Carson Daly/Chelsea Lately/George Lopez/Wanda Sykes
ATTENTION WHITE MALES: WE HAVE COME TO TAKE YOUR LATE NIGHT HOSTING JOBS
Here is a somewhat Controversial Opinion: Last Call with Carson Daly is not awful. I watched it recently (which, I should probably point out, I don’t intend on doing again), and I don’t know when they switched from Carson Daly in a studio failing to make an audience laugh to Carson Daly wandering around some city, but the amount of difference it makes is incredible. When it was announced that Jay Leno would be decimating NBC’s primetime schedule, they made a big deal about how his new show was going to be totally different from The Tonight Show and they were going to get rid of the desk (!!!), only for it to turn out to be a near-exact clone of The Tonight Show with a slightly less prominent desk (…). Last Call, however, actually followed through with big changes (which you will be reminded of approximately 50 times via the words “NO DESK. NO TITLE. NO RULES.” continuing to pop up throughout the show) that really help distinguish the show from the preceding dozen talk shows. Suddenly, Daly’s complete lack of charisma isn’t as noticeable when it’s just him and a celebrity without a studio audience present, the increased focus on music highlights his ostensible connection to the music industry (remember when this guy was popular and hosted MTV’s last music show???), and he doesn’t have to do godawful comedy segments about MySpace anymore. Weaknesses are diminished, strengths are highlighted – I never thought I would say this, but Conan, Leno and Fallon could probably learn from Carson Daly.
Anyway, I apologize for a week of Late Night Talk Show Opinions, but after watching ¾s of The Larry Sanders Show I find the whole late night wars thing to be bizarrely fascinating