9 better ideas to replace Jay Leno

    Yesterday NBC announced that Jay Leno would bequeath his “Tonight Show” desk to network “Late Night” colleague Jimmy Fallon in 2014. We have some better ideas.

    Yesterday NBC announced that Jay Leno would bequeath his “Tonight Show” desk to network “Late Night” colleague Jimmy Fallon in 2014.

    Leno joked last night that he’d had an awkward day following the announcement. “I had to call David Letterman and tell him he didn’t get the ‘Tonight Show’ again,” he said. But he wished Fallon all the best, when he takes up the mantle, to keep NBC from slipping even further in the ratings.

    So … great. Whoever’s hosting, it seems late night TV will still be in the hands of white guys, in suits, telling jokes. I mean, Philly loves The Roots on Jimmy Fallon, but is this really the best they can do?

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    We asked yesterday: Is there anyting else you’d rather see in the 11:35 p.m. time slot?

    NewsWorks reader Donna Klimowski said on Facebook she wasn’t too jazzed about the decision: “Anything other than Letterman, Conan, Kimmel or Fallon!” She agreed with fellow commenter Bob Seabury that movies after the 11 o’clock news were the way to go.

    WHYY’s arts and culture reporter Peter Crimmins had a characteristically esoteric response:

    “I’d like to see the 11:35 p.m. slot filled with an ongoing series of film from Studio Shintoho , a 1950s-60s Japanese horror/exploitation production company. We can start with ‘The Ghost Cat of Otama Pond.’ SHINTOHO 4EVER!”



    Um, OK. Well … apart from Peter’s excellent suggestion, we came up with a list of some other favorites here at NewsWorks:

    8. Dave Chapelle! (“Maybe an offer to host the Tonight Show would bring him out of hiding,” said one editor.)

    7. Forget Jimmy Fallon and just have the Roots perform a one hour nightly concert.

    6. “Nightline” (“When it was still good,” said one staffer.)

    5. The Puppy Channel

    4. Reruns of “The Muppet Show”

    3. “Knight Rider” reruns

    2. Resurrect “Strangers with Candy”

    1. Bring back “The Gong Show”

    Yes! Problem solved. Who wouldn’t want to see good, old Philly boy Chuck Barris squinting back across the living room every single night?

    Also — bonus — note here the truly weird TV debut of Pee-Wee Herman.



    Anything in particular you’d like to see late nights on NBC? Tell us here.

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