Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Miss Johnny!

As a confirmed night owl, I find myself watching late night TV quite often . . . while I just finish one more block, sew on that last length of binding, or quilt one last section before stopping for the night.  Most of the time, I'll turn on Jay Leno--I love his bits on typos in print ads, the police blotters in small towns, and wedding announcements of people with funny name combinations.  But oftentimes I find the humor in his monologue predictable, and his delivery slow and repetitive, as if he feels he must pound the audience over their heads with the punch line several times before moving on to the next joke.

I can kind of understand NBC wanting to replace Leno.  Maybe he's just tired and has run his course as a late night host.  But you know what?  I'm certainly not enthusiastic about NBC's replacement ideas.  Remember Conan O'Brien?  Conan was okay, but I always preferred Leno, and the late, late night spot seemed right for Conan.  Besides, that whole mess where Leno left and Conan moved into the early spot was confusing and off putting.  And now they're talking about doing the same thing with Jimmy Fallon.

I think Fallon's sense of humor is aimed at a 20-something audience.  Yes, NBC likes that about him, but I rarely watch more than the first few minutes before I just need to turn it off.  One of Fallon's popular, reoccurring bits is his Friday night thank you notes, which seem kind of stupid and annoying.  I don't know; maybe it's just me, but most of the late night hosts don't seem intelligent in the way Johnny Carson did.  Yes, Carson's humor was pretty dumb sometimes, but he always seemed to be in tune with the news and what was going on in the world and he came across as just a little bit more intelligent and thoughtful than today's crop of late night TV hosts, didn't he?

David Letterman was interesting to watch sometimes when he was new and fresh many years back--he was different, then, from everyone else.  But for me, Letterman jumped the shark when he started throwing stuff off the roof of the building.  Does anyone find it entertaining to see watermelon splattering everywhere?

A couple weeks ago, I turned to Jimmy Kimmel, and I kind of like him so far.  He comes across, at least, as a kind, likeable, and happy sort of guy--not one be hurtful for the sake of a joke.  The bits I've seen him do have been fairly entertaining and haven't left me thinking negative thoughts about him, his sense of humor, or his lack of kindness like I do about some hosts.  So far, I haven't seen very much of his show, but I'll probably turn it on more often now.  Maybe I'll continue to like his stuff or maybe I won't; hard to tell this soon.

I've posted a poll in the sidebar--I'm interested to see which of our American late night TV hosts you like best.  Please vote if you have a preference.  Thanks for listening to my little bit of a rant!

11 comments:

Kim said...

Oh, yes, I soooo miss Johnny too! I'd love to vote, but I can't find a replacement for Johnny. I watch hgtv or reruns instead. I have Johnny's last show on VHS. Come to Iowa and we can watch it together sometime!

dianne said...

i don't stay up late ... too many years of working the night shift, i guess ... when i DID stay up late, i watched Craig Ferguson - but he is/was Late Late and not Late ... it has been so long since i stayed up late enough to watch, though, that i don't even know if Craig Ferguson still has a show ... and chances are very, very good that it will remain a mystery to me cuz i am just too tired...

Denise in PA said...

I agree, I miss Johnny too! Then, I liked David Letterman for a while too. Now, I can't stay up that late, so it doesn't much matter to me who's on - LOL!

jlgwyn said...

Interesting topic for today. I grew up with my parents watching Johnny Carson, and I may have watched some of the early Letterman when I was in college... but I count The Daily Show as a late night offering and that's my preference (followed by the Colbert Report). I know it's more comedy, but it is based on current events and I have learned a lot from it!

pam said...

my favorite by far is craig ferguson. yes, it's on late (well, really late) but it's also on demand and/or can be recorded. and i also agree with the current event/comedy provided by the daily show. during the election it was hysterical.

Marei said...

Nothing can, could, will or would, beat Johnny Carson w/Ed McMahon as his side kick. Those were the days (or nights). Back then, when we were young, the late night shows ran 90 minutes and they were filled with fun & talent & politics & nonsense. I loved it. MAN! I wish I was young again. :) And Joey Bishop with a very young Regis Philbin. Do you remember that? That was great, too.

Quilting_Chris said...

Most nights now I watch Chelsea Handler only because I don't like Letterman and I am over Leno. I have to say that late night television leaves a lot to be desired now. I don't think there will be anyone who can top Johnny Carson. He was able to laugh at himself and was willing to give new comers a break. He started a lot of careers.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch the beginnings of these shows. It depends on the guests as to which show I watch. I use to watch Tom Snyder when he had a late-late show. He didn't have an audience, no musicians, usually just 2 guests. I miss that show. Thanks for sharing.
cindy

Anonymous said...

No one can replace the original Johnny Carson. He was naturally funny. Before his regular shows when he appeared on the old Groucho Marx shows...he was JUST FUNNY! I will always remember the night before my husband and I left for a vacation at the coast (west) and I couldn't sleep. I ended up watching Johnny Carson and it was the one with Bob Hope, Dean Martin, George Gobel,etc. I don't think I've EVER laughed so much in my life. Yes, time changed the spontaniety, etc. but Johnny was THE Funniest, smartest comedian ever.

Rabid Quilter from CA said...

We loved Johnny too. Saw a bio on him recently that was really interesting--didn't really know much about his life. I'm a huge David Letterman fan now. I just love that goofy smile and laugh of his! He seems humble and I like the way he talks about his mom and his son.

You can get Carson's shows on DVD and watch them whenever you want. These days, I'm TiVo-ing The Big Bang Theory 4 times a day and 5 on Thursdays! funniest show on TV!

Messy Karen said...

i used to stay up late listening to my mother laugh at Johnny Carson. and i did watch him. but i was mostly waiting for David Letterman to come one. i have a DVR now. so there is no worry to falling asleep. if i have too many episodes then i watch a whole bunch when i am sewing. David is still doing silly things. but i have noticed that his attitude towards the guest is different and he is always striving to show them in the best light. something he didn't always care about or was just for the sake of comedy. but i really love Craig. if i fall asleep. i make sure to watch him in the morning when i have my coffee. it doesn't make any sense but i liked Leno only when he was guest-hosting for Carson. after that i really didn't like him much. and have not watched him all this time.