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Meet Today’s Late Night TV Comedy Hosts

Johnny Carson didn’t create the late evening comedy format. He simply personified it for 3 a long time, no small achievement in popular culture phrases.

Even after Jay Leno efficiently grabbed the baton from Carson in 1992 the comic’s identify was synonymous with the format.

Not any extra.

The trendy late evening TV present is much extra political than the Carson mannequin, and hopelessly one-sided.

  • Democrat … good
  • Republican … unhealthy
  • Rinse, lather, repeat

Some monologues sound like op-eds you’d learn in The New York Times or The Nation. Others bend or mangle the reality in a style {most professional} broadcasters would keep away from. There are few, if any, repercussions for late evening TV hosts trafficking in Fake News.

The identical reporters who eagerly share their opinions stand down once they bend or break the reality.

President Donald Trump’s unbelievable rise cemented this sample, nevertheless it took root months earlier than his 2016 election victory. Late evening comics actually took sides within the Trump/Clinton slugfest, a pattern that intensified during the last three-plus years.

Who are these late evening TV present hosts? What do they create to their respective platforms?

Stephen Colbert

The unofficial “King” of late evening TV began his broadcasting profession on a program well-known for its fast, stunning collapse. “The Dana Carvey Show” assembled a assassin’s row of future comedians, together with Colbert, Steve Carell, Bob Odenkirk, Robert Smigel and Louis C.Okay.

The sketch collection flopped in spectacular style, a disaster captured within the Hulu documentary “Too Funny to Fail.”

Colbert brushed himself off and located work writing for “Saturday Night Live” earlier than touchdown a co-starring position on Comedy Central’s “Strangers with Candy.” He segued to a different Comedy Central present, the startup satirical collection “The Daily Show,” the place he served as a correspondent for each Craig Kilborn and later, Jon Stewart.

His progressive politics aligned completely with the present’s leftward tilt, and audiences related to his wit and comedian presence.

His success allowed him to strive his personal present on for measurement, “The Colbert Report.” The comedian took on a Bill O’Reilly-like persona, mocking conservatives alongside the best way. His progressive bona fides couldn’t be denied, but CBS noticed sufficient of Colbert’s shtick and determined he would changed a mainstream icon, David Letterman, in 2015.

Colbert’s early rankings wrestle recommended CBS selected poorly. He drifted again to his default progressive mode and slowly caught up with “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Now, Colbert typically leads the late evening rankings race, thanks partly to his aggressive, hard-left posture. His nightly assaults on President Trump present consolation meals to the “resistance,” even when he routinely latches on to wobbly information narratives, just like the Steele Dossier and the Russia collusion hoax, to take action.

Jimmy Fallon

The New York native’s large break got here courtesy of “Saturday Night Live,” a present he obsessed over for a lot of his younger life. He shortly stood out within the packed ensemble, delivering music, comedy impressions and extra for the demanding sketch collection.

His recurring Sully from Boston sketch, alongside Rachel Dratch, joined the present’s listing of beloved recurring characters.

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Fallon left “SNL” after a sturdy six-year run with an eye fixed on the trail blazed by previous stars like Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell and Bill Murray. Fallon’s first two starring roles, within the comedies “Taxi” and “Fever Pitch,” underwhelmed on the field workplace. He retreated into the company arms of his “SNL” mentor, Lorne Michaels, who selected him to changed Conan O’Brien on NBC’s “Late Night” showcase.

From there Fallon made the bounce to late evening prime time – 11:30 p.m. EST – the place he took over for Leno on “The Tonight Show.”

Fallon didn’t focus totally on politics like his friends, although. Sure, he mocked the most recent headlines, however he generated a crush of viral movies with frothier bits like “Hashtag with Justin Timberlake” and “Evolution of Mom Dancing with Michelle Obama.”

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Everything modified after Fallon playfully tousled one visitor’s signature hair. That easy gesture, carried out on GOP candidate Donald Trump weeks earlier than election day, enraged the press and the Left, more and more one in the identical within the Age of Trump.

That second sparked a rankings decline. Progressive viewers fled for extra partisan late evening commentary.

Fallon acquired caught within the woke revolution earlier this 12 months. Progressives “unearthed” his 2000 sketch the place he darkened his pores and skin to imitate black comedian Chris Rock. The press pounced, and he was compelled to provide a full-throated apology months earlier than fellow late evening talker Jimmy Kimmel supplied a smaller, extra defiant model.

Since then, Fallon’s political humor has gotten extra aggressive, extra tilted towards progressives causes.

Bill Maher

The veteran stand-up has executed all of it, from films (“Religulous”), HBO comedy specials and a chat present attacking Cancel Culture in its earliest kind: “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.”

