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(CNN)   Duh. It was over when Craig Ferguson retired   (cnn.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, Jon Stewart, late-night, The Daily Show, Late Late Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien  
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3587 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 20 Aug 2022 at 11:38 AM (14 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-08-20 9:39:24 AM  
"Ratings have declined so much ..."  What?? With all that quality content?? Unpossible.

Ferguson was friggin' hilarious. Best thing since Letterman in the 80's. Maybe only good thing.
 
2022-08-20 9:41:15 AM  

flucto: Ferguson was friggin' hilarious. Best thing since Letterman in the 80's. Maybe only good thing.


Agreed.

He gleefully aired a deconstruction of the late night talk show and walked away while he was still having fun.
 
2022-08-20 9:57:22 AM  
If late-night television had a true golden age, we probably passed it sometime in the past decade.

As in the 2010's?  The golden age of late night TV?  Really?
 
2022-08-20 10:16:58 AM  

downstairs: If late-night television had a true golden age, we probably passed it sometime in the past decade.

As in the 2010's?  The golden age of late night TV?  Really?


As much as I don't want to show my age bias, honestly the peak probably was the 1990s. The 1970s really just had Carson, but the 1990s saw Letterman and Leno go head-to-head, Arsenio Hall, Conan's debut, and Kilborn's original launch of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart perfecting it.

Carson is still the GOAT, but Carson stepping away allowed for some incredible talent to flourish.
 
2022-08-20 10:32:35 AM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: downstairs: If late-night television had a true golden age, we probably passed it sometime in the past decade.

As in the 2010's?  The golden age of late night TV?  Really?

As much as I don't want to show my age bias, honestly the peak probably was the 1990s. The 1970s really just had Carson, but the 1990s saw Letterman and Leno go head-to-head, Arsenio Hall, Conan's debut, and Kilborn's original launch of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart perfecting it.

Carson is still the GOAT, but Carson stepping away allowed for some incredible talent to flourish.


Yeah, the Carson-only era was not so much a "golden age" as "this one show is really great for the time."

I would peg the "golden age" as the 1990s as well.  It has to include Letterman, and it has to include multiple shows.  One show doesn't make an "age."

While the article here suffered massively from recency effect... it is right about streaming not making a nightly show workable.  Maybe?  I still think people will seek out instant comedic reactions to the day's news.  At the very least a weekly show like John Oliver will do fine streaming.

All that being said... it's not going to compete with the importance of the shows in the 1990s relative to all other media in their respective eras.
 
2022-08-20 10:42:23 AM  
Enjoy retirement, Geoff Peterson.
 
2022-08-20 11:01:25 AM  
I liked Desus and Mero on VICE, then Showtime poached them. :(
 
2022-08-20 11:42:11 AM  
Lol Kimmel and that idiot who laughs at everything are pretty terrible. Colbert at least has the chops, but this is far removed from a golden age.
 
2022-08-20 11:44:25 AM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: downstairs: If late-night television had a true golden age, we probably passed it sometime in the past decade.

As in the 2010's?  The golden age of late night TV?  Really?

As much as I don't want to show my age bias, honestly the peak probably was the 1990s. The 1970s really just had Carson, but the 1990s saw Letterman and Leno go head-to-head, Arsenio Hall, Conan's debut, and Kilborn's original launch of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart perfecting it.

Carson is still the GOAT, but Carson stepping away allowed for some incredible talent to flourish.


Carson/Snyder was a great back to back. And Cavett was on late night ABC.  I love Letterman, but it was the 70s.
 
2022-08-20 11:46:12 AM  

flucto: "Ratings have declined so much ..."  What?? With all that quality content?? Unpossible.


ATTN T.V. Executives:

YOU WILL HAVE shiatTY RATINGS AS LONG AS YOUR HOSTS ARE CONSTANTLY ON VACATION!!

Jimmy Kimmel Live is the only show that uses Guest Hosts, so at least the content is current and fresh.

NOBODY WILL WATCH TWO-WEEK OLD RE-RUN CONTENT IN 2022!!

/Rant off
 
2022-08-20 11:47:34 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-20 11:57:16 AM  
I don't know what you're talking about, Subs.

/ Also...I listen to Colbert's monologue every morning before work.
 
