Don’t get us wrong – we’ve got no beef with Seth Meyers. His wry delivery is perfect for Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, and he’s written plenty of classic sketches, including last fall’s masterful Louie/Lincoln parody.
But when word broke that NBC will supposedly bring in Meyers to host Late Night once Jimmy Fallon decamps for The Tonight Show, we couldn’t help meeting the news with a noncommittal shrug. Sure, he’d be a fine man for the job, and God knows SNL could use some new blood in its writers room. At the same time, though, wouldn’t it be nice if NBC didn’t pick a man to do this job?
While cable has its share of female-fronted late night talk shows – E!’s Chelsea Lately, Bravo’s Kathy, MTV’s fledgling Nikki & Sara Live – the networks haven’t featured a lady late night host since The Wanda Sykes Show crashed and burned on Fox in 2010. Among the Big Three networks alone, the record is even worse; there’s never been a late night chat show hosted solely by a woman on ABC, NBC, or CBS, though Joy Behar was one of The Midnight Hour’s rotating hosts in 1990.
Simply put, that is ridiculous. And here are 10 funny women we’d like to see make history in Jimmy Fallon’s old seat.
Sure, Meyers’s old Weekend Update co-anchor is currently doing Emmy-worthy work on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. But Parks won’t last forever – and once it’s over, Poehler would be free to bring her brand of sunny yet sharp comedy to late night. Better yet, Poehler’s also got some experience in this arena; remember The Dakota Fanning Show?
In a similar vein: Like Poehler (and Meyers), Rudolph is an SNL vet. But unlike Amy, she hasn’t been able to find a good, steady televised vehicle since exiting the sketch show in 2007. After perfecting her Oprah impression and playing a talk show host on NBC’s doomed Up All Night, Rudolph would be more than ready to helm a late night program in real life.
Aisha Tyler used to make fun of talk show hosts on E!’s Talk Soup – but on CBS’s The Talk and her popular comedy podcast Girl on Guy, she plays the role herself with ease. Late Night could be an ideal solo TV showcase for her. Bonus: Thanks to her recurring role on Friends’s ninth and tenth seasons, Tyler’s also got a history with NBC.
True, the Last Comic Standing judge has costarred in two quickly canceled NBC sitcoms in the past two years (2011’s Free Agents and 2012’s Are You There, Chelsea?). But given how popular her standup is, Leggero would fare well as a Late Night host – and clearly, the network likes her.
Peretti isn’t exactly a household name outside of the comedy community – but neither was Conan O’Brien before he took over Late Night in 1993. Her work with comedic royalty like Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, and Pete Holmes proves that she’s got chops, and she’d likely be a good match for Fallon’s audience.
Why not? The hardest working woman in show business is still one of its funniest, and she deserves another shot at network talk show stardom.
She’s one of standup’s hottest names right now, thanks to a raw, career-changing set about being diagnosed with cancer that drew praise from basically every comedian in America. This could be the perfect way to introduce Notaro to a wider audience.
Jimmy Kimmel’s crude ex is always the funniest thing about Jimmy Kimmel Live! whenever she swings by his show. While NBC passed on a pilot she created last year, the network would probably be more open to giving her a seat on Late Night – imagine the viral video possibilities!
It’s been way, way too long since Strangers with Candy. Sedaris’s absurd, twisted sense of humor deserves a national showcase – and hey, she can cook on the show, too!
The Daily Show correspondent doesn’t get enough chances to shine on Comedy Central’s own late night juggernaut. Why not let her fly solo and show what she can really do?