That present acquired axed, satirically, after Maher made a remark that was each worthy of the present’s title and markedly anti-American concerning 9/11.

“We have been the cowards. Lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying within the airplane when it hits the constructing. Say what you need about it. Not cowardly.”

He bounced again on his personal phrases with HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” which started in 2003 and continues immediately. The present options Maher’s reliably liberal views, a few of which could be nasty and unfiltered. In current years he’s emerged as one of many few liberals keen to have interaction with conservative stars, be it Andrew Breitbart, Steve Bannon, Ben Shapiro or Ann Coulter.

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Maher as soon as labeled himself a libertarian, an outline that now not applies in any significant method. He has been a gentle, heroic voice without cost speech in recent times. Maher routinely warns his fellow liberals that embracing Cancel Culture may come again to hang-out them.

Samantha Bee

Like Colbert, Bee proved her comedy mettle on “The Daily Show.” She served as a “correspondent” for Stewart for years, giving the present its first feminine on-air voice of consequence.

TBS employed her to host her personal weekly present in 2015, including a touch of gender stability to the late evening format … and anger.

The first episode of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” delivered a profanity-laced assault on Sen. Ted Cruz, displaying Bee wouldn’t be as confined to decency as her broadcast TV friends. She’s stored up that spirit, most famously by calling First Daughter Ivanka Trump a “feckless c-word.” Her mealy-mouthed apology solely endeared her to the Hard Left.

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Bee’s present usually targets highly effective conservatives like Dennis Prager, turning a would-be comedy showcase into an activist’s discussion board. Her humor is extra slicing, extra imbalanced and sometimes depends on selective modifying and details to hammer residence its factors.

She’s additionally much more targeted on feminism by way of her routines, though by no means sufficient to defend conservative girls towards untoward assaults.

John Oliver

The British comedian, like Bee and Colbert, toiled as a “Daily Show” contributor earlier than touchdown a late evening present to name his personal.

His comedy profession up till then, a seize bag of skits, performing work (the cult sitcom “Community”) and stay appearances, paved a pure path to Comedy Central’s signature present. Oliver burnished his rising star standing by internet hosting “The Daily Show” for a number of weeks in 2013 whereas Stewart directed his first function, “Rosewater.”

HBO paid consideration to Oliver’s “audition.” The pay channel gave him his personal solo collection, “Last Week Tonight,” in 2014. That platform allowed Oliver to take deeper dives into choose targets, be it Trump or company malfeasance.

“Last Week Tonight” purports to be a better tackle the late evening format, however its programming is as depending on selective modifying and misinformation as its friends.

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Trevor Noah

Many assumed Oliver would take over for Stewart if the longtime host ever hung up his microphone. By the time Stewart did simply that, Oliver had already discovered an HBO present to name his personal.

So Team Comedy Central chosen relative unknown Trevor Noah, with roughly a 12 months of expertise as a present contributor, to imagine the anchor’s chair.

On paper, the South African comedian supplied an outsider’s view of the United States and its political equipment. What emerged, although, is one more progressive tackle the most recent headlines.

Noah has grown extra snug within the anchor chair, honing his accents and performances over time. He’s not as contrarian as Maher, however Noah is extra more likely to duck liberal groupthink than Bee or Colbert, if solely by incremental measures.

His Trump harangues are simply as pointed as his friends, however they usually come from a extra medical perspective.

Desus & Mero

The Bodega Boys are the latest children on the late evening block.

Desus Nice (Daniel Baker) and The Kid Mero (Joel Martinez) teamed for a collection of reveals based mostly on their common podcast. The pair toiled for Viceland for a spell earlier than fleeing for what they noticed as a friendlier touchdown spot on pay cable. 

Their Showtime discuss present, now airing twice every week, lets them riff on something from sports activities to sneakers. The present routinely permits progressive politicians the possibility to attach with their viewers view goofy sketches and softball queries. The collection debuted with an look by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Desus & Mero aren’t as overtly political as Colbert, Bee or Maher. The focus is on their hip hop bromance and connection to the Bodega Hive, the duo’s rabid fan base. Few late evening TV reveals shake up the components like Desus & Mero. When nationwide information hits their radar, although, it’s filtered via a decidedly progressive lens.

Jimmy Kimmel

Kimmel’s comedian roots are a far cry from his friends, a lot of whom reduce their tooth in improv comedy, “The Daily Show” and/or “Saturday Night Live.” Kimmel toiled in radio as “Jimmy the Sports Guy” on the Kevin and Bean morning present earlier than turning into the comedian sidekick on Comedy Central’s “Win Ben Stein’s Money.” He adopted that program with a pair of applications for the community, “The Man Show” and “Crank Yankers,” each that includes his off-screen chum, Adam Carolla.

