When David Letterman rode off into the sunset, he took a more traditional, structured form of late night televison with him, and what followed is viral videos of celebrities letting their hair down to play games and act out bits. But the new landscape kept one tradition intact, and it’s the male-dominated format. One might argue that there were simply no women in the mix at that level, but a simple bead of sweat would have likely found a female gem. Translation? No one wanted to do the work required to find the perfect female host. They went with what they knew. In a new interview with Tom Brokaw, Letterman shared this same sentiment, saying, “I’m happy for the guys—men and women—there should be more women. And I don’t know why they didn’t give my show to a woman.” Tune in to the entire interview Sunday night at 7 p.m. as part of the upcoming limited series “On Assignment” from NBC.
I feel bad for George Lopez. The guy had a moderately successful show, and then Conan’s late night debacle forced him into a new time-slot. At the time, he was supportive, assuming that a great lead-in could only help his ratings. Unfortunately, Conan didn’t deliver his expected audience numbers, and George Lopez suffered. But when you look at the big picture, here’s the nutshell summary — Conan did to George what Jay did to Conan. Sure Conan likely asked for George’s permission when he joined TBS, but in the end, he still hurt Lopez’s numbers. It’s not my style to pick on Conan O’Brien. I used to be such a huge fan of his show. But he should have stayed in his original time-slot. He was chasing after the dream of “being the next Johnny Carson,” and that arbitrary goal got in the way of pragmatic decision-making. Now he’s suffering. And furthermore — he should have gone to Fox instead of TBS.
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.
George Lopez went on CNN to debunk rumors that he was secretly pissed about Conan moving into his time slot. He also confirmed that Conan graciously called him to make sure that he had Lopez’s blessing, and that TBS would not have made the offer without Lopez giving his okay. I believe Lopez. Conan is a bigger star than him, and therefore makes a great lead-in. It only makes sense that Lopez would welcome him.