Late Night with Stephen Colbert (?)

13 Apr

late-night-talk-show-hotsI subscribe to the New York Times on-line. Twice this week I received notifications that there was breaking news. My fear was that the “Breaking News” was something about the United Soviet Socialist Republic restructuring and that the Ukraine was now part of the New USSR — shades of Uncle Joe Stalin.  But, no. The breaking news was that David Letterman had announced when he would retire from Late Night with David Letterman.  This news was then followed up a few days later that Stephen Colbert was the appointed heir apparent.

So now we have witnessed two major late night television shows that have recently replaced their hosts.  I have nothing ill to say about either Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert. What does sadden me is that we have all now experienced continued white heterosexual male domination in who we can see for late night television. Was there a dramatic shortage of  LGBT folk and women and of people of color, thus the only population to pull from to fill these two spots was white heterosexual men?

I am exceedingly sad here because I can think of a number of amazingly talented and exceedingly witty potential hosts who are black and or women.  Why not replace Letterman with Arsenio Hall? He already has a proven track record as a host of late night TV.  Why not give the phenomenally talented Mo Gaffney a try? I am hard pressed to think of someone who is equally witty.  Speaking of witty and amazing, what about Whoopi Goldberg?  What about Julia Sweeney — another personal favorite of mine, or Chelsea Handler who is leaving her late night show on E. I wonder if either network even thought about giving one of these shows to our Margaret Cho? Even the charming Neil Patrick Harris was floated as a possibility, but I guess gay folk only get to host daytime talk.

Sadly, NBC and CBS have already made their respective decisions — decisions that have demonstrated that Late Night Television is reserved for white heterosexual men only. I wonder when this glass ceiling will be broken.

7 Responses to “Late Night with Stephen Colbert (?)”

  1. penguinlad April 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Great observations, Michael. I’ve seen some shallow defenses of this choice based on Colbert being a “known quantity” with a “tested audience.” That begs a couple of questions.

    First, how much did that situation help Conan O’Brien when he flopped on the Tonight Show? Second, why was no effort made to groom a new potential host or two? Carson had David Brenner, Joan Rivers, and Jay Leno all waiting in the wings for years. (The wrong one got the nod, but that’s another story…)

    I also appreciate the reminder of how wonderful Mo Gaffney is. Maybe she and Kathy Najimy could co-host!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      Penguin, thank you for commenting here. Yes, it was odd that no one was groomed to take over Letterman’s or Leno’s spots.

      I’m glad you share my love of Mo Gaffney! Yours in solidarity, Michael.

  2. katybrandes April 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    I would have loved to see either Cho or Handler in that spot, but maybe the network is betting on “staying power.” Choosing Colbert, whom I love but agree with what you’ve said, seems just as risky with his loud political leanings.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt April 13, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      Katy, thank you for commenting here. Yes, I would have loved it if they could have placed a woman in that spot!! Yours in peace and solidarity, Michael.

  3. Central Oregon Coast NOW April 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ukrainian Digest | Clarissa's Blog - April 13, 2014

    […] I subscribe to the New York Times on-line. Twice this week I received notifications that there was breaking news. My fear was that the “Breaking News” was something about the United Soviet Socialist Republic restructuring and that the Ukraine was now part of the New USSR — shades of Uncle Joe Stalin.  But, no. The breaking news was that David Letterman had announced when he would retire from Late Night with David Letterman. […]

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