Those gigs elevated Kimmel’s profile, catching the eye of ABC brass. They plucked him out of cable TV land to host “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” The present, conventional in most methods, lets him showcase his fast wit and affable persona.

The present thrived, if not excelled, for years whereas producing enjoyable cultural moments. His fake “twerking” video, for instance, gave him one in all his largest viral hits.

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Kimmel took a political flip in recent times, sparked partially by President Trump’s election. He used his younger son’s well being woes to argue for expanded medical protection for all. He waded into the gun management debate, parroting speaking factors from the Democratic occasion. While fellow late nighter Maher routinely invitations conservatives on his present for sturdy debate, little of the identical takes place on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

It’s seemingly why he survived his personal blackface previous, routinely mimicking each basketball nice Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey with out the specter of cultural cancellation.

James Corden

Here’s a enjoyable reality: the British-born comedian didn’t reduce his satirical tooth on “The Daily Show.”

Corden starred within the British TV comedy “Fat Friends” earlier than discovering larger success by way of “Gavin and Stacey,” which he co-wrote. His profession bounced round from there, touchdown a gaggle of TV gigs in addition to work on Broadway and past. His movie appearances included “Begin Again,” “One Chance” and “Into the Woods.”

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In 2015 CBS selected him to host “The Late Late Show” after Craig Ferguson stepped down. Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” section with Adele grew to become a viral video sensation, resulting in a collection of comparable outings that got here to outline his late evening persona.

Corden depends much less on political information than his friends, however when he explores the most recent headlines it’s sometimes from a progressive standpoint. In 2019 he famously stated, “All the folks that I like and respect’ don’t like Trump.”

Conan O’Brien

The red-headed star is the iron man of the present late-night wars. O’Brien, who reduce his tooth writing for each “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons,” appeared an odd option to host his personal late evening present in 1993. And, true to kind, the primary few months of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” proved powerful to look at.

NBC confirmed stunning persistence with the star, and it slowly paid off. He labored in an identical spirit to old-school Letterman, leaning on esoteric humor to attract a late evening crowd.

And it labored.

Years later, NBC brass figured O’Brien supplied a youthful, hipper different to Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.” Plus, the community didn’t need to “lose” O’Brien to a competitor. The compromise — O’Brien taking on on “The Tonight Show” whereas Leno obtained a 10 p.m. showcase. The transfer proved a double catastrophe. Leno acquired his outdated gig again and a livid O’Brien left the community, ultimately touchdown his personal present at TBS.

“Conan” isn’t as political as his friends. In reality, O’Brien’s focus stays on foolish, mental gags, not activism. There are moments, although, the place O’Brien appears to be like and sounds precisely like his hard-edged friends.

Seth Meyers

The “SNL” discuss present pipeline continued with Meyers’ entry into the late evening area.

Meyers commandeered “SNL’s” “Weekend Update” anchor chair for years, usually alongside fellow stars Amy Poehler and Cecily Strong. Meyers additionally served because the present’s head author throughout a part of his “SNL” days.

Meyers’ concentrate on political jabs made the transition to the late evening format a clean one, not like O’Brien and the calamitous crash-and-burn try by Chevy Chase.

The “Late Night with Seth Meyers” star shortly fell in step with his liberals friends, together with aggressively woke asides. In current months Meyers has grown nastier, notably concerning tales tied to President Trump.

The present’s present iteration traffics in partisan sniping, identify calling and arguments cobbled along with wobbly details.

Hasan Minhaj

The star of Netflix’s “Patriot Act” generates a fraction of the press, and a spotlight, of his late-night friends. The stand-up comedian, one other liberal, caught the popular culture zeitgeist following his 2017 White House Correspondents Dinner internet hosting gig.

The “Daily Show”alum leveraged that second, and a cultural cry for extra range in late evening, to land his weekly Netflix present a 12 months later. The program is at present on hiatus because of the pandemic however is predicted to return.

Greg Gutfeld

The Fox News famous person acquired his begin in late evening TV. Make that late, late late evening TV.

His three a.m. EST present “Red Eye” broke the discuss present mould and dumped the remaining items right into a blender.

Anything may occur on Gutfeld’s Fox News showcase, placing the previous journal editor on the broadcasting map. That avant garde discussion board, a rebellious blast of right-leaning mayhem, made him Fox News’ impossible star. He rode that success to “The Five,” a extra conventional present buoyed by Gutfeld’s subversive streak.

“The Greg Gutfeld Show” is his latest Fox News discuss platform, airing at 10 p.m. EST on Saturday nights. It’s hardly prime time for a present of its type, however he nonetheless clobbers a lot of the late evening competitors together with his uncommon blast of conservative views.

The put up Meet Today’s Late Night TV Comedy Hosts appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.


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