Friday, December 5, 2014

The Late-Night Sausage Fest

CBS recently announced the weekly guest hosts of "The Late Late Show" for the three months between the end of Craig Ferguson's run and the beginning of James Corden's. The list includes Judd Apatow, Will Arnett, Wayne Brady, Drew Carey, Jim Gaffigan, Billy Gardell, Sean Hayes, Thomas Lennon, John Mayer, and Kunal Nayyar. In other words, they're all men.

The "sausage fest" that is late-night television has received many complaints about it's lack of female representation, especially in the past year. And still, it appears as though CBS couldn't find even one singular funny woman to host the "Late Late Show" for a week. The only exception to this is the five woman who host CBS's daytime talk show, "The Talk." The group -- Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, and Sheryl Underwood -- will be doing a late-late-night version of their show during one of the weeks.

As you all probably guessed, I have a lot of issues with this. First of all, "The Talk" is a daytime talk show. Their content is not at all what audiences want during a late night talk show. I'm not saying that they can't pull it off. I'm just saying that it makes no sense to book them over other women in the industry. Furthermore, what message does it send that CBS thinks it takes five women to do the job of one man? The network could have just asked one of them to host (maybe Sheryl Underwood or Aisha Tyler, seeing as they are both established comedic performers. But apparently, CBS would prefer all five of them share the duty.

As for the men that will guest host, most of them are experienced comedic performers with connection to CBS or one of its sister cable channels. I will call it ridiculous, however, of CBS to hire Billy Gardell over his much more famous co-star, Melissa McCarthy. But I can get over that. What I can't get over is John Mayer. Last I checked, he isn't a comedian. How did CBS end up that far down the list of eligible performers to ask John Mayer and yet still couldn't come up with any women?!

Without women hosting late night shows, all shows in the genre seem to share a certain sameness. All of these shows share the same perspective, same humor, even same guests. Adding more women to the mix would expand the boundaries of what's possible in late-night. And give some new, fresh perspective.

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