Late night talk shows

What makes for a great late night television host? I don’t rightly know. I was too young to appreciate Carson while he was still around. I prefer Letterman these days to Leno because he’s funnier and less ‘polite.’ Leno always seems to be workig too hard to be thought of as the nicest guy in show biz. Or maybe it’s just that I’m from the NYC media market, and L.A. shows grate on my nerves a lot.

I caught Katie Holmes on a THE CONAN O’BRIEN SHOW (or whatever the exact title is) repeat on E! the other night. She was there to promote ABANDON, her new movie with Benjamin Bratt that I have zero interest in. Conan steered her into telling stories about airports and planes. She does a lot of flying back and forth work between the movies and the TV show, so you’d figure there’d be something there. She stumbled her way breathlessly through three clunkers of stories. I felt badly for her. She looked all out of sorts. But you know what makes Conan such a great host? Instead of laughing at her or making fun of her, he found a way to make the story seem funny with a single comeback. His funniness made you almost forget Holmes’ lack of anything interesting to say. And he did it all without belittling a guest who probably deserved belittling that night.

Good job, Conan.


One Response to “Late night talk shows”

  1. Jonah
    24. October 2002 at 04:36

    I’m VERY much a Letterman guy, always have been, and I’m from Los Angeles. I find Leno boring and his interview style uninspired. On the other hand, Letterman loathes the interview, and seems to spend as much time as he can just chatting and screwing around. Letterman is best improvising and working off his crew.

    As for the 12:30 crowd, I like both Kilborne and O’Brien. They both have their merits. If the two were to bare knuckle box, though, I’d put my money on Conan.

    Oh, just to be childish, Leno sucks.