Strike, schmike — there’s a huge groundswell of demand for the return of Carson Daly to the late-night airwaves. Nay, all of America is rising as one, telling Daly and NBC that we don’t care if he has to cross the writers’ picket lines, we MUST have our nightly fix of Carson before we can drift off into untroubled sleep. At least that’s the only explanation I can imagine for why NBC and Daly have chosen to make Last Call the first late night talk show to cross the writers and go back into production, with new episodes beginning next week. (The Hollywood Reporter article announcing the decision does not cite any of the reasoning behind it, so guessing is all I can do.)
But how will Daly, that paragon of comic timing and trenchant, topical monologues, tell jokes without writers? He’s recruiting scabs, sending out an e-mail to friends and family, asking them to call and leave their witticisms on his joke hotline. (Maybe “scabs” is unfair; are they still scabs if you’re not offering to pay them for their work?) According to the e-mail (thanks, The Smoking Gun!), Daly is soliciting jokes of the “2 priests and a rabbi walk into a bar,” variety, so that should slake everyone’s thirst for the kind of timely, political humor we’re all missing as long as Jay, Dave, Jon, Stephen, and Jimmy remain in reruns.
Meanwhile, how is fellow NBC late-nighter Conan O’Brien, along with his staff, keeping busy? This video from the Late Night Underground blog offers a clue. No jokes, and yet still funnier than Carson Daly.
What do you think of Daly crossing the picket lines? And is there any possibility you’ll actually watch his show next week?