PFT to be considered [very, very unlikely] and hired [99.999forever% this will not happen not matter how hard I pray to the cake gods].
posted by mullacc at 8:14 AM on April 8, 2014


Just came in to double the vote for RuPaul. Or Bianca del Rio. Not that The U.S. is actually that fierce and shady just yet.
posted by argybarg at 8:16 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


How about Los del Rio?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:29 AM on April 8, 2014


I've only seen this on Twitter so far, but the report is that CBS chose Colbert. :(
posted by desjardins at 9:07 AM on April 10, 2014


Jon Stewart says Colbert would be great for Letterman, but he probably already knew that Stephen Colbert was taking the job. On preview: I've only seen Twitter too, but since they've got a quote from Colbert, it looks like they're tweeting from a press release.
posted by gladly at 9:09 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Colbert taking Letterman. Confirmed.
posted by josher71 at 9:11 AM on April 10, 2014


So...is he going to keep the Colbert persona?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:11 AM on April 10, 2014


I'm sure he's not.
posted by sweetkid at 9:12 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


So about the #CancelColbert thing...
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:12 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm happy for him. Colbert seems like a really nice guy and he could play that persona for only so long.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:14 AM on April 10, 2014


So, who gets the post-TDS slot?

John Hodgman could export his character from TDS pretty well, but I have a feeling that Comedy Central is going to want something at least a little different in there. Maybe they'd be willing to give W. Kamau Bell a chance with a better lead-in than the nothing he had at FXX.
posted by Etrigan at 9:18 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh goody. Thanks to Colbert and his 17/18ths white-dude writing staff, straight white guys will finally get a voice in late night.

It was moronic of me to hope, even for a second, that it would ever be any different.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:18 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


John Hodgman could export his character from TDS pretty well, but I have a feeling that Comedy Central is going to want something at least a little different in there. Maybe they'd be willing to give W. Kamau Bell a chance with a better lead-in than the nothing he had at FXX.

Yeah, I'm going to go out on a limb and say straight white guy.

(Dammit, ArbitraryAndCapricious!)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2014


Ok but...who will preserve our democracy now?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:21 AM on April 10, 2014


I really hope someone puts together a nice FPP on Colbert. I find it maddening when interesting news gets relegated to the bottom of a "thing to happen soon!" FPP instead of being afforded its own "thing has actually happened" FPP.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:24 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm still rooting for Amy Sedaris as some kind of Michelle Bachmann/Anne Coulter type.

I would fucking LOVE IT if the opening at Comedy Central meant more work for W. Kamau Bell, though, now that I think about it.
posted by Sara C. at 9:31 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd have never seen Colbert for the position. His is too left-wing a character for a show directed at middle America, and it's not like he can suddenly play it straight and safe, or rather that's not what he plays nor what his fans want to see. What an odd pick.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:37 AM on April 10, 2014


Wouldn't John Oliver get Colbert's slot as Jon Stewart's heir apparent? Of course, if Stewart happens to retire next year he could take over straight away.

And while I adore Colbert (likely the first and certainly the greatest Tolkien conoscente in late night TV history), I too am more than a little disappointed in the white male choice.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:38 AM on April 10, 2014


John Oliver has a weekly HBO show premiering at the end of this month. I'd rather they let the Colbert Report go and design a new show around new talent.

I'll bet @midnight is really regretting their title now though.
posted by gladly at 9:40 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


#cancelcolbert worked!!!
posted by josher71 at 9:42 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


#cancelcolbert worked!!!

Something something DAVID HUME
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:44 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Seriously though, I sorta didn't care much about this until they picked Colbert, and now I'm kind of sad, because i like the Colbert Report so much. I think the only times I've seen Colbert not in his persona was in his interviews on Fresh Air and it was fucking weird!
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:45 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Something something DAVID HUME

I understand he could out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:46 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Like i said upthread, I'm happy for him because he's awesome and he deserves it, but I'm sad to see the Report going away. The stuff he did a few years ago on Citizens United, the stuff that won him a Peabody? It was brave and important work that educated a lot of people about a very serious and complex issue. Nobody else is working at the very high level he's been working at. This is a net loss for television.

All that said, I'm sure he's going to be amazing in his new role. I just can't imagine how they'll fill the void the Report will leave.
posted by jbickers at 9:49 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the only times I've seen Colbert not in his persona was in his interviews on Fresh Air and it was fucking weird!

