Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Return of Late Night Shows

Last night was the first night of new episodes of late-night talk shows since the writer's strike, and I say it's about time. I was only able to watch parts of the two shows that I normally watch (not that I watch them a lot). Leno vs. Letterman? I watch Letterman...almost everyone my age prefers Leno but personally I think Leno is pretty corny. Letterman is insane...his weirdness is hilarious though (most of the time). I think his writers are pretty horendous a lot of the time too, and you can tell that he hates some of the material that they give why not continue the show without them?

As for the Conan vs. Ferguson's a tougher call I think...both of them are funny. However, I think Conan is downright hilarious.

Jimmy Kimmel? I like the guy but honestly...who watches him?

So all 5 of them came back last night...Letterman and Conan came back with beards! I enjoyed how Conan compared his bearded self with Kris Kringle from the claymation Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.

Anyway, from what I saw, both shows were as funny as they usually are. Granted, they played off of the "no material because we have no writers" to add to the humor (like when Conan spun his wedding ring on his desk for as long as he could). Ultimately, however, the humor in late night talk shows (I think) comes from the improvisation. The funniest parts of those shows are when things go wrong or when something unexpected happens or when the hosts or guests are just goofing off. I hate when interviews are so makes the conversations stiff.

Either way, these shows can't last long without solid writers, even if a lot of the writing is corny or dumb. Other shows that have been put on hold absolutely need writers no matter what. Granted, reality tv show producers are probably wetting their pants over the strike, but I can only watch so much Rock of Love...and let's be honest...even some of the "reality" shows are scripted. I don't really have a whole lot of sympathy for the writers who are on strike. I suppose they are entitled to more money, but quit whining and get back to work. As Conan sarcastically put it..."because of the strike, people have been forced to read and actually talk to each other." Who wants that?

1 comment:

Tom Whalen said...

Johnny Carson will always be the Gold Standard of Late Night, and clearly the unscripted moments were where he was at his very best. Two notable examples: Ed Ames was demonstrating how to throw a tomahawk at an outline of a man; it landed guess where and resembled guess what - made all the more funny by Carson's reaction. Even better, Johnny asked Arnold Palmer what was the secret to his success in golf. Palmer "My wife kisses my b___s before each tournament" to which Carson without missing a beat rejoined, "Does that make your putter go straight?"