Comedians Jim Gaffigan and Bill Maher both sat down and discussed the future of late-night television shows.
Bill Maher hosts “Club Random” on HBO, but he does not consider it a normal “late night” destination. He also does not believe that the late-night “Jimmys” offer much beyond predictable “takes” we see coming a mile away.
It is not that Maher does not like the idea of late-night television. He just finds it to be outdated. The topic came up with Gaffigan when they began discussing the legendary “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson.
“Johnny is who I wanted to be,” Maher said of his early days as a comedian.
That encouraged Gaffigan to explore the current group of late-night talk show hosts, most of whom have been quiet since the start of the writer’s strike on May 2.
“I love all those guys,” Gaffigan said, taking a diplomatic pose before assessing the genre’s future and kissing the host’s ring.
“In the landscape of late-night shows [‘Real Time with Bill Maher’] is the one that hasn’t because the formula of ‘Real Time’ is obviously less of a celebrity interview churn and burn thing. But it hasn’t felt any of the effects of that,” said Gaffigan, meandering to the point in question.
“I think the strike is going to kill the late-night show that we grew up on,” Gaffigan said at last.
“Why the strike?” Maher asked.
“Because it’s off the air,” Gaffigan responded.
“No knock on the guys who do it, but I don’t know how this art form has survived up until now. I understand why I’m on. I’m on HBO. It’s an hour without commercials. And, sorry, but it’s a lot more entertaining, it’s a lot more edgy and it’s a lot more unpredictable and It’s true talk, I get that.
“What I don’t get is this era … what sponsors are sponsoring a show that’s on after most people go to bed in an era when you can do anything at any time. You can watch Netflix … you can watch anything that was ever made or do video games. Even if you wanted to watch this late-night stuff, wouldn’t you watch it sometime when you could zip through the commercials and just see the stuff you like?
“It seems so anachronistic I don’t know how it survived until now,” Maher said.
Gaffigan made some interesting points on what we have done in the absence of late-night talk shows. Have we even noticed they are not on right now? I know I have not.
To hear Tony Katz’s thoughts on how the writer’s strike has impacted late-night talk shows, click the link below.
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