Lutoslawski: You need to watch all three seasons of Strangers With Candy—STAT!
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:51 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Comedy Central says The Colbert Report will continue until the end of the year, so they have time to figure out the next step.
posted by Etrigan at 9:56 AM on April 10, 2014


Now is the time to make good on the promises of the Cenac Attack and the Wilmore Report, which premiered when Obama first won office.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:56 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


That was an unusually quick replacement. Makes me wonder if this hadn't already been in the works for awhile before Dave's public announcement.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:58 AM on April 10, 2014


Oh goody. Thanks to Colbert and his 17/18ths white-dude writing staff, straight white guys will finally get a voice in late night.

It was moronic of me to hope, even for a second, that it would ever be any different.


I too am furious that a proven ratings, key demo and award-winning, highly talented talk show host and writer with multiple Emmy and Peabody awards who even a small child could easily see was the logistically obvious, most economically viable, and safely market-proven candidate was considered the top choice for a position of a similar nature also owned by the same media company with a vested interest in the profitability of said asset.

So, no, it's not "moronic" for you to hope. Hope is good. But it would have been moronic to bet money on it when this was pretty obvious. You can "hope" Elizabeth Warren becomes President, but it's moronic to think she's running, too.

I am literally amazed people are surprised (or for that matter, upset) by this. There was practically no one else I could imagine CBS was considering given all the angles involved, and Colbert is going to be a perfect fit for The Late Show.

Business makes business decision. That and the Pope's religion, after this.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:59 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Craig Ferguson appears to be very gracious about being passed over.

His contract also means he is now getting twelve million dollars, so... there's also that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:03 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Being happy about Colbert doesn't get you SJW points on the Internet, XQUZYPHYR.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:03 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


That was an unusually quick replacement. Makes me wonder if this hadn't already been in the works for awhile before Dave's public announcement.

If you don't have a short list of people you're going to call if one of the most visible people on your network decides to throw in the towel -- especially when that person has had heart trouble in the past and is over 60 -- then you don't deserve to be running a network.

And if Colbert wasn't already thinking, "Hmm, I'm coming up on a decade of this... I wonder what's next...", then I'd be amazed as well.
posted by Etrigan at 10:05 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Makes me wonder if this hadn't already been in the works for awhile before Dave's public announcement.

It may have been in the works for quite some time. I'm pretty sure one of the recent articles noted that Colbert timed his most recent contract renewal to end just before Letterman's would.
posted by stopgap at 10:08 AM on April 10, 2014


It doesn't hurt that Colbert's been the undisputed funniest person working in TV for over 15 years.

For the quick choice, yeah, a motivator for being ahead of the ball here is that they likely suspected "the ball" would take the form of viewer petitions, controversy, calls to vote and yadda yadda yadda. Nip that one in the bud.

Craig is sure gracious about it, yeah, but he's got a consolation prize waiting for him.
posted by rhizome at 10:08 AM on April 10, 2014


Re: gender/race, I think the frustration comes from the fact that in the past few years there have been three host shakeups in the big two talk shows, and all three involved passing the torch from an old straight white guy to a younger straight white guy. They're all perfectly defensible choices - hell, Colbert probably moreso than Conan or Kimmel - but this is one of those situations where it's not any one tree that's a problem, just the forest.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:09 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Ugh. I don't think he's funny at all. But at least now I can go to sleep earlier.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:10 AM on April 10, 2014


I'm like a bazillionty percent sure that CraigyFerg didn't want the job at all and is quite pleased at how this is all going down.

Especially since, doesn't he now get like $8 million AND get to keep the job he's always had?
posted by Sara C. at 10:10 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not shocked its a white man being chosen. A lot of people in this thread mentioned a lot of potential women for the job and none of them were as well-positioned as Colbert. Except maybe Ellen, and she clearly has a good thing going for her.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:12 AM on April 10, 2014


Re: gender/race, I think the frustration comes from the fact that in the past few years there have been three host shakeups in the big two talk shows, and all three involved passing the torch from an old straight white guy to a younger straight white guy.
And of course, all the people in the pipeline to be considered for the next round of jobs are also straight white dudes. But that's just a coincidence (or maybe it's just that straight white dudes actually are better than everyone else) and everyone who thinks differently must be treated with condescension or called an SJW.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:13 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Now, Jimmy Kimmel, that guy is a unfunny sac of poop. Not picking a woman for that gig is indefensible.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:13 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


this is one of those situations where it's not any one tree that's a problem, just the forest.

