Are late-night talk-show hosts playing ”My bandleader can beat up your bandleader”? First Arsenio Hall brought in the envy of all Hair Club members, Michael Wolff, to head his house band, the Posse. Next up, Johnny Carson successor Jay Leno announced plans to replace The Tonight Show’s trumpeter/front man, Doc Severinsen, with sax wunderkind (and Sting associate) Branford Marsalis. Not to be out-hipped, Dennis Miller got himself another Sting cohort, former Police guitarist Andy Summers, who is now the musical director of The Dennis Miller Show’s jazz-rock band. Might these moves toward the title of Hippest Late-Night Bandleader bode badly for David Letterman straight man Paul Shaffer? ”God, no,” says Late Night producer Robert Morton. ”As far as I’m concerned, we’ve got the best.” Maybe, but don’t those ensembles Paul has been wearing lately look like something Doc would’ve picked out?
Posted February 7 1992 — 12:00 AM EST
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