Friday Fives > late night tv edition

Who is your current favorite late night talk show person?

Craig Ferguson

who is your all time late night favorite talk show person

Letterman.  I was raised on Letterman.  When I was a kid, we went and saw the Letterman show in person in NYC.  How long ago was it?  Letterman’s show was a morning show, true story!  So, why would I betray Dave and vote for Craig above?   Well, Dave has gotten a bit stale for me.   Also, it seems like it is always in reruns.  Plus, Dave hired Craig and is his employer.   So, they remain critically linked.

do you have a favorite late night talk show memory?

yes, and it isn’t that one above.  Ok, there was one great memory from that day.  It was almost 30 years ago, so I have few memories.  This is one, though.  In the elevator up to the studio we shared space with Gene Shalit*.  Being 7 or 8 years old and seeing that man pretty much freaked me out for life.  I mean, seriously… he really looks like… well…  that.  However, since that was a morning show… we won’t use that memory.  So, here is this one.  I went to LA years ago on vacation and we were offered free tickets to see Arsenio Hall’s late night show tape.  We went that night and they were oversold.  The nice production assistant lady told me if we came back the next night we would be front row.

well, you are thinking that was showbiz hokum and they screwed us.  Not the case at all.  We came back the next day and his producer recognized us and put us in the very front row.  This was awesome, because tv studios are WAY smaller than they look on TV.  We were just a few feet away from the whole thing.  Not only were we on national tv (they pan through the front row as part of the intro every night), but the guests were awesome!  We got to see Dennis Miller (when he was funny, not a Republican douchebag apologist) and Anna Nicole Smith.

So, what’s going to happen next year when Leno steps down?

I think a huge shake up will roll through the industry.  I think it can be compared to a couple of years ago when all three big network night news guys stepped down almost simultaneously:  Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, and Peter Jennings.   30 or 40 years each, and they all disappeared almost overnight.  I literally think it will be like that.  Letterman will walk away and John Stewart will drop in there somewhere.

also, though everyone likes to make fun of him from MTV, Carson Daly is great.  Seriously, he has a great future.  He is a genuine, funny, and smart dude.

who would be a great talk show host, beside yourself, famous or otherwise?

Bobby Weir from the Grateful Dead.  He is passionate and articulate. He is funny and interesting. He is also really weird, and being in the Grateful Dead for 40 years, dude must have some AMAZING stories.  He would have to shave the beard, though.  It is super creepy.

* now remember.  Many things have happened to you in your life.  Many bad and horrible things.  There are things you know about that you would give anything to make never happen.  Being in an elevator with Gene Shalit is exactly like that.  Mostly, at night, I just cry.


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