I find it frustrating and quite sad that CBS had the chance to follow on from Craig with another unique, intelligent and unpredictable host yet, instead, chose to follow the growing trend of dumbed down TV for the attention deficit, celebrity obsessed, "don't ask me to think" audience.
We have more than enough of this formulaic dross already. Frenzied audience, whooping and hollering with evangelical hysteria for no apparent reason. Check. Embarrassingly unfunny opening monologue. Check. Pointless house band. Check. Pre-recorded sketches with celebrities doing "hilarious" stuff to show us they are oh so self-effacing and down to earth (pre-approved by their publicists and lawyers of course). Check. The host fawning over the guests du jour with sycophantic waffle "I just loved your new movie/book/album", "You are a legend/my hero/EVERYBODY loves you" and my personal favourite "Just listen to them.." (wide camera shot of brain dead audience on their feet clapping,chanting, whooping,
This latest offering is just more of the same; produced, packaged and tied in a neat little bow. Late night Fallon, Kimmel, Leno, Letterman and yes, I'm looking at you too, Ellen. There is enough day time and evening dumbed downed fluff to fill a pillow the size of the Atlantic. Could late night TV not at least try to be a haven for some sort of integrity? What are the advertisers afraid of? Do they think their particular brand of insomniac medicine dulls the senses that much? Corden, at least, takes proctology to new heights; with each and every star utterance he either guffaws like a demented banshee or gazes open mouthed like a teenager in love.
It is as pointless to compare this to Craig Ferguson's show as it is to compare "Twelve Angry Men" to "Fifty Shades of Grey". I am, however, reminded of one scene from the former LLS. The opening sequence, Craig and Secretariat, their faces mere inches from the camera, both just staring wide eyed. Seconds pass. Nothing happens. Finally Craig says "We're seeing who blinks first". Pointless, infantile, laugh out loud genius. Groucho Marx would have loved it. It will be interesting to see which, if any, of the networks blinks first.
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