2022-08-20 11:57:46 AM  
Showing James Cordon and talking about the Golden Age ONLY works if he's explained as part of the death of it.

Really, including SNL, these shows only work now as creation engines for online videos.  Even the good remaining show(s), like Seth Meyers.
 
2022-08-20 12:00:10 PM  
It was over when Tom Snyder was teamed up with Rona Barrett.
 
2022-08-20 12:01:29 PM  

flucto: "Ratings have declined so much ..."  What?? With all that quality content?? Unpossible.

Ferguson was friggin' hilarious. Best thing since Letterman in the 80's. Maybe only good thing.


Meyers can be genuinely good.  His interviews only so-so, admittedly, but his A Closer Look segment is always must watch.

Conan, before he left, had good days and bad.  Usually his stuff less chained to the daily stuff, were the good.  His travelogs, mostly.
 
2022-08-20 12:07:03 PM  
The day Letterman announced that Larry "Bud" Melman had left us (2007) was truly the day the music died.

travsd.files.wordpress.comView Full Size


After that came Letterman's confession of infidelity (2009), Leno's assholery with Conan and the Tonight Show (2009) and a general decline in late-night entertainment.  Ferguson was kinda the Elvis of late night, a last spark of that original rock n roll energy that disappeared too soon.
 
2022-08-20 12:07:08 PM  
Fallon was probably the funny "sensitive" guy in high school who hung around all the girls and provided a shoulder to cry on while trying to get in their pants.
 
2022-08-20 12:09:01 PM  
the most prestigious late night show is hosted by a guy who seems like he won an MTV contest.
 
2022-08-20 12:10:02 PM  

KRSESQ: Tom Snyder was teamed up with Rona Barrett


It was great to watch Snyder's complete disdain for the whole enterprise. I bailed by the time it was Coast to Coast though. That's when Carson dropped to an hour as well, and he was visibly done with the whole thing.
 
2022-08-20 12:10:22 PM  
Late night shows are too political now.  It's 90% Trump.  If you like Trump why would you watch?  If you hate Trump why would you watch?  Just make a show with fart jokes and witty banter people would watch.
 
2022-08-20 12:14:06 PM  

i_dig_chicks: Late night shows are too political now.  It's 90% Trump.  If you like Trump why would you watch?  If you hate Trump why would you watch?  Just make a show with fart jokes and witty banter people would watch.


Trump would have been absolutely savaged in the 70s. I can't even imagine him trying to get through a proper interview. i mean, I'd pay money to resurrect Mike Wallace just for the carnage.
 
2022-08-20 12:15:29 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-20 12:17:18 PM  
The golden age of anything on TV has to predate streaming services.
 
2022-08-20 12:20:17 PM  

Louis Toolz: Fallon was probably the funny "sensitive" guy in high school who hung around all the girls and provided a shoulder to cry on while trying to get in their pants.


Fallon couldn't kill what Jay Leno already had though.  The Tonight Show has been a rotting corpse forever.  Late night comedy outlasted that show's relevance.  Admittedly it still had viewers, thus profits, but nobody remembered anything ever done on Leno's Tonight Show past the day it happened. Whereas clips of Carson, Conan, Ferguson, etc remain funny and relevant long after.  Leno made Tonight into truly disposable entertainment.
 
2022-08-20 12:22:53 PM  

Kris_Romm: Louis Toolz: Fallon was probably the funny "sensitive" guy in high school who hung around all the girls and provided a shoulder to cry on while trying to get in their pants.

Fallon couldn't kill what Jay Leno already had though.  The Tonight Show has been a rotting corpse forever.  Late night comedy outlasted that show's relevance.  Admittedly it still had viewers, thus profits, but nobody remembered anything ever done on Leno's Tonight Show past the day it happened. Whereas clips of Carson, Conan, Ferguson, etc remain funny and relevant long after.  Leno made Tonight into truly disposable entertainment.


Considering he really hasn't worked since and spends a fortune on his cars, they must have paid him a ridiculous amount of money. I don't think his heart was really in it after he actually got the gig.
 
2022-08-20 12:23:30 PM  

i_dig_chicks: Late night shows are too political now.  It's 90% Trump.  If you like Trump why would you watch?  If you hate Trump why would you watch?  Just make a show with fart jokes and witty banter people would watch.


