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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Late night shows are going the way of newspapers

Shamelessly stolen from Power Line, which likely swiped it from somewhere else.

That is how the Internet works. Funny memes and humorous videos get passed along on Facebook and through emails. Aggregators and bloggers use them. Some are political. Most ain't. And all are topical.

Which raises the question: Why can't late-night hosts pull off jokes anymore that are not socialist propaganda?

Most of them used to be comedians. All of them now are on a mission to destroy President Donald John Trump. Kimmel and Colbert occasionally have serious monologues that drone on about the Orange Man. They are indistinguishable from their "jokes."

It is not as if  Donald Trump is above criticism or satire. He does self-effacing humor well. At the 2011 Emmys, he sang the theme to Green Acres with Megan Mullally. It was nice.

And the Babylon Bee (the most important conservative site) gets in some funny digs. (Trump Unveils Much Simpler Stimulus Plan: GIANT MONEY CANNON!)

But dang, the constant attacks got old in 2015.

Get some new material.

Mocking the constant attacks would be a nice change of pace. Oh wait. The Babylon Bee already did that. (Investigation Reveals Trump Caused Mass Hysteria So He Could Go On All The Rides At Disneyland With No Lines.)

Humor is a pretty harsh mistress. A joke is either funny, or a candidate for Stephen Colbert's next monologue.

The Internet abounds with jokes. We are a nation of 328 million people, and half of them think they are the next Dave Chappelle. At one joke a day per person in that half, even if 99.9999% are bad, you still get 164 funny jokes -- or more laughs then you would get from all 8 late-night shows in a year's time.

My favorite today is told in two tweets.
Joe's dementia is not off-limits on the Internet.

This is just the political side of topical humor, which is a sliver of the humor, as the Ebola Beer meme showed.

The Internet began doing newspapers with bloggers and Matt Drudge. And the game is over now. A few nationals and smaller newspapers that do local news well will survive thanks to online operations. The rest are marking time until they become a parking lot.

The nightly TV shows are next.

President Donald John Trump has driven their ratings but one way or another, after this election, Trump jokes will be passe and the late-night hosts will suffer.

Maybe these shows will survive, but writing off the half of the nation that supports him was not a good business model.

And not being funny is an even worse model.


  1. I saw a poll for greatest light night host of all time. Johnny Carson IMHO wins that hands down, with Leno a close second.

    1. My ratings go: Paar, Carson, Leno, then none.

    2. David Letterman was good until he lost his mind.

    3. After Carson, I preferred Martin Mull on Fernwood Tonight (with Fred Willard in the Ed McMahon role) and Gary Shandling on The Larry Sanders Show (with Jeffery Tambor as the insufferable sidekick Hank and Rip Torn as Artie the producer).

    4. No Craig Ferguson fans? He was apolitical, improvised most of his shows, was faster on the wit draw than just about anyone, and provided an enduring model of how to charm and flirt with women.


  2. I don't always comment but when I do I destroy liberal punchlines

    Angry has a few friends in entertainment

    These are old friends, they quietly say they are moderates and don't like the liberal extremes. Many times when I am out on the left coast (obviously not recently) I swing by and do a lunch or two.

    On one occasion I was having lunch with a friend working as a military consultant on a new movie and he brought his new friend a writer on the movie. A writer who in the past had written for the Tonight Show. The writer had written monologues for Conan, Leno part deux, and Fallon.

    What he said was like getting a window into how the sausage is actually made.

    You see writing these days is a team sport. Every writer works a large percentage of time in the "writers room" where they pitch jokes and skits etc. Well these writer rooms are usually dominated by 1 or 2 extreme types who are basically communist leftist by ideology.

    It's these types who turn a mild teasing "help the rich joke" into a mean terrible utterance that only makes the Soviet types giggle.

    So in this room (aka pressure cooker) you are one of say 8 writers 6 are leftist moderates and 2 are Trotsky-ites.

    And you have to work with these two guys (and they are ALWAYS guys) for weeks. So OF COURSE you give into their hyperbole. frequently

    What struck me is the total lack of even ONE writer that was right of center. When I asked the writer about that he looked at me like I had 3 heads.

