Late, Late Shows & Latte!

If you have grown up, with the idea of American pop culture deeply ingrained into everything you do, from how you like your coffee to the Little Brown Bag, then you cannot be far from the phenomenon, that is late-night talk shows. There are numerous camps in this area of work, but I like to keep my favourites close and the ones I can only look at with utter contempt, a good, sane and safe distance away from me. Why? Because the whole late-night talk show concept is really about how Jay Leno snubbed David Letterman for the top-job once more.

I do like to indulge in my regular dose of junk gossip, but there is something strange about those hosts: they make some absurd comments, and then turn around, wink and pretend like they now have a totally new avatar, and it is somehow acceptable in mainstream Manhattan society to be okay with that! What a load of turd!  When I was still in school, I would sometimes spend my weeknights with the Late Show with David Letterman. I had no idea how that would happen, I remember, because it would usually come during rainy evenings spent with headphone hair and practicing writing long essays on what Shakespeare’s works mean and how they are culturally relevant.

If that sounds boring, you can kiss your journalism career goodbye, right now! But in the middle of all these papers floating around and trying to jump from my favourite track to another, I would watch that show and be mesmerized by the jazz music, the whole baseball cap that I wished I had almost as badly as the foam finger from basketball games, and ofcourse the jokes that apparently I was too young to have understood, but did! There is no hidden innuendo that is secret for long, when your brain works faster than lightning. The sketches were really interesting because it reminded me of stand-up comedy,and this was a time when I was still trying to understand the whole point of: Seinfeld. They had so many tapes, to go through, so much history, I got lost in why stand-up comedy was as appealing as it was, because I was still that extroverted popular kid, who liked shows that had canned laughter attached to them. Hey! What can I do? I like to know when something is funny, sometimes! It makes a food fight look twice the more fun!

But as I keep growing and learning, the late night shows that I have tried so hard to learn from keep disappearing! First, it’s almost time-up for Late Show with David Letterman. Second, The Daily Show, recently got axed! I do enjoy a sensational piece of news story on a news broadcaster, who has just hopped from Latin America to France, amidst fanfare. Someone who is always a little bit too interested in melancholia/making a mountain of a molehill, in American society, than can be deemed comfortable enough. Someone who has a good reach amongst couch potatoes.

But that’s not enough! It never is enough to hold my attention, for long enough! It was hard enough to phrase all those POVs on those broadcasters, without resisting the urge to reach a deep slumber, to begin with! Viewers want both of the show’s comic timings, their unique take on American culture (societal/political) to remain intact-post retirement for both Letterman, and Jon Stewart (the young host of The Daily Show, for a good few years, who has made a name for himself, talking about big boobs, funny-looking politicians, who seem to be addicted to Chinese fried rice, the relevance of Sarah Palin in politics).

Is that feasible? I would think not if you would take a look at the hosts that are ‘all-set’ to come and sit-in for them, pretty soon! The writers are all there, but can you really deal with another host delivering the similar kind of jokes? I guess that wouldn’t be as interesting as the bloodbath between hosts, to become a late-night talk show host. How interesting! But that must just be me: I’m too stuck-up with Hollywood to care a lot about corporate trenches and the melancholia that comes from seeing a favourite host fall, publicly and then vanish from public consciousness almost instantly. It might rival a Conan-something’s return from obscurity some 60-years later but storylines on soap operas have more thrill, thirty-years down the line, than seeing someone you have never heard of, FINALLY get his due and make it BIG! At least until then we have…60 Minutes!

 

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