Reinventing Late Night: What Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers can learn from Craig Ferguson
There are plenty of reasons to get excited about NBC’s new late night line-up. The Tonight Show has remained far too long in Jay “The Chin” Leno’s hands and as for Late Night, I’m just glad we’ll get more of Seth Meyers. In the recent promos for the new Tonight Show and Late Night , we can take a peek at Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers in their new environments. Though Fallon and Meyers won’t be taking over their respective talk shows until February, they are both undoubtedly gearing up for their upcoming reigns already. During the process, they are obviously thinking about how to make the shows their own. While Fallon talked about keeping relatively the same format as his Late Night, Meyers has suggested a typical talk show format with more "serious guests" and recurring characters in his interview with Time magazine.
I think it’s time to stir things up. Maybe Leno on The Tonight Show and David Letterman on CBS’s The Late Show were great in their early days, but now they’re just getting repetitive and frankly, a little rigid.
It’s high time late night stopped taking itself so seriously. And no one knows this better than The Late Late Show host, Craig Ferguson. All right, he sort of fits the profile for a traditional late night host of white male in a suit. But he's different, okay? For many nerdy insomniacs around the country, the Scottish American comedian’s awkward, absurd, hilarious, and at times shockingly intelligent talk show is the best part of the night. He constantly mocks the unwritten rules of late night. Although he does follow the standard structure sometimes, his stream-of-conscious style keeps it flowing; it’s never stiff. Did I mention he has a dancing horse named Secretariat on the show?
Of course, Fallon and Meyers should absolutely do their own thing with their new shows. Fallon already varies things up on Late Night with his amazing musical impersonations and games. Plus, he's taking The Roots with him to The Tonight Show, so who could complain? Nevertheless, there are a few things he and his successor can learn from Ferguson’s best moments.