|Click the image to see Above Average's hosts faces blended. Very cool.|
Then suddenly late night was divided between Letterman and Leno when he retired. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I stuck with Leno, not because he was necessarily better, but because it was the Tonight Show. For some reason, it was almost just the name that drew me back each night.
I was never a fan of Leno, except that I loved the fact that first and foremost he was a stand up comedian. He still made a living doing stand up, going out to Vegas every weekend, even though he had worked all week making late night television. You had to respect that work ethic.
Then the whole thing with Conan went down a few years ago, and I couldn't care about that anymore. Leno lost all of my respect after that. I get that maybe he wasn't entirely to blame, but if he never wanted to give up the Tonight Show, that's a battle he should have fought before announcing it on television. The whole thing was just shady.
I was always a big fan of Conan because what he did on his late night show was just a little different than everyone else. His sense of humor was just a little bit off, kind of like mine.
Regardless, the point of me saying all this is that I don't romanticize the past when it comes to late night television. I'm glad that Leno and Letterman have retired, and I mean no disrespect in saying that. They carved their own notches in the bedposts of late night history forever. However, I feel like this is the most exciting time for it in history. Some might say that it's watered down because of all of the competition, but I disagree. I think it's the most creative time ever for post news broadcast television.
This new generation of late night hosts are the most creative and funny as we've ever seen on TV. I love the new late night landscape. The only thing that sucks is that I can't watch them all at the same time. Jimmy Kimmel is brilliantly funny. Jimmy Fallon is energetic and hilarious. Conan is the same, quirky oddball he always was. Now, we're going to add Stephen Colbert to the mix, who brings an entirely different sensibility.
Kimmel has added some sensational segments like Mean Tweets, and Unnecessary Censorship, while Fallon has Lip Sync Battles and Egg Russian Roulette. The segments are getting more and more creative, interesting, and funny.
One would assume that social media and the rise of the internet would dampen what once had a monopoly on entertainment, but that isn't the case. While it's frustrating that I can't watch all of the shows at once, there is YouTube. I subscribe to all of their channels and I get to watch the funny clips that I missed from the night before.
I respect the past and those who came before, but there's no reason not to look forward and be excited about what these new guys have to offer.
With that said, here's the latest from one of my favorite segments... Jimmy Kimmel's This Week in Unnecessary Censorship.