And then, about a year ago, my friend started nagging me to watch Craig Kilborn. I kept forgetting about it, and so he started taping episodes and making me watch them whenever I was over at his house. At first, though I noted Kilborn to be a skilled comedian with a very diverse portfolio of perfectly executed facial expressions, I didn't understand a lot of his jokes. This is because he has built his show upon a foundation of inside jokes that are sometimes rephrased and repeated a number of times within any given week. As a new viewer, I was unfamiliar with his inside jokes. But now, I feel they are one of the best parts of his show, because for an inside joke to be funny-- the audience has to KNOW what he is talking about. It makes you feel like a part of the show.
I treasure parts of Kilborn's show, such as In The News, Five Questions, and Yambo. Not only are these segments often the highlight of Craig Kilborn, they (more often than not) dwarf the competition in terms of wit, humor, and intelligence.
But the thing that makes The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn succeed more than anything else is Craig Kilborn. He has a style of comedy that is very self-referential, and he puts on the act of a vain man who thinks he is more important than he really is. He'll act like he thinks he's a big star, while in reality, he's really making fun of himself.
You have to hand it to him. This man with no announcer and no band has single-handedly created the greatest late-night talk show of our time.
If you don't like Craig Kilborn, then try watching it for a couple of weeks straight. If you're not converted by the end of those two weeks, then you're simply not American.