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The Insider: She Who Laughs Late …

Jan 6, 2008  •  Post A Comment

With the late-night shows back in production, The Insider is back in full sleep-deprivation mode.
Not that she’s complaining. It’s better than the amusement deprivation of the two months in which the shows were sidelined by the writers strike.
We’re also once again presented with ample opportunity to ponder cosmic coincidences—such as “Young Frankenstein’s” Megan Mullally appearing on Conan O’Brien’s couch, while her Broadway musical castmates Roger Bart, Sutton Foster and Christopher Fitzgerald performed across town on David Letterman’s stage.
What follows is a partial and random series of observations—which fall just short of opinions—based on the first couple of nights of new late-late laughter.

  • This week might be the time to stop apologizing for being back on the air or stumping for the striking writers, whether they work for David Letterman and are back on the job at his “Late Show” or “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” or are still out because they work for NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” or ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
    This viewer speaks for all who believe we have gotten the point and are no longer amused—which is, after all, the reason these shows exist.
  • It also is past time for Mr. Letterman’s Foster Brooks-ian and Mr. O’Brien’s more manicured strike beards to go. (On the other hand, Jeff Ross, Mr. O’Brien’s executive producer, should keep his. It suits him.)
    And, continuing in the sartorial vein, Fonzworth Bentley, P. Diddy’s former factotum, was right on target with his softer, lighter color recommendations for Mr. O’Brien, whom Mr. Bentley said had “a red-haired Abe Lincoln thing going.”
    On the other hand, Mr. O’Brien looked casually hunky in Thursday’s segment in which he upbraided an NBC page conducting a less-than-accurate “Late Night” studio tour.
  • But, please, Mr. Leno, oh, please, please, please, please, please, never force, cajole or otherwise cause any staffer, much less announcer John Melendez, to don an acid-green “Borat” mankini. And if for some reason that ban gets broken, don’t let the next guest tell us about seeing Mr. Melendez hurriedly giving himself a bikini shave backstage and applying bandages to stanch the groinal bleeding.
    The Insider has a similar request about the duo in disciplinary duds Craig Ferguson used to illustrate the shorts he’d bought himself to celebrate his third anniversary (the leather anniversary) as “Late Late” host Thursday night.
    “This show has now lasted longer than 50% of my marriages,” Mr. Ferguson joked. “And it has the same amount of sex.”
    Perhaps it’s time for him to toss those S&M-esque suspenders and, ummmm, chaps to the back of his closet.
    Just joking.
    And nice to be able to say the same about the late-night lads—who will be joined tonight by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
    The Insider is beside herself with anticipation—an image that also is not a pretty picture.

One Comment

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