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The Greyhound

The real deal about late night TV


A lot of people might be wondering, “So, Jay Leno got fired, right?” or, “Can that even happen…?” The answer to both of those questions is yes. Last spring’s headlines are indeed a part of NBC’s change in direction, again, for Tonight Show history. As we all know, Jay Leno has made a huge impact on NBC’s network ratings, as well as a huge impact on the general success of late night TV. After taking over for his predecessor, Johnny Carson, Leno ran The Tonight Show with Jay Leno successfully for the duration of a 20-year career. With the exception of a one-year break to host his own television show, Leno started in 1992 and went on to become the TV host we all know and love today, with his beloved sense of humor and playfulness, and, of course, the occasional celebrity feud. In this year’s dramatic change, Leno is “retiring” and giving way to the rookie of the “big leagues” of late night, Jimmy Fallon.

As scheduled, Fallon made his final goodbye monologue to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’s usual 12:37 a.m. time slot on February 7. After five years, 969 episodes and 10,000 monologue jokes, Fallon finally made the late night “upgrade” to take over the newly emptied, “prime-time for late night TV” spot on The Tonight Show, now, with Jimmy Fallon. 

Fallon will now have to fill the prestigious shoes of hosting The Tonight Show, while going up against Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC, the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS, The Colbert Report on Comedy Central and big-timer Conan on TBS. Fallon’s signature, almost relentless, upbeat persona might just be what’s leaving Leno fans at ease with the transition, but we’ll have to actually see for ourselves when the show re-starts on Feb. 17. Spoiler Alert: guests include Will Smith and U2, and talks about making the house band a rap group might just set a new historical record for late night TV.

Jay Leno is gone, somehow David Letterman is still around, Craig Ferguson is still underratedly hilarious, and Jimmy Fallon has just become “top dog.” So, what do late-night viewers have in store? Enter into the world of Seth Myers, SNL guru and Weekend Update comedian. Meyers will now step into Jimmy Fallon’s previous Late Night gig as host of Late Night with Seth Myers, which will air weekday nights at 12:37 a.m.

Meyers’ first episode of Late Night is scheduled for Feb. 24, and his house band of choice will be “The 8G Band,” led by the one-and-only SNL costar/musician Fred Armisen.

If you’re looking for additional late-night laughs, networks including E!, Bravo and TBS also have amazing characters hosting their programs that make it easy for us to drink our last cup of coffee some time between the sun setting and the library closing. This stream of comedy begins with the always hilarious, sometimes innappropriate Chelsea Handler who has hosted her own late night show, Chelsea Lately, since 2007. With a hysterical side panel, top celebrities and a side kick named Chuy, Handler delivers on every aspect of the late night spectrum every night at 11 p.m. on E!

Another late night show to take note of is The Pete Holmes Show, hosted by comedian Pete Holmes. The show airs Monday through Thursday at midnight on TBS and is known for, among other things, more personal monologues, more sketch comedy and less celebrity-driven interviews—all within a half-hour format.

Finally, Andy Cohen continues to be the power house of Bravo’s network, hosting Watch What Happens Live! A great after show to any of your favorite Bravo television shows, Cohen delivers your late-night “dish session” signature cocktails, candid comments and the perfect lineup of your favorite “bravo-lebrities.”

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The real deal about late night TV