Late Night TV is all the same and so different

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With Kimmel going to 11:35 last week, I think it was Letterman who pointed out (many times) how necessary it was to have 3 shows that were exactly the same all on at 11:35. I find it so interesting how they are all pretty much the same, yet I like a lot of them for different reasons. I wanted to try and describe each show as quickly as I could.

David Letterman
The master of the format. I’m not old enough to have watched Carson (but I’ve seen plenty of specials). I can see why people might be turned off by Dave and all of his quirks, but for some reason every one of them cracks me up. As great as I think he is now, I wish I would have been old enough to watch his NBC show. I probably would have invented the DVR in order to watch it.

Jay Leno
When I watch I can’t grasp how anyone finds the show funny, yet, the ratings. I hear so many people say how great he was when he’d go on Letterman, but I have not seen the proof. I really want someone to make a documentary about it called, ‘I Swear He Was Funny’.

Jimmy Kimmel
Most resembles what I image the show would be if my friends and I put one together. I think he’s the best interviewer and the number of pre-taped bits that have been home runs shouldn’t be possible.

The Daily Show
Jon is so good that sometimes trying to get jokes in actually takes away from the greatness of the show. How’s that for a comedy show? Less jokes! He could do the show by himself but has so many funny corespondents around (and how do they keep finding great new ones when others leave?). I don’t know how everything fits into a half hour every night. (Except for interviews going long and being posted online almost every night these days.)

The Colbert Report
The concept is so genius that they really don’t even have to try and the show would be great. The fact that they work really hard, there is no way anyone else should ever win the Emmy.

I watch because the bright spots are so much fun. I usually skip the monologue, and the interviews aren’t the best. So what’s left? The sketches are just off the wall sometimes. The show is at its best when it is the most cartoon-y. Bonus: Andy Richter is incredibly underrated. A lot of nights he will just say one thing but he’ll get my biggest laugh of the night.

Jimmy Fallon
When you put it on, it feels like a really hip club that went through initiation and learned all sorts of secret handshakes that you don’t understand. Yet they are really friendly to visitors who want to stop by. You always feel welcome, but also feel like you shouldn’t ask about the handshakes because they won’t tell you.

Craig Ferguson
Sometimes I catch the first few minutes after Letterman. He’s so different than everyone else, even though the format is so similar. Of all the shows, if I had to test someone to see if we had a compatible sense of humor, I think I’d go with Craig.

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