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