I agree with this, but one of the larger problems is that there isn't really anybody waiting in the wings who isn't a "younger straight white man".

Every goddamn cable network has their own late night situation. It's embarrassing that only, what, one of them (?) is hosted by someone who isn't a "younger straight white man". Especially since you really can't get to the major network gig without having done a smaller-time equivalent.

It's like lamenting the lack of female CEOs in 1962, when the vast majority of people in management at any company, period, are men. Glass ceiling? Try ten foot concrete ceiling.
posted by Sara C. at 10:13 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Now I'm hoping for a running meta storyline on the last season of the Colbert Report about the impending death of "Stephen Colbert" at the hands of Stephen Colbert (and, of course, the liberal media).
posted by jason_steakums at 10:15 AM on April 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Even if you do want to be all business loves the straight white man, we give the business what it wants, it wouldn't kill them to diversify the writing staff on these shows.
posted by sweetkid at 10:16 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


@jimmyfallon "I'd like to welcome the great @StephenAtHome to network late night and also congratulate him on his new name: Jimmy Colbert." (tweet)
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:21 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


it wouldn't kill them to diversify the writing staff on these shows.

To quote that MeTa thread:

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER
posted by Sara C. at 10:21 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, FWIW, Fallon has had Morgan Murphy -- who is female -- as his major monologue writer for ages and ages, now. She'd actually make a damn good late night host. Though I'm not sure she's personable enough to be a good interviewer. She's a very standuppy/joke-factory kind of comedian and super dry.

Anyone who likes laughing should watch her standup special on Netflix, btw. It's a very Mitch Hedberg kind of style.
posted by Sara C. at 10:22 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


The good thing about Colbert is that he is (or seems to be) an actual human. Anytime I've seen him interview someone on the show who is genuinely interesting he finds it hard to keep in character. The audience allows the total ass persona because the mensch underneath shines thru.
posted by readery at 10:24 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I dislike laughing.
posted by josher71 at 10:25 AM on April 10, 2014


Ugh, why did I write "major monologue writer"? Now I can't get that HIMYM joke out of my head.
posted by Sara C. at 10:26 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wait what? It's Colbert??? I thought that was a joke!
Wow. I'm a Colbert fan but honestly don't see this working. Mainly because I won't be able to watch now. Is the late show on Hulu yet?
posted by Big_B at 10:26 AM on April 10, 2014


I would love to see Amy Sedaris take Colbert's reins, though, as a sort of deranged Ann Coulter type.

I actually hope they put the fake-conservative shtick to bed. Too much of the Daily Show and Colbert is just showing Fox News clips.

Or to put it more positively, I hope having to fill an hour means Colbert brings on Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello to do comedy sketches with him.
posted by Gary at 10:27 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I actually hope they put the fake-conservative shtick to bed.

Oh, they totally will. And probably make a lot of jokes about it between now and next year.

My question about Colbert vs. "Colbert": Is the koll-BAIR pronunciation just for his persona, or does the actor himself actually use that? I never heard anyone say the name out loud before he was on TDS.
posted by Etrigan at 10:32 AM on April 10, 2014


FPP is up.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:32 AM on April 10, 2014


If you're curious how Colbert does in an interview out of character, he did a really good long out-of-character interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:35 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Something something DAVID HUME

I understand he could out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel.


I heard he was crossing his fingers when he told that story.
posted by homunculus at 10:36 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is the koll-BAIR pronunciation just for his persona, or does the actor himself actually use that? I never heard anyone say the name out loud before he was on TDS.

He has at times talked about his sister (who is a senator) on the show, and he pronounces her name "KOHL-bert." So I assume that's how his non-character name is pronounced too.
posted by jbickers at 10:42 AM on April 10, 2014


Wiki:
Originally, the name was pronounced /ˈkoʊlbərt/ in English; Stephen Colbert's father, James, wanted to pronounce the name /koʊlˈbɛər/, but maintained the /ˈkoʊlbərt/ pronunciation out of respect for his own father. He offered his children the option to pronounce the name whichever way they preferred.[15] Stephen started using /koʊlˈbɛər/ later in life when he transferred to Northwestern University, taking advantage of the opportunity to reinvent himself in a new place where no one knew him.[6] Stephen's brother Ed, an intellectual property attorney, retained /ˈkoʊlbərt/; this was shown in a February 12, 2009, appearance on The Colbert Report, when his youngest brother asked him, "/ˈkoʊlbərt/ or /koʊlˈbɛər/?" Ed responded "/ˈkoʊlbərt/", to which Stephen jokingly replied, "See you in Hell".[25]
posted by Chrysostom at 10:47 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


I was familiar with Colbert before The Colbert Report and always heard it as Cole-BEAR.