Ah.  One of those "I just want a chuckle before bed" types, etc?

Go back and watch old Leno Era clips.  He made constant Clinton and Bush jokes, nightly.  The jokes sucked, sure, but let's not conveniently revise history and act like this is new.
 
2022-08-20 12:25:28 PM  

Kris_Romm: Showing James Cordon and talking about the Golden Age ONLY works if he's explained as part of the death of it.

Really, including SNL, these shows only work now as creation engines for online videos.  Even the good remaining show(s), like Seth Meyers.


Stewart Lee on James Corden
Youtube q60Y8tPzWpg
 
2022-08-20 12:29:35 PM  
Once upon a time, late-night talk shows were an important way for actors, musicians, authors, athletes, even politicians to get out there and hawk whatever they were selling or promoting. Now, with social media, all they have to do is upload something to Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, maybe shoot a video for their YouTube channel, and that's it. Even Saturday Night Live is superfluous now.

Technology moves faster than humanity does. Either keep up the pace or get out of the way.
 
2022-08-20 12:32:46 PM  
The only late night show I watched was Conan.  He was the funniest one to me.
 
2022-08-20 12:39:38 PM  

Kris_Romm: Louis Toolz: Fallon was probably the funny "sensitive" guy in high school who hung around all the girls and provided a shoulder to cry on while trying to get in their pants.

Fallon couldn't kill what Jay Leno already had though.  The Tonight Show has been a rotting corpse forever.  Late night comedy outlasted that show's relevance.  Admittedly it still had viewers, thus profits, but nobody remembered anything ever done on Leno's Tonight Show past the day it happened. Whereas clips of Carson, Conan, Ferguson, etc remain funny and relevant long after.  Leno made Tonight into truly disposable entertainment.


I had a Jay Leno sighting a couple of weeks ago. It was kind of weird just seeing him in a blue denim shirt, wandering into a hot dog and hamburger joint. And yeah, he had an expression on his face that kind of suggested that he realized everything that you just wrote above.
 
2022-08-20 12:43:53 PM  

LewDux: Kris_Romm: Showing James Cordon and talking about the Golden Age ONLY works if he's explained as part of the death of it.

Really, including SNL, these shows only work now as creation engines for online videos.  Even the good remaining show(s), like Seth Meyers.

[YouTube video: Stewart Lee on James Corden]


Nice slow murder.
 
2022-08-20 12:46:24 PM  
One of the funniest cold openings Craig ever did.

Craig Ferguson Show
Youtube zj-mANVgCXU
 
2022-08-20 12:48:47 PM  
And his piece about Britney was amazing.

Craig Ferguson Speaks From The Heart
Youtube yGLzpt3caHw
 
2022-08-20 12:56:35 PM  
No disrespect to Ferguson, but the Swan Song of late night television was Conan's last week or two on Late Night, just after he publicly told Jay and the network to go pound sand.  That last set of shows, especially the monologues, when he was able to just say "fark it" and do what ever the hell he wanted was the best late night television I've ever watched.  Good luck on NBC ever letting anybody see it ever, though.
 
2022-08-20 1:00:48 PM  

Forty-Three: No disrespect to Ferguson, but the Swan Song of late night television was Conan's last week or two on Late Night, just after he publicly told Jay and the network to go pound sand.  That last set of shows, especially the monologues, when he was able to just say "fark it" and do what ever the hell he wanted was the best late night television I've ever watched.  Good luck on NBC ever letting anybody see it ever, though.


er, Tonight Show, that is...
 
2022-08-20 1:03:00 PM  
Omitted the pinnacle of late night talk shows
Deep Conversations with David Byrne | Space Ghost | adult swim
Youtube o0PjK5ySfzM
 
2022-08-20 1:11:44 PM  
I enjoy watching Johnny Carson on Pluto. Lots of smoking and Khomeini jokes.
 
2022-08-20 1:16:46 PM  

Rapmaster2000: I enjoy watching Johnny Carson on Pluto. Lots of smoking and Khomeini jokes.


Political!

😝
 
2022-08-20 1:26:40 PM  

Slypork: And his piece about Britney was amazing.


It so well done on so many levels. Its sincere and from the heart, it pulls on personal experience and has enough humour sprinkled throughout to keep it from being preachy. I don't know how much of it he planned before the cameras went up, but I don't think he could have done that any better.

