|Index||5 reviews in total|
Watching Rick Dees, a west coast DJ, do things on TV was like having a
forklift push your eyeballs into the back of your head. This guy was a
deer in headlights as he did a lame monologue, lame softball interviews
of d-list celebrities, and unfunny, non-existent comedy. To compound
the ineptness of his star caliber, Dees even had guests sign a wall of
fame after every interview.
I actually nightly sat through this ABC puke, and expected it to improve, but it was like staring at a train wreck; something so tragic you couldn't take your eyes off it.
For some reason, Dees wisely jumped ship. Guest hosts finished out the season: Tony Danza (future talk-show host), Suzanne Sommers, then her husband(!), and long before "Everybody Loves Raymond", Brad Garrett. While Garrett was pretty good and did some halfway decent sketches, even he couldn't save the clusterf~ck of a talk-show that preceded his short run.
Thanks for nothing, Disco Duck.
Before Politically Incorrect dominated ABC's late night parade, This show was ABC's answer to Johnny Carson, and Letterman, at that time. It's been a while since I saw this funny but short-lived shows, but one thing I remember was all the goofy gimmicks like handing out a mold of clay to the audience and one by one shaping to some gross figure of their own. It was funny, but nothing to attract a large audience, still worth watching if one of the networks deicded to put this into re-runs.
Rick Dees was always my favorite DJ when I listened to the Weekly Top
40 and his morning show was funny (then corporate politics decided to
bump him out and go with the overrated Ryan Seacrest). ABC had never
been a gamer in the late night talk show fest, and if a talk show host
wanted a program, they would have to settle for going after Nightline.
Rick Dees decided to take his chances.
From the outset, the show looked like it had a West Coast look and feel. The set looked California, Rick dressed like a Californian, and even his house band, Billy Vera and the Beaters were a staple on the California music scene (Mind you, not that any of this was bad). It was certainly a change of pace from Carson, that had a traditional look or Letterman, that prided himself on being New York.
Rick tried to incorporate many of his radio stuff onto TV, but it was a rough transition. He also didn't many of the big guests that Carson and Letterman were able to snatch (and when he invited Burton Richardson, announcer for rival talk show host Arsenio Hall onto his show, that was trouble). Things were not going well for Into The Night.
He started to tinker with the show. Billy Vera and the Beaters were not the house band anymore, and were replaced by a group I never heard of before called Burnin' Herman and the Master Mix (lead by drummer Herman Matthews). It still wasn't enough and Into the Night was going the way of The Pat Sajak Show.
Dees and announcer Lisa Canning was finally replaced and there was a new guest host every week. The guest hosts included Suzanne Sommers, Joy Behar, Brad Garrett, and Chris Lemmon. Lemmon was brought in to host the revamped show called Studio 59, which was more of a sketch show (they even went as far as ripping off Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update sketch). I remember watching the final show of this dead duck in spring on 1992. I fell asleep and have no regrets. It was one of ABCs most notable errors before getting sucked up by Disney.
When Dees was replaced, the show was reformatted from a largely interview based program, to a sketch comedy show called STUDIO 59. Rotating hosts, comedy-improv actors, new producers and writing staff could not save the show, which was doomed from the start due to a substantial number of ABC affiliates no longer willing to air the show with its abysmal ratings.
This was one of the best examples of how a late night television talk
can work. Rick and the rest of the cast has a chemistry that made you
to watch them.
Sadly, the show got yanked before it had a chance to really catch on.
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|