Whoooaa, now! Letterman announces his retirement, opening the doors to months of giving our lives meaning by arguing endlessly over who should take over and you just, just, just… name someone? That’s just mean! And are you sure you’ve given this enough thought? And, NBC, on a scale of 1-to-10, how committed are you to this Fallon fellow? Are you both sure you haven’t overlooked someone? Someone the public might not expect, that would really shake things up? Say, a handsome humor blogger? No, not The Good Greatsby; another handsome humor blogger! Sheesh.
I think you might want to just take a step back, major networks, and think about all the reasons you should, please, hire me to be your late night talk show host.
I would have – get ready for this – a band. The band would have a charismatic lead with whom I’d trade witty jabs periodically.
I’m an amazing interviewer. “So, I hear you and ____________ got up to some pretty crazy antics on set!” *Pause for mildly amusing story about a prank* “Ha ha ha ha ha! Sounds like you guys had a great time making this film!” *pause while actor declares that the cast and crew were “like a family.”*
When a star describes his co-stars and the crew as “like a family” I will – thanks to extensive training in self-discipline – smile and nod, instead of saying, “Bull. Shit. You would kill them in front of their moms if you thought it’d get you a percentage of the gross take on this film.”
Poor Paul Rudd doesn’t even know he and I are supposed to be best friends. I would have him on every night until we’re pals, and you’d be helping quiet that whispering void that, I’m confident, wakes him in the night.
If news comes on before me, I would make them only do happy stories, so people are in a good mood when the show starts. Stories that end with “and the dog was returned safely to his owner” or “sign-ups continue through Saturday” or “and there was never a problem on the Gaza Strip again.”
When an actor mentions that he has a new film coming out, I will try not to look hurt that that they’re shilling a product, and didn’t just stop by to say hi.
I’ve never been particularly good at laughing at things that aren’t funny, so I will hire someone who is to laugh at my guests’ stories when they’re not actually funny. You know, most of them.
I will make the show commercial-free by subtly plugging products during the interviews. “I listened to your new album in my Honda Accord with slide-correction last night. Boy, that album sounds better than the satisfying crunch you get from Doritos! Doritos: Snack Up. Did you enjoy working with Rick Rubin?”
I would do a Top Eleven. It’s one funnier.