That's how you change minds and educate, you make the conversation about what we can do and not about what they did wrong.
 
2022-08-20 1:32:44 PM  

Flogster: Slypork: And his piece about Britney was amazing.

It so well done on so many levels. Its sincere and from the heart, it pulls on personal experience and has enough humour sprinkled throughout to keep it from being preachy. I don't know how much of it he planned before the cameras went up, but I don't think he could have done that any better.

That's how you change minds and educate, you make the conversation about what we can do and not about what they did wrong.


Craig talking about it, years later:

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/craig-ferguson-worried-hed-be-fired-for-refusing-make-fun-of-britney-spears-014613710.html
 
2022-08-20 1:35:34 PM  
Craig may be projecting/imagining this part though, because in 2019 Britney didn't control her own catalog:

While Ferguson "never heard directly from Miss Spears" after his speech, he stressed, "That was not necessary. I wasn't looking for that." However, he does have a feeling that she heard what he said, and that she may have thanked him in her own subtle way. "I did want to use one of her songs ["Oops!...I Did It Again"] in a standup special, and when I requested it, everyone was saying there's no way that song was going to clear," he said with a chuckle in 2019. "I asked if I could use it in a standup special, and I got it for nothing. That's a very expensive song to use. So, I'm extremely grateful that she let me do that."
 
2022-08-20 1:36:54 PM  

Earthworm Jim Jones: The only late night show I watched was Conan.  He was the funniest one to me.


Same. I was too young to watch Letterman when he hosted Late Night, but Conan came on at the time I started High School and was staying up late. His first 5 years when the threat of cancellation was hanging over his head and he was throwing everything at the wall and not giving a fark was when he was at his best.
 
2022-08-20 1:38:49 PM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: downstairs: If late-night television had a true golden age, we probably passed it sometime in the past decade.

As in the 2010's?  The golden age of late night TV?  Really?

As much as I don't want to show my age bias, honestly the peak probably was the 1990s. The 1970s really just had Carson, but the 1990s saw Letterman and Leno go head-to-head, Arsenio Hall, Conan's debut, and Kilborn's original launch of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart perfecting it.

Carson is still the GOAT, but Carson stepping away allowed for some incredible talent to flourish.


And to think it might not have happened had Joan Rivers not been so impatient for her own talk show...
 
2022-08-20 1:45:58 PM  

IlGreven: Straight Outta Wells Branch: downstairs: If late-night television had a true golden age, we probably passed it sometime in the past decade.

As in the 2010's?  The golden age of late night TV?  Really?

As much as I don't want to show my age bias, honestly the peak probably was the 1990s. The 1970s really just had Carson, but the 1990s saw Letterman and Leno go head-to-head, Arsenio Hall, Conan's debut, and Kilborn's original launch of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart perfecting it.

Carson is still the GOAT, but Carson stepping away allowed for some incredible talent to flourish.

And to think it might not have happened had Joan Rivers not been so impatient for her own talk show...


Carson was an absolute prick about the whole thing too. I always thought there must be more to this, because Carson always had her back before then.
 
2022-08-20 2:02:38 PM  
Once Jimmy Fallon turned The Tonight Show into a TikTok challenge, it was dead.
 
2022-08-20 2:12:25 PM  
Got any gum?
 
2022-08-20 2:17:07 PM  

dryknife: Got any gum?


"Something from the meat case, Linda?"
 
2022-08-20 2:23:39 PM  
Meh.  It's all been downhill since Steve Allen left the Tonight Show.

I kid, I kid.  Actually, the pinnacle of night-time programming was in the radio era with people like Fred Allen, Groucho Marx, and Henry Morgan.
 
2022-08-20 3:02:27 PM  
The greatest show of all time was The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
 
2022-08-20 3:10:10 PM  

Cinedelic: Meh.  It's all been downhill since Steve Allen left the Tonight Show.

I kid, I kid.  Actually, the pinnacle of night-time programming was in the radio era with people like Fred Allen, Groucho Marx, and Henry Morgan.


I was lucky in that AFN radio back in the day was pretty much all old time radio. For a kid in the 70s, I had very weird media consumption, very old radio, movies and the pulps. I still think of anything post 1960 as "new" despite being born in the mid 60s.
 
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