Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Talk Shows (91-100 of 225)

'Twilight' cast with Jimmy Kimmel last night: Total eclipse of the senses

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Twilight: Total Eclipse of the Heart was an hour-long, multi-colon special promoting the impending The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. I don’t know why Jimmy Kimmel was hosting it (Lost specials, yes; but Twilight movies and Jimmy?), but I’m glad he did. Who else would ask Robert Pattinson, “Robert, what happened to your dreamy, impossibly tousled hair?” I mean, besides the the most eloquent yet sarcastic Twilight fan ever?

The event took place in a theater in Hollywood packed with screaming Twilight fans. Rarely has an hour-long commercial for a movie been READ FULL STORY

'Jimmy Kimmel Live' went low-tech last night: No power, big laughs

A power outage inspired an electrically energetic edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Faced with inoperative cameras in his Hollywood studio, Kimmel READ FULL STORY

Betty White's rules for life: Don't do drugs and stay off that smartphone!

Betty White is out promoting her new sitcom Hot In Cleveland. Last night, she was on The Daily Show, where Jon Stewart said he watched Golden Girls reruns and admired her “exquisite” timing — nice to see a young man respecting his elders. He also mentioned a Facebook campaign to make White the next READ FULL STORY

Last night, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon tried to 'end the late-night wars'

Two nights ago, Craig Ferguson put on a big white Mickey Mouse hand and started musing about how “if everyone wore a Mickey Mouse hand for one night” maybe it could “end the late night war madness.” Ferguson added, “I’m reachin’ out to you, direct-competitor Jimmy Fallon. Craig’s impassioned plea READ FULL STORY

Lee DeWyze on 'Letterman': Refuses to concede that Simon is 'a psycho'

Lee DeWyze ambled onto The Late Show with David Letterman last night, and you knew Dave was going to like this year’s American Idol winner more than he does most Idol contestants, because DeWyze READ FULL STORY

Magician Ed Alonzo on 'Craig Ferguson': Best duck of the week

Last week, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson played host to a number of magicians, none more entertaining than Friday night’s prestidigitator, Ed Alonzo, “The Misfit of Magic.” Alonzo knows a lot about the art READ FULL STORY

'Lost' on 'Letterman': See a preview of tonight's 'Lost Top Ten'

As Dave explains the show here, Lost was about a flight from Milwaukee that mysteriously landed in Hawaii… well, Lost gurus Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof do a better job at dropping spoilers during this peek at a Top Ten airing on The Late Show tonight:

Good Michael Emerson cameo, yes?

Craig Ferguson's Peabody Award-winning Desmond Tutu interview airs again tonight

The 2009 interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu that won Craig Ferguson a Peabody Award will air again tonight, with a new introduction by the host. The Peabody Awards will be handed out today.

Tonight, in honor of that award, Craig will be his usual self-deprecating Robot-Skeleton-leader self, and among his remarks in his freshly-taped intro:

“We thought maybe if you wanted we could show you Desmond Tutu’s visit to the show again, something like an encore performance.  But of course this wouldn’t be a repeat. No, no, no, no.  A repeat is something you show when it didn’t win the Peabody Award. When you win the Peabody Award it is ‘an encore performance.’ I was humbled and delighted to be in the presence of such a great man.”

As I wrote at the time, Archbishop Tutu is not exactly a mainstay of late-night entertainment. Ferguson’s conversation with the clergyman, is by turns serious, funny, and sometimes both simultaneously (“When you don’t forgive, frequently you feel it in your tum-tum,” said the Archbishop, patting his own tummy) as they talk about race, God, good and evil. And nagging wives. All without reading from cue cards or notes. “I think you’re crazy!” Tutu chuckles at one point. Craig also tells an excellent chess joke involving bishops.

Ferguson interviews Bishop Tutu without being intimidated or fawning, and in so doing, demonstrates the range of tones and subject matter that can be addressed on late-night TV. It’s worth a second look.

Conan was asked to be in Super Bowl ad with Leno and Letterman, and Leno bombs at White House Correspondents dinner

1. I didn’t think it was possible to come up with a worse comedic performance than Rich Little’s, at George Bush’s 2007 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, but last night Jay Leno managed to be not merely less funny, but also seemed uncharacteristically irritated. He rushed through one tepid joke after another. When many were met with only mild laughs, Leno resorted to that oldest of comedian complaints — he actually said, “Ooh, this is a tough room.” No, tough was sitting through jokes about Betty White being as old as Abraham Lincoln:

2. Few media outlets and Team Coco seem to have picked up on a choice bit of trivia David Letterman dropped on Friday’s Live with Regis and Kelly. Letterman, prodded by Regis Philbin to rehash “the late night wars” once again, brought up the Super Bowl commercial in which he, Leno, and Oprah Winfrey squabbled on a sofa. Dave, who was amusing while joshing with Regis and Kelly Ripa, dropped the kidding for a moment and gave us a glimpse into how mini-events like this come together.

Letterman said that originally, his idea had been to have Conan join him and Jay on that sofa. But Conan declined. The quotes re. Conan occur about nine minutes into this clip:

I suppose the insults O’Brien had endured by NBC and, by extension, Leno, were too fresh in his mind to permit him to share furniture-space with Leno, but really, where were the man’s comedic instincts? Think of how much more amusing/squirmy/talked-about this spot would have been with Conan in the middle.

3. Conan on 60 Minutes tonight. Having seen the same clips you have, I understand the misgivings my colleague Kate Ward has about Conan coming off as a victim tonight. But two observations in advance: His beard really works in the 60 Minutes context, and wouldn’t it have been more typically Conan if, instead of being interviewed by a 60 Minutes correspondent, he’d asked to take over Andy Rooney’s spot for the final minute (“You know what I hate? I hate it when a guy gives you his show and then tries to take it back… “)?

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For more: Conan on ’60 Minutes': Will too much NBC-Leno talk turn him into a victim

Courtney Love on 'the Letterman years': 'I did a lot of coke, pills... I go to 12-step meetings'

Courtney Love appeared on The Late Show last night for the first time in six years. She blamed her long absence from the show on what she half-jokingly called “the Letterman years.” She recounted a bleak time when “I did a lot of coke back then… I took pills…. I’ve been a rock person for a long time,” she admitted.

Love said she’d gone into rehab soon after her 2004 Letterman appearance, during which she imitated Drew Barrymore’s famous READ FULL STORY

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