My opinion of the current talk show wars…is probably not worth reading. After all, I’m usually in bed by midnight (and if I’m not in bed by midnight, I’m definitely NOT watching TV). So the whole Leno/Conan thing really doesn’t mean a lot to me.
Leno’s kinda funny. Conan’s kinda funny. Of the 11:30 guys, I’ve gotta go with Letterman. Carson Daly’s boring as hell. Jimmy Fallon sucks BUT he has The Roots as his backing band, which is enough to get me to watch episodes on nbc.com. To me, the only legitimately hilarious late night host is Colin Ferguson, and by the time he comes on, I’m in la la land. Truthfully, the last late night show I stayed up and watched religiously was “Politically Incorrect”.
The last (and only) late night talk show (in the traditional sense) that I ever watched religiously was “The Arsenio Hall Show”. While I must admit that the caliber of guests has gotten better over the years, back in the early Nineties there was no way in hell I was sitting through either Johnny Carson OR Letterman. Arsenio had the best guests and he pretty much had the ONLY show that paid any attention to R&B or hip-hop. No one else was putting NWA or Tupac on late night TV. No one else at the time was able to get Prince or Michael Jackson to go on their show, either.
Arsenio Hall was the first talk-show host to speak to my generation and reflect my tastes. So screw Leno and Conan. Bring back Arsenio and his extra-long fingers.