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Late night TV’s idea of diversity is a white guy not named Jimmy

Trevor Noah being filmed on the set of ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’ in 2015.
Brad Barket / Getty Images for Comedy Central
Getty Images North America
Trevor Noah during the premiere of ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’ in 2015. Noah left the show in December after seven years as its host.

In just the last year, at least six different late night comedy shows have ended. Conan O’Brien left Conan on TBS, who also canceledFull Frontal with Samantha Bee. Desus & Mero split up, ending their Showtime program. NBC canceled the very late A Little Late with Lilly Singh. Trevor Noah just leftThe Daily Show a few weeks ago, and James Corden has announced that he’ll leaveThe Late Late Show later this year. (And let’s not forget HBO Max’s currently disappeared The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo.)

And then there’s Saturday Night Live. Eight cast members left the show before Season 48 premiered in October — including the likes of Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson. And then Cecily Strong left last month, too. SNL’s current cast includes four new featured players.

So there’s a lot of churn and change in late night right now. Oh, and here’s one other new thing: The most-watched show in late night comedy at the moment is on, uh … Fox News? (This idea requires a liberal — you see what I did there — definition of “late night.” And maybe “comedy,” too. But still.)

This hour, a look at the current state and possible future of late night.


The Colin McEnroe Show is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

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Colin McEnroe contributed to this show.

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Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.
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