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We're Witnessing the End of the Late-Night Show

("The Late Show" YouTube video: "Puppetry In The First Degree")

There’s a disease that’s infected the entertainment world in the West. The woke virus has infected next to everything that comes out of the coastal parts of America, and it’s made searching for good escapism feel like more of a hunt than a buffet.

That everything mainstream has leaned so far left that its falling over isn’t an accident. The ideological radicals that infected the entertainment industry became so high on their own supply that they began believing it was more important to propagandize than entertain. As a result, really great works are now few and far between.

This includes the late-night comedy show genre. Where people used to sit down after dinner and cap the night off with lighthearted jokes and celebrity interviews with the likes of Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, they’re now subjected to Jimmy Kimmel crying and Stephen Colbert trying to make forced vaccinations cool. The entire point of the comedy show has been forgotten, and what we have now is leftists on their soapbox delivering “clapter” lines about Republicans and pushing whatever the Democrats need to be pushed that week.

It’s boring, it’s unoriginal, and…it’s apparently disappearing for a while.

As my colleague Jennifer O’Connell recently highlighted, the Writer’s Guild of America is going on strike, which means various programs are going dead for a while. This includes Saturday Night Live and the aforementioned late-night talk shows with the exception of “Gutfeld!” which was busy overshadowing the others anyway.

So nothing of value was lost.

And I mean that. These shows have very little value. So little in fact that even some of their own writers were getting over being a part of them. As Bounding Into Comics recently reminded everyone, an anonymous showrunner came forward in 2021 and began dropping some very unsurprising but still very interesting information about how these late-night shows are run, and how creatively boring they actually are.

More importantly, how out of touch hosts and showrunners tend to be with the rest of America:

One writer told her the shows “felt like a ‘liberal circle jerk.’” This anonymous writer went on to detail, “It seems to be a loose rule that late-night writers are more progressive than hosts, showrunners, and executive producers. Writers get compensated extremely well, but they’re still way more likely to actually know people who are hurting than the same circle of mostly white multimillionaire showrunners and producers who float among the same five shows. When you’ve been crazy rich for over a decade, and so have a lot of your friends, it’s difficult for a lot of these hosts to have any conception of what people are hungry for in the real world.”

The writer continued, “We’re applauding late-night hosts for using their platforms and multimillion-dollar salaries to sob about the state of our nation every other night. Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert are probably the worst offenders here. The latter is sometimes crying on TV about things nobody else is even that upset about. Trump’s first speech from the White House after Election Night was, predictably, full of lies and fascist propaganda. Colbert wore all black in mourning and stood up to deliver the monologue for the first time since March. Just in case anyone watching had recently suffered a blow to the head and couldn’t detect that symbolism, he made sure to explain, through tears, why he was doing it.”

The anonymous writer, clearly a leftist, added that this “circle jerk” leads to performative nonsense that makes everyone involved look ridiculous and shallow:

The writer went on to assert, “It’s not that I don’t think his tears were sincere. It’s that they were wasted on something so stupid, and they’re the only ones he chose to broadcast. Where were those tears for George Floyd and every Black American murdered or injured during the Black Lives Matter protests? Where were those tears for the quarter million Americans who have died of COVID? And above all, why would anyone want tears from a comedy show in the first place? Have all of our brains collectively broken this badly? Much of late night devolved into this Aaron Sorkin–ified liberal circle jerk. It’s not productive, it’s not impressive, and it’s definitely not comedy.”

As O’Connell noted in her article, the WGA strike presents a very interesting opportunity for Greg Gutfeld. While he’s already number one, he’s also the only guy still going during the strike. Colbert, Kimmel, et al., are running reruns and for a show that’s pretty topical, reruns aren’t going to sell as well.

How many people are going to give Gutfeld a try…and stay there?

Why would they stay there?

As the anonymous writer noted, a lot of these shows are pretty incestuous with their writing staff. The face and the set might differ, but there’s little to no difference between the shows because it’s all the same people behind the curtain.

Gutfeld is not using those people. In fact, his people are falling outside the WGA.

Studios looking at the entertainment landscape probably see this very thing and might start feeling pressure to concede to the WGA early to stop the bleeding. However, this would be putting a bandaid over a gunshot wound.

Late-night content clearly isn’t what it used to be and people were definitely hungry for something else. As Axios reported, late-night programming is losing advertising revenue by the boatloads, and two hosts have already seen their way out the door, Trevor Noah and James Corden.

Moreover, the new generation of viewers doesn’t tune in to watch a whole show anymore, they’re watching clips online.

The gunshot wound is only going to get worse as the landscape evolves and the old late-night formula dies off from a lack of originality, hyper-partisanship, technological development, and an inability to adjust.

We’re witnessing the end of the late-night show.

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