My favorite thing about his name pronunciation is the number of people who reflexively give "Report" a soft French t ("The Colbert Repor'") to match the one in Colbert, for no real reason. It makes my Cajun heart beat a little faster.
posted by Sara C. at 11:10 AM on April 10, 2014


He says "Colber Repor" on the show.
posted by sweetkid at 11:13 AM on April 10, 2014


My favorite thing about his name pronunciation is the number of people who reflexively give "Report" a soft French t ("The Colbert Repor'") to match the one in Colbert, for no real reason.

That's the name of the show. It's how Colbert says it at the top of (almost) every instalment.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:13 AM on April 10, 2014


Yeah, that's how he says it.
posted by jessamyn at 11:13 AM on April 10, 2014


But that's just how he happens to say it. It's not, like, objectively correct. English doesn't have a rule that silent consonants have to agree in words pronounced next to each other. It's just a verbal tic that is shared by Colbert himself.
posted by Sara C. at 11:15 AM on April 10, 2014


He does it because it's a joke to him to say it that way and the Colbert Report is a comedy show.
posted by jessamyn at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought he said it to be funny and it seems like it's part of the mock seriousness of his whole schtick.
posted by sweetkid at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2014


Also, to me, it will always remind me of when a Target opened in my small Cajun hometown and everyone just started using the jokey "Tar-ZHAY" pronunciation as if that was the actual name of the store.

Also, we cannot pronounce futon.

Colbert Repor forever!
posted by Sara C. at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2014


In ancient times, for the several years before The Colbert Report was an actual show, TDS ran promos for it (and at the time it wasn't clear whether it was a put-on or a real upcoming show) in which that pronunciation was the main joke.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:18 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


See the first 15 seconds or so of this; and this is a later one, I think. My memory is that they would run promos that were just that one joke (the Colber Repor! It's French, bitch!)... so the pronunciation of the title has been an essential part of the show since the very earliest days, possibly even before it was set to be a real show.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:27 AM on April 10, 2014


Stephen's brother Ed, an intellectual property attorney

I just looked this guy up and he's distinguished as hell. Jeez. Ambitious family.
posted by naju at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2014


[Edward Colbert] helped create and shape the United States Olympic Committee licensing program and was involved in the licensing and enforcement of Olympic marketing rights in the United States and certain related worldwide rights for the five Olympic Games and U.S. Olympic Teams.

I don't want to overstate things, but he might also be Satan.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:35 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Heh. I wonder if the Sochi 2014 Sport Report stuff was a hat tip to his brother? Or perhaps it was a wag of the finger....
posted by Big_B at 2:04 PM on April 10, 2014


Limbaugh on Colbert: CBS Has Declared War on the Heartland

I would wager Colbert's ratings are pretty good in the "heartland".
posted by cell divide at 2:53 PM on April 10, 2014


I don't think "the Heartland" is an actual place. It's a state of mind. If you subscribe to the Limbaugh definition of "the Heartland," there are no Colbert watchers in "the Heartland."
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:00 PM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sochi 2014 Sport Report

Oh man, please tell me they pronounced it "Spoor Repoor".
posted by rifflesby at 3:55 PM on April 10, 2014


The "Report" in "The Colbert Report" has always been pronounced "Repor" by the network since the beginning of the show. It's the official pronunciation of the show's title.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:04 PM on April 10, 2014


Sochi 2014 Sport Report

Oh man, please tell me they pronounced it "Spoor Repoor".


Yep.
posted by Etrigan at 4:05 PM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Apologies if this has already been posted, but I think this article gets at what I found really fascinating about Letterman when I was a teenager, staying up late and trying to stave off anxiety; there's a bit of a gallows-humor emotional timbre to his show, where the gallows is day-to-day life:

The Irreplaceable David Letterman
, by Joshua Rothman in The New Yorker
posted by Greg Nog at 8:03 AM on April 11, 2014 [3 favorites]




Considering the number of rumors that Chelsea Handler was having meetings with CBS around the time of Letterman's resignation announcement, I have a strong feeling that it'll be her.
posted by Sara C. at 8:12 PM on April 28, 2014


AV Club doesn't think so.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:15 PM on April 28, 2014


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