6 Classic Late Night Shows That Are Worth Staying Up For
Watching late-night television can become a very dangerous habit. If you stay up to watch the entire porgram, you may have a problem getting up for work in the morning. However, if you don't have a traditional 9-to-5 job, sit back, relax and enjoy. There are a number of great shows to choose from and here are six that are worth your time.
Late Show With David Letterman, CBS
This is the top of the line when it comes to late-night television. Letterman was drawn to the business when he watched Johnny Carson host the Tonight Show as a youngster, and by many accounts he has exceeded what Carson did on the air. "I think Dave may be a little better than Johnny, and if Johnny was around, I think he might think the same thing, " talk-show host Regis Philbin said in a 2011 interview with Ryan Seacrest. Letterman's quick wit is on display every night and his self-deprecating sense of humor allows all guests and viewers to feel comfortable watching him. While Letterman's prickly personality makes him difficult to be around when he is not on the air, he is an easy watch who delivers the best late-night show in television.
Stewart was a mainstream comedian for years with an interest in politics. That interest eventually allowed him to develop the most important daily political criticisms in television. Stewart always delivers his points with a laugh, but he never fails to let you know where he stands and he is unafraid to rip the top politicians no matter which side of the aisle they are from.
Chelsea Lately, E!
A relative newcomer (since 2007) to the late-night wars, Chelsea Handler hosts a show that is bold, honest and shocking. Handler is a beautiful blonde comedian with a hard edge to her delivery. Men are both drawn to her and afraid of her, like a dominatrix without the whip. Handler is always looking for the quick one-liner that will make you drop your jaw with shock, but she is also capable of talking any current events issue with intelligence and poise. Handler will never pander and that helps her present a show that is consistent and fast-moving.
Conan O'Brien made his name with a late-night show that followed NBC's Tonight Show and while he was awkward on the air during the show's early years, his wit, comedy and energy eventually helped him build a consistent program. When he was given the Tonight Show and then had it pulled out from under him, O'Brien recovered by signing with TBS and settled in nicely. Eventually, O'Brien appears to be a likely successor to Letterman when that host decides to retire. O'Brien's ability to make fun of his own odd appearance helps him attract a loyal audience.
Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, CBS
Perhaps the most underappreciated program on late-night television. Ferguson's program follows Letterman and his clever monologue and charming Scottish brogue make it difficult to change the channel or turn off the television. You may be tired but you keep the TV on to hear what Ferguson is about to say next. Ferguson's familiarity with American politics and social issues is somewhat shocking because his thick accent leaves you with the impression that he'd rather be in Scotland. He is a facile interviewer who brings the best out of his guests while allowing them to feel comfortable.
Sometimes the issues of the day are too serious for comedy late at night. The classic series started by the late Roone Arledge and hosted by Ted Koppel still has a key place on television. Nightline explores the top issues of the day by going in depth. Hosted adroitly by Terry Moran, Cynthia McFadden and Bill Weir, the show is intelligent and informative and has been since it went on the air in 1979.