Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's a Sad Day For America, Everybody: Goodbye Late Late Show

I'm a big fan of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. I always loved how it was the anti-talk show. Although every night would open with a cold open, a monologue, viewer mail, interviews, and a "what did we learn on the show tonight, Craig" 30 second closer, you really didn't know what was going to happen next. The show was always hilarious, fresh, and, most importantly, smart. He didn't treat you like you were an idiot, and he certainly didn't do stupid shit which featured [insert celebrity, meme, or nostalgic thing]. I think you can figure out who I don't like all that much. What matters is that Craig Ferguson has just completed his last Late Late Show, and the entire time I was watching it, I legitimately felt upset. Craig Ferguson is just such a natural at what he does. Sure, in the beginning he was a bit rusty, but so was Conan O'Brien and look where he is now. The great thing about Ferguson is he has instant replay value. He is a fantastic story teller. Just look up his past monologues and watch the ones where he talks about the passing of his parents, how he almost committed suicide, and even him pleading to the public to leave Britney alone. You know what he's talking about, but you have no idea what he's going to say next, and he does it in the best way possible. He's even a natural at interviews. Even if you don't know the guest, his casual attitude and ability to not ass-kiss keeps you entertained and laughing the entire time. Not to mention his gay robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson. That alone is fucking brilliant. I'm really going to miss this show. Much like when David Letterman left Late Night, there's really never going to be anything on television quite like that show. Watching the last monologue of Craig Ferguson really genuinely made me sad. There's not many Carson-like hosts on TV anymore, and we're losing one of the best right now. Well, he did hint that this isn't the last time we'll see him, but it definitely won't be the same. All I can say is James Corden, you've got some big shoes to fill, but make the show your own. Do what you think is the best for late night, not what everyone else is doing. That's why I loved Ferguson, and why I hate NBC's late night lineup.

I really don't know how Jimmy Fallon has been as successful as he has been. It's a genuine mystery and concern to me. Are people really this dumb? And yes, that is a bit harsh, but honestly. Watch Jimmy Fallon's "Best Of" DVD, and I put quotations marks around the words "Best Of" because it's really the only salvageable sketches he was in. Sure, he did some funny things, but he's really not that funny. He's a wonderful impressionist, but lacks comedic abilities. Watch him laugh the only line he had in the "Cowbell" sketch, in fact, watch him laugh in pretty much every sketch. Before Fallon, laughing in a sketch was hilarious, because when a cast member did it, you knew it was hilarious, and it was just funny to see them react to it. Then came Fallon, and it became a regular shtick of his. He left to pursue a movie career which went nowhere. Watch the trailer for the movie "Taxi," and that will sum it up pretty well. Then, Conan decided he wanted to leave Late Night and take over The Tonight Show. Who would take over Late Night? Could it be the talented and admirable Carson Daly, who hosted Last Call at 1:35 AM? Nope, SNL creator and crazy-man Lorne Michaels opted for Jimmy Fallon, because he's got nothing else to do. Now, okay, Lorne also chose Conan to take over Late Night, maybe Fallon's better at talking than he is at being funny. Nope. Even today, you can still see a very nervous and sweaty Fallon stammer his way through an interview while ass kissing the guest. I mean honestly, every sketch on Late Night and The Tonight Show is chuckle-worthy at best, and he still isn't funny. He has no idea how to say a joke, and every funny thing that gets viral on YouTube is a guest rapping to something from the '90s or playing some stupid party game. It's not so much funny, but nostalgic, so long as you're young enough to get the "joke." Plus, he's tame enough that old people will tune in. On paper for NBC, it's a no-brainer. Fallon is as vanilla as you get. He's a corporate puppet. It makes me crazy how people would rag on Leno for being a team player for NBC, but they don't give a fuck if the spinless Fallon does it because all the cool kids love him. If you can say anything good about Fallon, he's great at bringing young internet-savvy people to television by frequently referencing social media and nostalgic bullshit. All things the internet loves. Jimmy Fallon is the human version of Buzzfeed. Even his band The Roots can't understand how the show is still on the air. It's insane. And Late Night with Seth Meyers is just Weekend Update every weeknight. Stale shit that people will tune in for because it's familiar.
Unfortunately, Letterman has lost his touch. It's sad to watch him now, especially when you watch clips from when he hosted Late Night, the show was groundbreaking. Now, it's like listening to an old man talk about things he doesn't like, such as politics and sports. At least Alan Kalter is funny. Honestly, the only late night hosts worth watching now are Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O'Brien. Jimmy Kimmel's dry humor is similar to Ferguson's, but very much unique. And Conan is still as funny as he was on Late Night. I don't care for political humor, it's just biased unfair bashing towards a party, so if you're into that, watch Jon Stewart and/or Stephen Colbert. But don't watch Bill Maher, he's a pompous douche. Oh and if you can get AXS TV, watch Tom Green Live, he's a surprisingly great interviewer.

Speaking of Colbert, what the hell was CBS thinking? They've immediately turned off anyone who didn't find his character funny on The Colbert Report, and we really don't know anything about the guy. And who the hell is James Corden? Now this could be another Conan O'Brien, but seriously. CBS late night is dead. All I can hope for is Fallon dips in the ratings, and Jimmy Kimmel or Conan reign as number one late night show. But that will never happen. People would rather watch Jimmy Fallon play Catchphrases with Jennifer Garner than genuinely laugh.
Craig, thank you for making the Late Late Show your own thing. You've proven that smart humor still exists, just not everyone appreciates it. You made it a great day for America, everybody. I'll still tune in to Celebrity Name Game, and whatever you end up doing in the future. Thank you, and balls.

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