I’ve always been a big fan of Johnny Carson. He was and always will be in my mind the iconic late night TV host. But then again, I grew up in the Carson era. In the summer, when school was out (and even during the school year when I could), I never missed an episode of The Tonight Show. It was big. It was impressive. It was fun to watch.
I never really cared for either David Letterman or Jay Leno. I’ve seen the cable special on the Late Night Wars between the two of them probably two or three times. If it’s close to reality, I’m glad I backed out of the late night drama when I did. My wife liked Letterman better than Leno, so The Tonight Show went on hiatus in our household.
It became a different story when both of those guys retired. We started watching Jimmy Fallon on DVR (neither of us stay up that late anymore), and now Stephen Colbert has taken over for Letterman in the Ed Sullivan Theater on CBS. And while Colbert is funny, he apparently isn’t cutting it. Not that we really care for Fallon that much either, but he’s crushing it these days.
Let me just say, I think Fallon’s humor is a little on the grade-school side of things. I mean, the guy is creative, and I didn’t miss an episode for the first 16 months, but it got to the point where I realized, he’s not aiming his show at me. He’s looking at the millennials out there, and that’s ok. I’m happy to turn him off and not worry about late night stuff.
And over at CBS, they’re starting to wonder if they made a mistake tapping Stephen Colbert instead of someone else…anyone else! Colbert had a flashy start to his program, but has steadily declined in the late night wars. It’s kinda like when Conan O’Brien, a talented writer, a terrible talk show host, took over for Leno when Jay went to prime time for six months or so. Stinker on both sides of that equation. Not that Letterman was doing much better against Fallon…it’s just that Colbert isn’t doing as well as Letterman did. And the last thing CBS is going to do is throw in the towel on a late night talk show. They’ll end up firing Colbert and finding some new talent…probably from SNL. That seems to be where these late night talk shows get their talent these days.
I’m just not convinced that either Colbert, nor Fallon is right for what I like. I’m sure they’re great for the younger crowd, and I have to admit for the first time ever, that I’m not in the target demographic (they try to shoot for the 18-49 year old adults on late night…18-34 is even better!). But in the meantime, I’ve got plenty on my DVR to keep me busy, and my queue on Netflix is growing ever larger. Then again, I can always read a book or go to sleep a little early!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!