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Late Night Talk Shows

December 14, 2018

Years ago, I was a fan of late night talk shows, specifically The Tonight Show. I watched it through all of its incarnations from Steve Allen, to Jack Parr to Johnny Carson to Jay Leno. It was generally entertaining and gave me the opportunity to see some personalities with whom I was not familiar.  It was just plain fun and a nice way to end the evening. Then the clouds came and things changed….

After Jay Leno and David Letterman retired and left the scene, the void was filled with unfunny hosts who saw their mission as harsh political commentary and indoctrination rather than entertainment. Gone was the humor and joy that accompanied the late night experience. Everything was replaced by smugness, meanness and mass asininity. Monologues that used to feature current events and a look at topical news in a comedic format were replaced with non-relenting harsh criticisms of America and character assassinations of our president. It all became the unfunny stuff that belongs on the editorial page of a left wing newspaper.

The current line-up is simply pathetic. The poorly toupeed Jimmy Fallon just isn’t entertaining. His monologue is 100% anti-Trump nonsense complete with very poor impressions.  His guests are of dubious quality and the only redeeming factor of his show is its musical group, The Roots. They are fantastic! Stephen Colbert is just plain anti-American and anti-entertaining from the first word. His monologue is also just an anti-Trump tirade that would put to sleep even the most liberal of his viewers.  Unlike Fallon, he is aggressive and angry and it shows all too much. The others such as Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers just fill in the cracks in between all of the hostility and self-absorbed personalities that crowd late night television. Gone are the days when you could get a personal look at a major film star (a real one), see Jack Hanna’s animal guests, see entertaining skits or just plain have a little fun and relaxation before you went to bed. Now you are forced off to slumber mad at the world, without so much as a weak smile.

My advice? Turn-off the damn television and go to bed. When you awake in the morning with an extra hour of sleep, you’ll be glad you did!

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  1. You forgot to mention the probably only one that deserved some credit: Jon Steward. He was funny and clever. I saw him a couple of times. Once in DC, but best if all I went to see his show in NYC. Those shows are free, but to get in one need to be young and patient/resilient. It was my son that did all the work. First, Making the request online. Once a date is given; on that day, get the tickets (non-numbered), one need to get in line for a good hour or so at around noon. That done, is not all. Make a line again, way before the show starts (around 5:00pm).
    Finally we go in. They make it so that the studio must be filled in. So the ones that didn’t get the tickets earlier may still have a chance (though slim).
    Some comedian in-training entertains until Jon comes in. By now everyone is excited.
    When we went to our surprise the guest was Allan Greenspan. Jon knew how to conduct an interview. I recall it was about his latest book. When I turned my head I noticed that his wife, the journalist Andrea Mitchell was standing next to us. So I gave my son an elbow on his side and whispered “that’s his wife! … you know the journalist, for NBC news…”
    My son looked her up, and commented “that young? With that man? She looks so worried about him…”
    Indeed, she was anxiously following the interview, and left immediately as soon as it was over.
    It was a beautiful evening for us. It was a couple of months before I left the US to come back to Italy, and wanted to do something special.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Carson and Leno were funny guys. I have sworn off TV altogether. It’s pretty much a waste of time regardless of political stripe.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I totally agree with you, Allen (as you well know). For me there will never be another Johnny Carson. But, on occasion, I used to enjoy Craig Ferguson until he disappeared about four years ago, and once in a blue moon, I will watch (and also enjoy) Conan O’Brien. The rest are merely self-indulgent wannabees with little or no talent. One of these days the networks might wake up and realize that the purpose of late night television is to entertain and allow people to fall asleep in a good mood. Until that happens, my philosophy is simple: no TV before bedtime. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. KiM permalink

    I’m not a late night person. Anything after 9pm would be hard pressed to be a better option than sleep to me. I don’t recall ever watching any of them. Doesn’t sound like a missed much.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on allenrizzi and commented:

    Had a good night’s sleep…


  6. I used to write some of the jokes for Jay Leno. Those were the days when humor was funny. Nowadays, it is simply and plainly, mean-spirited.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I was a fan of Steve Allen because he was so funny. Later I enjoyed Johnny Carson, then Jay Leno. There’s not much on tv that doesn’t grate on me these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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