Category Archives: Talk Shows
Starting today on CBS owned and operated stations, a new queen of daytime is making her way to the television scene. Not only is she a rapper, actress, television star and former spokesperson for Cover girl, Queen Latifah has decided to come back to television. Fans might know her as Dee Dee from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but she can now put talk show host as well onto her resume.
For The Queen Latifah Show’s debut the eponymous host was determined to bring out the big guns. Who better than her Hairspray costar John Travolta? Coming onto the stage, the show opens to her wearing a Tony Manero white polyester suit, made famous by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. She added her spin to the Bee Gees song “Staying Alive” with “Feeling Alive.”
It’s hard to believe that Conan O’Brien has had a late night talk show for 20 years. Granted, he’s had three of them: Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, and Conan, but that’s still no easy feat. He could have gone the way of Pat Sajak and Chevy Chase a long time ago. Actually, that was expected of him. Very few critics foresaw Conan having a long career and many, as demonstrated in this review from Entertainment Weekly, were unnecessarily harsh. It didn’t help that they were fueled by NBC’s decision to renew Conan’s Late Night contract on a weekly basis.
In hindsight, it is hard to watch Conan’s first night as host of Late Night, especially knowing the terrible treatment he received. Even hardcore Conan fans have to admit, on his first night, he was very green. To be fair, Conan did acknowledge it in a funny way and immediately addressed the fact that everyone kept hounding him with some variation of “better be as good as Letterman.” Conan had potential and viewers were willing to give him a chance, even though his bosses only kept renewing his contract because they had nothing else to throw on the air.
In 1977, David Letterman was still a struggling standup comedian trying to break into television, which is the only way to explain why Letterman would ever take part in the mess of a pilot that is The Riddlers. Unless you’re a fan of David Letterman, perpetual b-list game show guests from the 70s, or things that are so bad, they’re good, The Riddlers is not worth watching.
The Riddlers‘s pilot has many things wrong with it. The most obvious are several format flaws. First, there’s the fact that Letterman is almost useless. The contestants are reading the riddles to other members of their team. The Riddler‘s doesn’t need a host and it doesn’t deserve on as good as Letterman. He exists solely to read the rules and repeat questions that have already been read. While it is necessary to repeat questions every now and then, no game show needs a dedicated echoer.
As if a built in redundancy isn’t bad enough, the starting team is almost guaranteed to win. The problem isn’t that the object of the game is to answer 9 riddles correctly. It’s that the losing team from the previous game starts the new one and keeps control of the game until they get an incorrect answer. It’s entirely possible for a really good team to win the game without the other team ever answering a question. The only reason that doesn’t happen in the pilot is because Joyce Bulifant isn’t too bright, which she has also demonstrated multiple times on Match Game, so it’s not like she was having a bad day.
Yesterday, August 29, marked David Letterman’s 20th year hosting the Late Show on CBS. While fans are probably a little disappointed that Dave didn’t give in and do a retrospective episode or primetime special (Neither one was ever going to happen. This is Letterman we’re talking about.), there’s no reason we can’t, with the help of YouTube, take a look back at Dave’s time on CBS.
Dave may not have gotten The Tonight Show and NBC may have tried to sue him for using their intellectual property, but that didn’t stop Dave from bringing Larry “Bud” Melman, now using his real name, Calvert DeForest, to CBS. In fact, DeForest was the first person seen on the Late Show. Unfortunately, the clip below doesn’t have DeForest’s appearance on the first show, but it does have Ed Sullivan introducing Dave.
On November 13, 1987, ten years after their divorce, Sonny and Cher appeared on Late Night with David Letterman. The duo stopped by for an interview and to sing their hit “I Got You Babe.”
During the interview, it is apparent that Sonny and Cher still care deeply for each other.
The Jeselnik Offensive, hosted by Anthony Jeselnik, makes a point of being offensive. Actually, that’s the show’s entire schtick. It gets old fast. You shouldn’t be uncomfortable to laugh at a joke when you are alone, yet Jeselnik loves uncomfortable laughter. Jeselnik’s onstage persona is extremely punchable. It’s a mixture of Daniel Tosh, Craig Kilborn, and British comedian Jimmy Carr, who is one of the few people to pull off shock comedy well.
Most of his jokes are offensive because they are not funny. Asking your audience to turn off Amber Alert on their phones is in bad taste. Following it up with a joke about Usher’s son almost drowning in a pool is horrible. When he finally does get to a joke in poor taste that would be funny coming out of a comedian who would show some remorse, he’s already gone way too far.
Back when ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys were popular, Conan O’Brien decided to get in on the craze with his boyband Dudez-A-Plenti. Watch Conan’s boyband Dudez-A-Plenti make a video for their song “Awesome Girl.” It’s awesome.
For the beginning of the Dudez-A-Plenti saga, check out yesterday’s Cool TV Video of the Day.
ABC finally moved Jimmy Kimmel Live to 11:35 pm. To celebrate, let’s take a look back at the time Jimmy was F*@#ing Ben Affleck.
After the jump, Sarah Silverman starts the whole thing when she reveals she’s been F*@#ing Matt Damon.
Comedian Andy Kaufman and wrestler Jerry Lawler had a feud going sometime in the 1980s. Looking back, it was obviously staged. However, that fact was not apparent at the time because DVRs and the Internet were not invented and VCRs had yet to become ubiquitous.
On July 29, 1982, Late Night with David Letterman gave the world the following incident. (Warning: The video is uncensored and Kaufman says some variation of f*** a lot.)