Tag Archives: sketches

Late night time machine

LNJFDear Jimmy,

As your days on Late Night wind down and you prepare to take over the storied seat behind the Tonight Show desk, I want to offer a word of advice.

(As someone who has watched you grow and change on LNJF…and who watches all your late night competitors, too.)

Pare down your monologue.

It used to be short.  I can remember early monologues that were five jokes.  Maybe that was too quick, but now your opening is too long.  The quality of the jokes has improved, but it’s still not your strong suit.  You know what is —

Games. Music. Sketches. Long-form pieces. And your relationship with the celebs you’ve invited…but currently rush in and out because you don’t have any time.

I think we just found some.

Not ready for primetime

I haven’t had much to say about “Saturday Night Live” this season.

That’s because SNL has brought so little to the table.

They lost two cast members and hired four others this year, so it’s understandable that it would take some time for the group to gel.  But the writing has been pretty crappy overall — with a bright spot here and there — and most guest hosts’ talents have been wasted.

Like Emma Stone, for example.

Here is a very funny, versatile young comedic actress, and SNL cast her as the straight man in pretty much all of the sketches.  She did have a bright spot in the SNL Digital Short, because they let her be the star in that one.

Novel idea.  They should have considered that a few more times in the program…since she was the guest host, and there were at least a few people who tuned in because she was appearing.

They did the same thing when Bryan Cranston hosted.  He was used primarily in supporting roles, when he was used at all.

I can appreciate the fact that they need to establish the new cast members and their characters and imitations.  But when the guest hosts look bad, SNL looks bad.

Guess how things are lookin’ this year?

The Late Late Bang

It’s a great day in America!  Why?  Because Craig Ferguson is bringing crossover television back for your viewing pleasure.

At the top of his show last week, Craig appeared in a mini-episode of “The Big Bang Theory” — in true crossover style — and then had the cast take over his show for the rest of the night in a collection of sketches and interviews.

Hilarity ensued.

Thanks, Craig.  We used to depend on television sitcoms and their associated spin-offs for crossover nights.  You know, when Doug from “King of Queens” would appear on “Everybody Loves Raymond” — the show that birthed his series — and vicey versey.

Or remember the night that Paul Reiser’s character on “Mad About You” caused a blackout that affected everyone on “Friends”?  Even though those two series weren’t spin-offs, they did share a common setting — New York City — and the character of Phoebe’s sister, Ursula Buffay, who waited tables at their favorite restaurant.

I guess it makes sense that it would take a show outside of the TV sitcom realm to remind us that crossover television works.  Sitcoms have only recently regained their stronghold on the prime time schedule — thank you, “Modern Family” — and the only spin-offs of late have been the ever redundant “CSI’ and “Law and Order.”

Take a lesson from the Craigy Ferg, programmers everywhere.  Crossover TV is fun.

And it’s great for America!