I just wanted to chime in on this whole talkshow host crap. Who cares? I’m not sure I do but…
Remember Johnny Carson? I do.
I remember when I was old enough to be able to stay up and watch him. I remember that, despite how unfunny Johnny Carson was sometimes, he was Johnny Carson and everyone watched just because. I remember when Johnny Carson announced he was leaving his late night show in 1992 and even though I only half ever bothered to watch it anymore, I thought it was a void that would never be filled.
I was always kinda hoping that Joan Rivers would get that job. I really liked her and never missed a night that she filled in for Johnny. When she got her own show in 1986, I watched that until it got canceled.
I remember when Joan Rivers left and/or got fired from her talkshow and Arsenio Hall replaced her in 1987. I think that was the first time I realized I didn’t HAVE to watch Johnny Carson. I watched Arsenio EVERY night and during commercials would turn to Johnny to see what he was up to. Arsenio’s guest were hipper, younger, blacker and even though it was obvious that the show was based on the Carson format, the show was uniquely Arsenio’s.
I remember when NBC announced that Jay Leno would be getting the Tonight Show and not David Letterman. I boycotted Jay Leno because everyone knew that Johnny wanted Letterman to have that job. I was a fan of Letterman from his train-wrenck of a show, Late Night with David Letterman. When David announced that he was going to CBS and that they’d be renovating the old Ed Sullivan theatre, me and some friends went by there to just check it out.
The theatre had been abandoned for a while, but now you could see that people were in there working and they had cleaned up the outside. We talked to some cops that were standing guard outside. They said people had been asking them about the reopening a lot. Everyone thought it was going to be a great idea.
After Arsenio was gone, I was still on Letterman’s side but would watch Jay Leno if he had on a guest I really liked. When NBC announced that Conan O’Brien would be replacing Jay Leno, I was a little upset. Conan was one of those shows I could never REALLY get into, because he wasn’t funny. I thought NBC was treating Jay shabbily, when i realized it wasn’t his decision to leave. But what could you expect from a network that treated David Letterman the same way. I also thought maybe this was karma coming back to bite Jay Leno in the ass, even though Letterman had forgiven him.
2009 came and Jay’s time was up. NBC really pissed me off putting Jay on in primetime because all my 10pm crime dramas were taken off and/or moved to 9pm. I felt sorry for Jay, but he was really cramping my style and I just couldn’t get into him doing the monologue at 10pm. And as for Conan, I’m wondering if saying that he could bite my ass in hell is a little too strong. Needless to say I never watched a single episode, no matter who the guest was because I thought it they were REALLY anybody, they’d show up on Letterman eventually.
Somewhere along the way God decided that he needed to show me proof of life and a few weeks after Tyra Banks decided that she was quitting her talk show, NBC announced that they were cancelling the Jay Leno show. I thought I couldn’t ask for more than that and then I started hearing buzz that NBC might be moving Jay Leno back to 11:30, leaving Conan out in the cold or up against Craig Ferguson. And even though there are many days when Craig struggles to be funny, I live for puppet week and remember that Conan can bite my ass in HELL!
Then one night I’m on the phone with Boriqua Boy and he’s telling me that he saw an episode of George Lopez’s talk show and that it was funny as hell. I don’t get to see that show because I have mortal television. So I went to see if I could see an episode online. And while the Leno, Conan thing was turning into a hot mess, I did manage to see an episode, the one with Jackie Chan, and Boriqua Boy was right. It was funny as hell. I hadn’t laughed that much during a late night show since the premiere of the Arsenio Hall show. And then I got to thinking…

Why the f@#$ do I give a s@#$ about Leno or Conan. It’s 2010. There a biracial black president. When did this become a choice between McCain and Hillary? How did we go from Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Arsenio Hall to David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Carson Daly and Jimmy Kimmel? Where’s the love? Where’s the diversity? Why wasn’t George Lopez even considered for that job???!!!
OK. OK. Maybe George would have to get rid of the “Creepy Little White Girl” character. And maybe muttering in Spanish under his breath wouldn’t fly to well with the folks in the Midwest. But right now, George is bringing the funny and he hands down has the funkiest theme song, the only goatee in the bunch and the best dance moves.
Letterman vs Lopez on network TV. Now that sounds like a late night fight worth paying for.
You can see some clips from the Lopez Tonight on Hulu.com at:
Honorable Mention goes to The Wanda Sykes Show. I watched the first episode and it was a bit of a train wreck, kinda like the show it replace, Talk Show with Spike Feresten, but this week I actually missed SNL to watch it because Aunt Viv and crazy ass George Wallace were on and I’m glad I did.