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The No-Brainer Talk Show Hollywood Needs Now

We don’t need another late night talk show … on paper.

We’ve already got Stephen, Samantha, Seth, Conan, John, Trevor, Bill, Chelsea, Iliza, Jimmy and Jimmy. Coming soon? Jim (Jefferies) and Sarah (Silverman).

The late night universe is busier than ever. That’s partially due to our fractured media age. Once upon a time Alan Thicke, Rick Dees and Magic Johnson couldn’t crack the late night lineup. The ratings challenge proved too formidable.

Even Joan Rivers stumbled in the spotlight.

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Today, a host can enjoy a small but vibrant following and be considered a success.

Hollywood is still missing a late night game changer. This host would be all but guaranteed a big audience, plenty of media buzz and an audience famished for something … different.

How?

Introducing, a right-of-center late night host. Who? That might not matter as much as you think.

Mission: So Very Possible

Naturally, the host would have to be funny, engaging and shrewd enough to crack wise on the fly. Being a late night talk show host is a tall task, and even successful comics don’t always translate into late night fame.

See Chase, Chevy for Exhibit A.

The host also would need a very thick skin. Think crocodile thick. The same media which regularly reports on Colbert “destroying” Steve Bannon might turn on him or her in a hurry. Fact checkers will suddenly pounce after years of sitting on their hands.

See Kimmel, Jimmy for Exhibit A.

Powerful liberals might deem their shtick “hate speech” and threaten to boycott. And we all know how liberal Hollywood would react. Stars would stay quiet just like they’re doing now with the battle against free speech on college campuses.

Opposing views are no longer welcome on the hard Left.

But think of the ratings! Roughly half the country would finally have a voice that reflected their views. Finally. Even a mediocre host would have so much goodwill he or she could thrive indefinitely.

So who could it be?

Heather McDonald: The saucy stand up is a talk show veteran (“Chelsea Lately”) and leans to the right. She’s also a podcaster, so her gift of gab is well established. Being a woman might blunt some, but certainly not all, of the press attacks on the show.

Adam Carolla: The podcast king is unofficially libertarian, has some late night experience and could bring the intellectual firepower needed to the gig. Still highly unlikely given his “pirate ship” podcast empire lets him do exactly what he pleases. Why leave it?

Nick Di Paolo: A very funny stand-up and unabashed conservative. He might be too coarse for our sensitive age, which is a pox on us, not him.

Greg Gutfeld: The Fox News humorist has it all -- brains, a quick wit and a respected, right of center viewpoint.

Evan Sayet: The conservative stand-up once worked with Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” series and knows the right-of-center audience better than most.

Fill in the Blank: Here’s the true wild card … the host in question doesn’t necessarily have to be conservative. He or she should simply be open to different points of view and eager to smite targets as they appear. That shouldn’t be impossible to find. Right?

Fair and Balanced

The secret sauce, though, wouldn’t simply be a series of jokes skewering Nancy Pelosi or Maxine Waters. The host would be wise to hit everyone, but focus a bit more attention on liberal targets. Consider “South Park” as a comic muse.

Conservatives adore that show, potty mouthing and all, because it dares to mock both sides of the ideological aisle.

If this proposed show did the same it could draw a fraction of the Colbert crowd while protecting it from the angriest attacks.

The perfect venue for the show might be Netflix. Broadcast TV and select channels (like Comedy Central and HBO) come with varying degrees of liberal bias. Netflix doesn’t have that kind of brand issue … yet.

So unrolling a right-friendly talk show would be a solid fit.

It’s Worked Before

And if you don’t think a right-of-center talk show will succeed … consider Fox News. It’s merely one of the biggest success stories in modern times. The channel’s founders saw a reliably left-leaning media world and decided to program an alternative.

Simple, right?

Let the same happen in late night. And here’s betting every other host will have to up their game, and perhaps tell a Democrat zinger now and then, as a result.

That’s if it happens.

And, chances are, it won’t. If it hasn’t been created already it’s unlikely to ever get off the ground. Networks understand the power of comedy in 2017. Comedy memes get weaponized on a daily basis. Comics have stopped telling jokes and started lecturing audiences.

See Kimmel, Jimmy for Exhibit A.

So network executives would have to look beyond their own ideology to see why this would work. Does anyone like those odds?

Photo credit: Johnny Silvercloud via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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31 Comments

  1. Steven Crowder. Slap a little spit polish on his CRTV show and you’re good to go. Probably wouldn’t want to give up the freedom he enjoys now, though.

  2. Crowder, Carolla, Dennis Miller, others…all worth a shot. The Left will hate it no matter who it is. So ask them all, and go for it. We might be surprised by the results.

  3. I don’t believe anyone knows Johnny Carson’s political affiliation; he skewered anyone and everyone.
    It worked then, it would work now.
    If Hollywood would allow it.
    But even the temptation of monster ratings possible will not let them go against their bias.

      1. When he was already on the way out, he had a whole show with Rush Limbaugh as guest/co-host and his monologue skewered Obama every night.

        That didn’t happen in that order by accident.

  4. the left is perfectly willing to burn down every institution and company it controls. you aren’t going to get guests on this show, and you are not going to get it shown on any of the networks or big cable channels. maybe streaming it would work ok. but to what end?

  5. Fill in the Blank: Here’s the true wild card … the host in question doesn’t necessarily have to be conservative.

    That’s a really bad idea. Robert Conquest’s second law of politics: “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

    A host who is not conservative would soon drift from a conservative focus.

  6. The thing is, you don’t want have it be “that conservative late night show” and immediately eliminate all the ratings that come from, say, people that hate Rush Limbaugh yet have never heard his show because he’s icky. And that’s millions of people.
    This should be about getting the word out, not just another For Us, By Us like the current late night crew.

  7. It would work, if anyone would show up on the show. People still look to Fallon et al to see other stars.

    What other stars would ever consider going on a right-leaning late night talk show?

  8. Actually, there’s a guy on the left who might be a better answer.
    Dave Ruben.

    If you’ve ever watched the Ruben Report, he is one of the few interviewers I enjoy watching. He asks good questions, and then allows the person to answer fully without interrupting. There is true back and forth discussion without anger, name-calling etc.

    I would like to see him get a TV show.

  9. When Limbaugh had his own TV program, he had more viewers than the, competing, evening news programs in the same time slot. So, they moved him to a 1 AM slot and, later, canceled him. They don’t dare put an alternative to Lefty tv on. It might work!

  10. Rush Limbaugh had a late night TV show in the mid 90s that was on ABC after Nightline. It had ratings approximately that of The Tonight Show, with Nightline #1.

  11. The secret sauce, though, wouldn’t simply be a series of jokes skewering Nancy Pelosi or Maxine Waters. The host would be wise to hit everyone, but focus a bit more attention on liberal targets.

    Which wholly overlooks Conquest’s 2nd Law: “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.</em" Even your cited Fox News is in the process of succumbing to its diktat.

  12. They can’t just be “A conservative versions of XYZ”. They need to get up there and be funny first but just come at it from a different direction. The left wing hacks are too predictable because they try to be lecturing first and “funny” is placed behind the lecture and behind the possibility of offending the wrong cliques. Then they need to turn off social media to immunize against the fake outrage echo chamber that will result.

  13. What about O’Reilly and Dennis Miller as his co-host for late night television? I think it would be great as it would be a decidedly conservative show but also (from Miller) some good,old fashioned humor.

  14. Milo, Tim Allen, Dennis Miller or Adam Carolla. All excellent choices. Steven Crowder is pretty good too. But he hasn’t had the depth of experience that the others have had.

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