Admittedly, I’ve had little time to think about what I was going to blog this morning and even less time now to write, but I thought I’d share with you my feelings about late night TV in the USA.
David Letterman: He’s a sardonic arsehole. There’s not an ounce of joy left in the man (at least none that exudes from my TV set). Every joke uttered from his lips reeks of, “Oh, this job sucks, but I get paid a lot for it, so why not?” My rating: acerbic.
Jay Leno: Treats America as if we’re all morons with a third grade education. He can’t speak about a minority opinion for more than five seconds before he has to rebut with, “But most people think that…” He has no sense of humor, no sense of timing, and we can easily see through his faux amusement when his guests are not interesting. My rating: imbecile.
Jimmy Kimmel: Four words: Stay off the pot man. Jimmy always looks like he just rolled out of bed, rolled a joint, and came to work, and perhaps that’s what the ABC execs like about him because it gives him that frat boy I-don’t-give-two-sh*ts attitude, but it just makes for mediocre TV. He’s not really funny unless you think that guy who just drank a funnel of beer and threw up in your bathroom is funny. My rating: schlep.
Craig Ferguson: Not bad, in a “Well-it’s late-and-no-one’s-watching” kind of way. He’s a pretty good comedian and his timing’s usually on the ball, but the show’s producers know they’re going against the king of the 1230am time slot (Conan), and hey, they just don’t care. You can tell by the small sets and the lack of camera angles that this is a low budget show. My rating: mediocre, but not necessarily Craig’s fault.
Conan O’Brien: Superb. And not just because I started watching him back in college when I should have been in bed or studying. He’s been doing this for more than a decade and he’s still on the ball. Last night with Martin Short, Conan totally went off the script of questions because Short is so eccentric, and yet Conan adapted instantly, completely unfazed, even when they slipped into awkward pauses and odd timing. His skits are also mostly fantastic (although they bomb from time to time). But the non sequiturs are what makes this show special in my mind. Conan has joy in his work, unlike Letterman. Conan has respect for his audience, unlike Leno who treats his audience like school kids. Conan dresses sharp and his eyes aren’t half-lidded or bloodshot from too much partying, unlike Kimmel. And he’s got the big budget to make his show sing, unlike poor Ferguson, who has a lot of potential but little support. My rating: Conan, you rock.