Vintage Trouble Lands on Leno: “Strike Your Light”

Late Night shows have surprisingly upped the ante on their musical guests, with Leno leading the pack on his final week with The Tonight Show. Though he’s had Vintage Trouble on many times in the past, last night’s performance marks the first time I’ve taken notice. Watch them perform, “Strike Your Light” below.

Rebel Wilson v. Russell Crowe: “He Told Me to Fu*k Off”

You gotta love Rebel Wilson. Unlike most female comedians today, she doesn’t rely on male-oriented comedy to succeed. She’s original, likable, and hilarious. Watch her heart-warming story about the time she met Russell Crowe, and he told her to “fu*k off.”

Charlie Sheen on Lindsay Lohan: “She Held Us Hostage”

If Charlie Seen calls out your antics, things are bad. Sheen appeared on Leno and confirmed the rumors that Lindsay Lohan’s tardiness tanked their Anger Management taping. Sheen would know a thing or two about struggling with addiction, but since he’s notorious for his professionalism regardless of his private “indulgences,” I’m assuming his empathy is limited. Watch below.

Jay Leno Retires — Fallon Takes Over

It’s the end of an era. And that era has largely been defined as television’s greatest feud in history. It began as Dave v. Jay, then Jay v. Conan, and in round three, Jay finally stopped swinging and stepped down. NBC knew that if Letterman retired, CBS would poach Fallon, which would create too much competition for Jay who would presumably lose his audience around that time. The real tragedy here lies with Conan, who is likely self-loathing about not waiting long enough for the coveted spot. Had he stuck with it, the network would have gifted him the spot without the drama.

Leno Out, Fallon In? Late-Night Rumors Resurface

The Tonight ShowHere we go again. Rumor has it that NBC is looking to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon as the host of The Tonight Show when Leno’s contract expires in 2014. Though Leno still has competitive ratings, NBC allegedly fears that Kimmel is a strong contender for the coveted 18-34 market, and when Leno’s star fades, CBS might poach Kimmel if Letterman retires, which will tank NBC. Too confusing? Here’s a shorter summary: Leno has an expiration date, and NBC wants to stay ahead of the game before Kimmel becomes king.

While NBC needs a game plan, since they have yet to get a hit show on the air, my suggestion is that they find the right team of people to make creative decisions before they become doomed with another late-night debacle. The first one was embarrassing enough, and they won’t survive another. So until I see a ratings surge in other areas, I’d hold off on trusting the executives behind these “rumors”

Jay Leno Takes Pay Cut to Save His Staff

For years popular comedians (including my icon — Howard Stern) have bashed Jay Leno, yet I’ve constantly heard from insiders that he’s incredibly good to his staff. And with the news that Leno took a pay cut to save his staff’s jobs in the midst of NBC/Comcast budget cuts, it’s clear that the Leno bashers should give it a rest. Sure he’s got a ton of money and could probably work for free, but it doesn’t matter. It’s an admirable move.

Robert Downey Jr. on Jay Leno — Hotness Overload

I feel a special connection with Robert Downey Jr. given our extensive love affair that’s been going on for years in my mind. Watch him on Jay Leno promoting The Avengers, and you too might fall in love. Hands-off though — he’s exclusive to The Dishmaster’s fantasy-man list.

Howard Stern on David Letterman — Proves He’s a Legend

There’s no entertainer that I respect or love more than Howard Stern.  I listen to him daily, and if we weren’t alive at the same time, I would insist I was a reincarnated version of him.  He’s an angst-ridden, neurotic Jew with overbearing parents, and he always says what’s on his mind no matter how controversial.  I often watch his old interviews, and his David Letterman appearances are legendary.  He recently appeared on Letterman to promote the new Sirius phone app, and true to form, he hijacked Letterman’s show.  Because Stern is the greatest interviewer on the planet, he’s incapable of being interviewed himself, and he basically turns every appearance into an extended version of his own radio show.  In the interview below, he told Letterman that his staff needs to stop writing books and producing movies and start focusing on how to beat Jay Leno in the ratings.  He also said that no one gets fired at CBS except for him, and he cited Letterman’s staff member “shenanigans” as an example.  Stern said he asked all the women backstage if they’ve slept with Letterman.  Watch below.  It starts at minute five.

Vintage Interview Clip: Chelsea Handler Gets Told by Chris Matthews

I randomly saw this clip, and I had to share it. One of my complaints about late night shows today is that the initial guest exits after their interview. Some of the greatest moments happen when the first guest stays for the second interview, and they share a couch someone they have nothing in common with. The camera often pans to their face, and the result is comedic magic. Watch below to see what I mean.

Is Conan String-Dancing on Jeff Zucker’s Career-Grave?

The Mother-Zucker lost his job today, and I can’t help but wonder if Conan is secretly laughing.  As I pointed out in yesterday’s Blockbuster post, I don’t usually rejoice at another’s demise, but I sometimes make exceptions.  I’ll make an exception today for Jeff Zucker, who was the brains behind the Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien late-night debacle, and who handled his mistakes by pointing the finger at Conan’s failings, instead of his own.  To quote the great Tim Gunn, “take responsibility for your own actions,” Mr. Zucker.  As an aside, he also made a feeble attempt to smoke Conan off the air for three years, so that Conan could not move to another network to compete with Leno.  It didn’t work, and insiders felt it was only a matter of time before Zucker was held accountable for his poor decisions.  Zucker was fired by Comcast COO Steve Burke.  If you would like a detailed account of Zucker’s failings while he headed NBC, then read Bill Carter’s fantastic book, Desperate Networks.  You can also read Nikki Finke’s brief recap.  How NBC kept him all this time, when he single-handedly sunk the network after NBC lost Friends, I’ll never understand.  Oh wait — yes I will — It’s Hollywood.  Here’s hoping that this gave Conan a slight sense of enjoyment.