Friday, March 6, 2009

Late Night talk in the morning

To lead us into the weekend, how about one of my favorite - if not THE favorite - songs from The Roots? And it's a great video to boot.

Which reminds me that I'm still bugging that they're now the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It gives me a reason to watch, I suppose.

But if anything, it highlights the fact that late-night tee-vee is missing some color among its hosts. Unless you consider Jimmy Kimmel to be an honorary Negro. And I don't.

I'm not bringing up the issue to embarrass or cajole network TV executives, who I'm all but sure could care less about the ramblings of some underpaid, relatively unimportant 30-year-old writer/blogger from Tampa.

No, I raise the topic because it seems like the smart thing to do in this, ahem, post-racial America. If it's done right. Don't try this thing with someone like Finesse Mitchell, or Kenan Thompson, or even D.L. Hughley, who will apparently be looking for steady work in the coming weeks.

Thing is, you'd be looking for someone dexterous enough to carry on conversations with, say, Sean Penn and Plies and Michelle Obama. I think these sorts of jobs are best handled by professional comedians - sorry Magic Johnson, even Tommy Davidson couldn't bail you out of that stinker - but that's not a hard-and-fast rule.

Katt Williams might be a little too blue for network TV. I'm not sure Tracy Morgan would be taken seriously. David Alan Grier probably doesn't have a big enough name or the requisite, uh, flavor that I'm talking about. I don't think Aisha Tyler is funny enough but she's interesting. Maybe Steve Harvey? Dave Chappelle is probably out for obvious reasons. Jamie Foxx makes too much money doing movies and side gigs to care about something that grueling. What's Martin Lawrence doing these days? I've always like Mario Joyner. Damon Wayans? Wanda Sykes? On satellite radio, I thought DJ Cipha Sounds was hilarious. Hmmm .... Stuart Scott?
Eh. Discuss among yourselves.

As always, Chris Rock is probably the ideal guy. But he seems to enjoy his freedom. And I don't blame him.

Until then, I'll just reminisce about the only late-night host who could ever bring Q-Tip, Yo-Yo and ODB to the masses. Peep how many times they dropped "nigga" in their verses:


Jack T. said...

What about Orlando Jones? He's been funny in some mainstream movies, and he's reaching the age where he'll be taken seriously. He isn't a stand up comedian, but was Letterman ever a stand up comic?

The Arsenio Hall performance I remember most (other than Billy-Bob Clinton blowing on the sax) was Tribe & Leaders of the New School doing "Scenario." Busta killed it. A star was born.

The Wu-Tang performance was also interesting. 9 guys: Great on record, perhaps not as good on stage.

Bougie Applebum said...

Now I "love me some" Orlando Jones, but I must admit - Chris Rock would probably be better suited for the job. Orlando has been very funny in movies, but what else can he do? I haven't really seen Orlando "wing it" on t.v. - out of the blue and unscripted.

Sometimes hosts have to do that and I think Chris could handle the unexpected situations. Chris can say some off beat stuff and people would just dismiss it because he's reached that level where people would say "But he's Chris Rock...he can say that." And now that Chris is rubbing elbows with Oprah - it's safe to say he can rub elbows with the rest.

But if someone is willing to give my man Orlando a shot, you can bet I will be watching! :-)

blackink said...

Actually, Orlando Jones might not be a bad idea. I've never seen him do an off-the-cuff interview or anything, so I'd like to see how quick he is.

But yeah, given a choice, I'm going with Chris Rock on that one. He's the total package.

Failing that, how about Byron Allen? That dude hasn't hosted a show that aired earlier than 2 a.m. in his life. Seems like he's due.

Bougie Applebum said...

Dang, I forgot all about Byron Allen. Did anyone ever watch the Byron Allen Show - or am I the only one? It was such a dry hour of tee vee, but nothing else was on.

Byron has to be like the Hustle Man of late night tee vee or something. Every time you think he's down for the count, he pops back up pushing a new idea. Yeah, he has yet to hit the airwaves before 2 a.m. - he's long overdue for a show airing before midnight. I say give him a show, even if it is out of pity. :-)

blackink said...

Pity might be the only reason Byron Allen has been able to stay employed for all this time.

But it's all good, long as they cut the check.