Sometimes I watch late night television shows and think, “I would be a way better guest than this fool.”
It’s not that I’ve had such a dazzling and fascinating life, but I at least know what stories are semi-entertaining. For instance, I’d talk about the time in grad school when my friend (who was covering this as a story) and I went to a support group for Hassidic Jews trying to leave, which lasted until sunrise and included Rastafarians and the smoking of some substances (no, I did not partake, but I wish I had because that really would be the perfect talk show story). When I hear a celebrity share something mundane, it annoys me, but I get really irritated when they recite a horribly boring story with a smirk on their face the whole time, like “Aren’t I clever? Wink.” I guess I shouldn’t be so judgmental, because I’m sure it can be a nerve-wracking experience, but still: run your stories past your agents, people! That’s what they get paid for!
It really does matter who the interviewer is as well. A good host is able to twist a story to make it more interesting, or insert a joke so the audience is forced to actually laugh at the tale. I used to enjoy watching Conan O’Brien when he was on Late Night, because he was just wacky enough to keep things interesting without veering off into bizarre territory. He was engaging and brought out the goofiness in his guests. Jimmy Fallon can be too earnest for my liking, but I do appreciate that he often has guests participate in weird games, like when he and Nathan Fillion wore plexiglass suits and shot at each other with Nerf bow and arrows (don’t you wish it was your job to come up with stuff like that?).
Not that this will ever happen, but if I had to be on a late show, I’d forget about the major networks and go on The Colbert Report. True, it’s not a traditional talk show like The Tonight Show, but I adore Stephen Colbert, and I’m sure I could be totally witty and funny, and we’d be bantering back and forth with the greatest of ease. In reality, I’d probably bomb just like the celebrities I’m griping about, but in my imagination, I’m awesome!
If you were to be on a late night show, which one would it be? What story would you share?