I mentioned last week about really discovering comedy on the weekends as I was growing up. As I got even older, I began watching Johnny Carson. This led then to watching David Letterman. Since I’m a night owl, I’ve been able to watch and sample almost all the late night talk shows through the years. Here is my list of the current shows on Network TV, with the exception being my #1. At the very bottom you can take a poll to let me know your thoughts.
#6- A host who’s name I refuse to mention from NBC who is getting ready to retire. I used to periodically watch him but after what he did to Conan, I have refused to watch even a single second. I’m so fanatical about this that when it comes time to watch Jimmy Fallon, I usually miss the first few seconds because I don’t want my DVR to somehow give “the host who shall remain nameless” any credit for an extra viewer.
#5 Craig Ferguson– To be honest I haven’t watch a whole lot of him. I think it’s because I have trouble understanding his accent. Lisa has supersonic hearing and so when she’s trying to sleep I have to keep the TV really quiet (ie sound setting #1). I on the other hand can’t hear a thing and like it normally at sound setting 10-15. You see my dilemma…between the accent and low volume level, I haven’t a clue what’s happening….sorry Craig you may deserve higher but it’s not happening.
#4 David Letterman– If 20 years ago you would have told me I was going to do a ranking of Late Night Talk Show hosts and Letterman would be all the way down to #4, I would have told you that you were crazy. In his prime, Letterman was a comedic genius. Between getting older, becoming a dad, scandals, etc, he has really mellowed out and is not as edgy or as abrasive as he once was. As much as his monologue, Top 10 Lists and other skits were funny,what set him apart was his interviews. They were often the highlight of the show because you never knew what was going to happen or how he’d make a guest squirm in there seat. Somehow though it always turned out funny.
#3 Jimmy Fallon- I used to hate it on Saturday Night Live when he couldn’t keep a straight face during a sketch. Now though with his own show I’ve realized that he just simply loves to laugh as much as he does make other people laugh. They youthful enthusiasm is contagious and I love to watch him whenever up still up that late. His bits with Justin Timberlake (especially all 5 parts to the history of rap) are great and I love whenever he incorporates creative music bits into the show (ie, He, Miley Cyrus and the Roots doing an a capella version of “We Can’t Stop“)When they hit a home run like these on this show it’s spectacular, but right now they still come too far apart. I anticipate though with his move into the 11:30 spot that they will up their game and take it to the nextlevel, which means he will continue rising in my rankings.
#2 Jimmy Kimmel- To be honest, he could just as easily be my #1. The bits he does on a consistent basis are what I’m saying Fallon needs to do. Add to this he does a good monologue, he’s a good interviewer and has a great supporting cast, these guys are killing it! My favorite bit was “The Handsome Man’s Club” but that was tough to narrow down. Time after time this show comes up with clever ways to make you laugh. I love when theyget America involved with YouTube Challenges and even when he recently pranked America.
#1 Conan O’Brien- No one consistently makes me laugh more than he does. My personal preference is physical comedy in which Conan pulls off perfectly. I also have an affinity for “running gags” which Conan does both within individual shows and globally across all shows. While Kimmel uses a variety of others for his bits, Conan’s chemistry with Andy Richter is amazing. I also like that Conan uses a lot of self deprecating humor where his general awkwardness becomes a comedic strength rather than a personal weakness. Here are two of his recentbits that really made me laugh.