Thursday, June 11, 2009

Late night rebirth

Esquire magazine does a bit every now and then called "The Indefensible Position," where a man explains his love of something un-manly or illogical, like knitting or Rachel Ray.

Here's mine: I really enjoy "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

I think everyone in America thought the show would be a failure, because Fallon really wasn't all that great on "Saturday Night Live." But his personality fits perfectly with a late-night talk show. I think it's the best show on late-night TV right now, even better than my old favorites "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" (which, incidentally, have grown stale since the election).

And "The Tonight Show" has improved, too, since Conan O'Brien took over. I admit I was never a fan of Jay Leno, and I loved Conan on "Late Night," but I think he's taking "The Tonight Show" to new heights. Conan is much better at the physical comedy than Leno is, and in fact Conan reminds me a lot of... Johnny Carson.

Seems like the NBC late-night lineup right now is harkening back to those great, silly days when it was Carson on "The Tonight Show" and Letterman on "Late Night."

In my eyes, Letterman is still the reigning king, but the combo of Conan and Fallon make for two hours of pretty good television.

--Matt Kelsey

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