A moan.

Having discovered Late Night Talk Shows for the US on YouTube they are all being reshuffled. Full shows !.

My tuppensworth:

Craig Ferguson. I get his humor not so much because he’s a Scot but because he comes from a line of comics that’s very New York-London that coalesced in the 70-80 and 90s. He pulls of that odd mix of liking, respecting and knowing precisely what to do with women.
In the interviews he flummoxed women to the point where he could lead them into dangerous ground, but doesn’t. He brings them right to the very edge, and then skirts it. I don’t think men generally see this, but I think the starlets do. And while they dislike his way round their defenses by challenging their bravery, they like his mastery of the format. And the brainier of them know he’s not out to ruin them, and usually heads them off if they seem as if heading for a cliff.

Jimmy Fallon. He is the ten years later and NYC side of the school that Ferguson belongs. This guy is in the rounded vaudeville mold of another era and I expect trained for the Stage. He hasn’t the same frisson of danger that accompanies the Scot. Nonetheless I feel he’s sharper of mind but directed differently. With him the guests are very safe.

Seth Myers. I like this guy. But there’s something missing. It’s as if one could be too respectful. Grand in society. But I think if the guests on a talk show won’t talk, or will only talk in bland soundbites marketing the latest schlock, the host needs to either cut the person off or get beyond it, to them. Fallon and Myers have what seems racing stable colours for these guys must know there’s a lack of zing to the style. Where the network has decided it’s the ‘nice’ network.

Conan O’Brien. Kimberly put it best. A nasty little weasel. There’s a cruelty to his style that he covers with a faux shock “did I really say that” BS. Unless Leno was of the same stamp I really don’t know what the fuss was about.

Stephen Colbert. I haven’t really got into him just yet. But I truly dislike the format of this desk thing.

David Letterman. This is the old bull. He really knows how to do the job. And when he has a reticent guest he grasps the difference between fear and crankiness. But I’ve seen many a young actress, full of her own attractiveness having gotten used to adoration, being spanked ‘hard’ live on TV.

The others I haven’t seen yet. Being ever so slightly OCD I’ve block watched.
You know I’d never have watched any of this on the PC, but since getting the tablet I’ve used it as a sleeping draught better than anything one could get an apothecary. There have been mornings I’ve awoken to find the thing on the bed-clothes me having dropped off mid way through a video.
One thing I’m not fond is the endless monologues. This is just cheap telly, filler really. But the handy thing with the videos is one can slide the progress to the bit you want to watch.
Generally, I’d say they are good fun. Except I’d say the Fallon & Myers style is dying for want of a bit of edge. O’Brien will survive as long as people think it’s OK to roast with that nasty side. Ferguson is playing cards close to the chest but I expect he won’t be idle for long. Colbert is taking over from Letterman and from what I’ve seen will probably be extremely good.

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10 Responses to A moan.

  1. Sage says:

    Thanks for the update on what’s happening when I am sleeping. The only one I regularly watched was Colbert (along with John Stewart) as they are often replayed the next evening on Comedy Central. But since moving, we now don’t get Comedy Central–the cable bundle we get has tennis and news and not much more…

    • V.H says:

      Those Late Night shows were such a part of a different world, an American world. They could only be seen in the US by those from the US or those visiting. They were to the whispers of my youth like gold rush’s were to other generations when the stories came back. There was a sumptuousness to the idea that a show put on in NYC or LA could be viewed in any of the States when we had barely one channel. And here I am using them to poll-axe myself to sleep.

      Is tennis big in Georgia. Frankly I thought it would be golf. But don’t bother with cable, look into free to air satellite.

      • Sage says:

        Tennis is big in our house thanks to my daughter… Where we live, there are 36 clay courts (but there are also 6 golf courses). I don’t play golf and only feed balls to my daughter on the tennis court.

        • V.H says:

          Jeepers, you weren’t kidding were you. You are seriously paddling against the current with the kayak. I saw them when I looked the island up. But I’d only got an impression of golf, I’d not grasped the houses wrap round than through the golf courses. And it seems if not golfing then tennis eh. 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    As I’ve mentioned here before, I gave up late night TV when Carson retired, but I appreciate your summary. I’ve seen all of these guys in other venues here and there, and I must admit something about Conan has always totally turned me off. Of those listed, Fallon would be my favorite.

    • V.H says:

      I expect once you’ve seen a year’s worth of them you’ll have had more than enough. I think I’m fascinated because they are so new to me. And that I can run a one after the other contrast between them.

  3. Kimberly says:

    Good review. They are such “old hat” for us, being inundated with them (commercials, previews, etc), it’s nice to read a fresh point of view. I don’t watch any of them with any regularity, except for Jon Stewart. The thing I like about Fallon is that he’s not mean. I know you dinged him on that. but I feel like there’s so much snark and calling others out over everything, his niceness is kind of refreshing. Plus, he seems like he truly loves and appreciates his job, like he’s having the best time.
    It’ll be interesting to see how Colbert does as Letterman’s replacement. He plays a character on his show now, so I’m not really sure of his real interview style. While acting as a polarizing conservative he is really a card carrying liberal. Neither will go over all that well with the Letterman crowd.

    • V.H says:

      Ah no, what I mean about Fallon is he’s a bit too nice. Everyone produces bull and when they are on these shows allowing them to wax on about their current fad/project/version of insanity is OK for a while but they have to be called on it at some point. It becomes evangelical otherwise. And Fallon doesn’t call them on it.
      He doesn’t have to be mean about it, or outright cruel.
      There are some that go on those shows that simply aren’t armed. Contrast the two Mara women. Kate is well able for the rough and tumble but (Pat) Rooney Mara isn’t.

      On the main thing about the shows I don’t see at all. I have either 5min snippets or full 40min shows that I can cut to shreds. Neiter of them having mid section ad’s that I can’t simply blaze over.

  4. Kimberly says:

    Yah, whenever I see video of his interviews, it is like he’s starstruck. That’s probably why it seems like he loves his job and can’t believe he gets to do it everyday.
    He used to do a bit on SNL as a Boston teenager that would have me rolling. Having lived there, but not a Bostonian, it was fun-ny!

    • V.H says:

      I think it’s a solvable issue. He has the brain, more so than all of them that I’ve seen, so it’s not beyond recovery.

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