    When pressed he said something like. Look we have to get a show out by 11 am. I can't have some Gun Guy coming in there and arguing until 10:50.

    Then I Got IT. Entertainment is not leftist because the average person in entertainment is Leftist. It's leftist BECAUSE they have no counter balance to the extreme leftist that are invariably a part of EVERY SINGLE PROJECT.

    This is how you get female heroes rammed down our throats.

    This is how you get a whole TV series geared to make people think it's cool to have a Female head of state. (Madame Secretary natch)

    So realize when you actually talk to anyone in media about this... they will of course say "not me!" but they are not actually stopping the ultra lefties move the discussion far left either.

    1. Thanks for the insight, very interesting and actually what I had envisioned when I used to watch Saturday Night Live. Who staffs the sweatshop? The producer? I guess there are no conservatives in the Rolodex.

  3. Late night tv died with Johnny Carsons final show.

    1. Maybe they can pirate movie from TCM the only turner channel worth watching. That might get me to watch Network TV occasionally. Nothing else would.

  4. Knowing how aged the Pennsy Plagiarist is, I'm sure he meant the Marshall McLuhan virus. The medium is the, the, the thing. Let's go on to something else....

    1. the objective of mass media is to install some clever little ditty into your head that you can never escape or erase.

      marshal mcluhan


  5. Are there really 8 late-nite shows now??? They are all poor imitations of the Great One. And they are all using the same format that Steve Allen and Jack Paar used 60 years ago in the BC era. (Before Carson)

    1. 2 each on NBC and CBS, one on ABC, Daily Show, and Conan and Samantha Bee

  6. Johnny Carson was able to poke fun at President Reagan without offending his audience. One classic was a "Who's On First" routine concerning James Watt, Yasser Arafat and Chinese Chairman Hu.It's on YouTube and still hilarious.

  7. no one could hold a candle to carson. nuff said

  8. The DNC/media hatred for the President could be considered a pandemic.

  9. Blame it on Jon Stewart. He was just as vile a liberal as the rest of them, but with the exception of being hilariously funny. Strange that Colbert and Bee having been on his payroll didn't pick up on that.

  10. The late night shows (and Jon Stewart's The Daily Show) have done great damage to this country, and, along with academia, have been powerful in indoctrinating a couple generations of young people. The Right failed to counter them-- it was part of how we ceded territory to the Left.
    Jon Stewart's show really led the pack, with the basic point of his show being, "Only Liberals are cool." He indoctrinated people into substituting a smug snicker of superiority for sincere and thoughtful consideration of varying viewpoints. It fed into the development of liberalism as the intolerant pseudo-religion it has become today, where people feel "righteous and superior" because they hold Leftist political views.
    Great damage has been done by these shows. It would be great if they all went down.

  11. I am showing my age, but the best late night host was Steve Allen. He was probably just in the New York area rather than national but you know the old saying...

    1. He had a nice team of comics headed by Don Knotts. It is the team you assemble. Sid Caesar had a wide array of writers. Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon. Woody Allen too.

      Jack Paar used guests. Dagmar etc.

      Carson was the heir to Bob Hope's throne and certainly as worthy.

  12. Snowflakes brought to their knees by fear.

    Grovelling on belly, big fat bloated belly, so well fed that the slightest hint of approaching death puts them into a descending spiral of isolation.

    Someone sneezes and America trembles.


    It's the flu.

    Grow a pair.

  13. Best late night show ever was sat night live in the 70's.
    After that, meh.
    Johnny is legend, and I applaud xm/Sirius for putting his channel on.

  14. "It is not as if Donald Trump is above criticism or satire. He does self-effacing humor well."

    Only "well"?

    As the Orange Man himself stated, "My staff was concerned that I couldn't do self-deprecating humor, and I told them not to worry, nobody does self deprecating humor better than me."

  15. I was a big fan of the early Letterman years, back when I was in college....Stupid Pet Tricks (I still remember when someone from Louisville KY was on with their pet, and Dave asked "How is the capitol of KY pronounced: "Louis-ville" or "Louie-ville?" They said "Louie-ville," and Dave came back with "Huh. I thought it was pronounced "Frankfort")

    And Larry "Bud" Melman was always a hoot.