Late night TV’s idea of diversity is a white guy not named Jimmy
In just the last year, at least six different late night comedy shows have ended. Conan O’Brien left Conan on TBS, who also canceled Full 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 left The Daily Show a few weeks ago, and James Corden has announced that he’ll leave The 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.
- Eric Deggans: NPR’s television critic
- Constance Grady: Senior correspondent on the culture team for Vox
Colin McEnroe contributed to this show.