The Late Late Show (CBS TV series)

The Late Late Show (CBS TV series)

infobox television
show_name = The Late Late Show

caption =
format = Talk show, variety show
location = CBS Television City
Los Angeles, California
runtime = 60 minutes per episode
rating = TV-14
creator = David Letterman
starring = Craig Ferguson
Craig Kilborn
Tom Snyder
country = USA
network = CBS
first_aired = January 9, 1995
last_aired = present
num_episodes = 2,578 (as of October 27, 2007)
website =
imdb_id = 0437729
tv_com_id = 22830|

"The Late Late Show" is an American late-night television talk and variety show currently hosted by Craig Ferguson on CBS. The show was greatly inspired by the Irish "Late Late Show". It immediately follows "Late Show with David Letterman" and is produced by Letterman's Worldwide Pants Incorporated in CBS Television City. The program dates to 1995, and has had three permanent hosts.

Occasionally, the show is split into 15- and 45-minute segments when CBS airs a daily late night highlight show for either The Masters, other PGA Tour events with rights owned by CBS, or tennis' U.S. Open. The show then has a monologue to start, followed by sports highlights, and then the guest segments.


Tom Snyder era (1995–1999)

Tom Snyder hosted the program from its inception in January 1995 until March of 1999. The choice of Snyder as host was apparently made by David Letterman, whose contract with CBS gave him the power to produce the show in the timeslot immediately after his own program.

Letterman and Snyder had a long history together: a 1978 "Tomorrow" episode hosted by Snyder was almost exclusively devoted to a long interview with up-and-coming new comedy talents Letterman, Billy Crystal and Merrill Markoe. And in 1982, when "Tomorrow" was canceled by NBC, Letterman took over Snyder's timeslot with his own NBC show "Late Night with David Letterman". Because of this, some have speculated that Letterman simply wanted to give Snyder -- whom he had long idolized -- another chance in the late night arena, as a sort of repayment of an old debt.Fact|date=June 2007

Snyder's show featured a mix of celebrities, politicians and other newsmakers, but was otherwise quite unlike the program hosted by Letterman. Snyder was a former newsman, not a comedian, and his show featured an intimate interview format with no studio audience present, similar to his old "Tomorrow" show of the 1970s, or to the then-current "Charlie Rose" show. Throughout most of the show's run, it was also simulcast over some CBS Radio stations, and Snyder accepted calls from viewers/listeners somewhat in the manner of Larry King.

Jazz musician David Sanborn composed the theme music and several other songs featured on the show.

Snyder's trademarks included:
* Frequent informal kibitzing with the show's offstage crew.
* His opening remarks, which were delivered while sitting in a chair, and usually told of his adventures earlier in the day while doing everyday, mundane things like buying groceries or driving to work.
* Snyder usually introduced the show as the "colorcast" or "simulcast," if also airing on radio. NBC used the term colorcast to introduce its programs produced in color during the 1960s
* Just before the first commercial break, Snyder always invited viewers to "fire up the colortinis and watch the pictures as they fly through the air." A "colortini" was an imaginary drink, rather like a martini, that Snyder felt viewers should enjoy while watching the show on a color television. Later, in reference to the radio/TV simulcast of his show, Snyder would often substitute "simultini" for "colortini".

Snyder was originally scheduled to broadcast his last "Late Late Show" on March 19, 1999. However, his replacement Craig Kilborn was still working out the kinks in the new show's format, so the 62-year-old Snyder amiably agreed to 'help out the new guy' by filling in for another few weeks before he was scheduled to step down as the first host of the show. Tom Snyder died of leukemia on July 29, 2007 at the age of 71.

Craig Kilborn era (1999–2004)

When Snyder announced he was leaving, the show was reformatted to resemble "Letterman" and other major late-night talk programs. Craig Kilborn took over in March 1999, having left "The Daily Show" to become the new "Late Late Show" host.

When Kilborn was on the show, it began with a haunting full moon wavering behind gray stratus clouds on the screen to the tuning of an orchestra, while the announcer -- the recorded, modulated voice of Kilborn himself -- blurted out, "From the gorgeous, gorgeous Hollywood Hills in sunny California, it's your "Late Late Show" with Craig Kilborn. Tonight [...] ", and then the guests were announced with the show's theme song composed by Neil Finn. Then Kilborn was presented, "Ladies and gentlemen, *pause* Mister Craig Kilborn", with the 1970s disco band Wild Cherry song "Play That Funky Music".

After Kilborn's stand-up monologue, he walked to his "Bavarian oak desk" while Finn's theme song continued playing with the chorus "The Late Late Show is starting. The Late Late Show is starting now." The "Desk Chat" was said to be Craig's favorite part of the show.

During later seasons, the opening consisted of shots of various Los Angeles hotspots accompanied by a new theme song performed and written by Chris Isaak. For this new theme song, Kilborn would be played to the desk with a chorus of "The Late Late Show is starting".

Segments included:
*"In the News", a news segment, whose theme song was Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger", where Kilborn would provide a humorous overview of the day's events. It was briefly called "The World of Whimsy" following the September 11th attacks. The segment also included characters such as the hoary and cherubic "Ewok Guy" or the rapping "PG&E" Lady.
*"What Up?", a Friday segment where Kilborn and three other panelists discussed and joked about the news. It included a guest, the director of the program, Mike Gibbons, who was introduced by Kilborn as " [One] of the brightest minds in show business", and then, staff writer "Goldie" - "He was the art editor of his high school newspaper." Each panelist, in turn, greeted Kilborn with, "What up, Craig?" This segment was similar to the ESPN show "Around the Horn".
*"Alex, the Disgruntled Old Page", a bad-tempered page acted by one of Kilborn's staff members, who thought his private thoughts "aloud", unintentionally.
*"Sebastian, the Asexual Icon"
*"To Blank with Love" in which Kilborn dedicated verses to different people and things
*"Five Questions" in which Kilborn asked a geography question, a Match Game-style "blank" question where the guest had to fill a blank with a word related to the guest, a "Now think of other one" question in which the guest had to guess what Kilborn had in mind. This segment was a holdover from Kilborn's previous job as the host of "The Daily Show".
*"Tuesdays with Buddy", with Buddy Hackett
*"Clippings That Tickle Your Funny Bone" - "They're Funny!"
*a movie poster review segment
*"A Recreation of a Press Photo"
*"Yambo", an elimination game between two guests
*"Craig Kilborn, Man of 537 Faces"
*"Compatible With Opus?" in which recent cast-offs from CBS reality show "Survivor" were given the chance to win a date with staff member Opus Moreschi.
*"Commentary with Mike Greyson" in which a sports opinionist with a negative take on society, sports, and culture discussed how everything "sucks" or is a "debacle," much to the delight of the audience.
*"A Late Late Show Do-Over"
*a dance segment in which Kilborn said, "All I wanna do is dance, dance, dance" while looking into three different cameras (Another "Daily Show" holdover.)

Kilborn left the program on August 27, 2004, following negotiations which ended unexpectedly when he opted not to renew his contract.


Subsequent new shows featured guest hosts, culminating in week-long showcases for four finalists: Craig Ferguson, D. L. Hughley, Damien Fahey and Michael Ian Black. It was announced on December 7, 2004 that Ferguson, a Scottish comedian best known from his role as Mr. Wick on "The Drew Carey Show", was to become Kilborn's permanent replacement. David Letterman made the selection, based on the recommendation of Peter Lassally. [ [ Dave at Peace: The Rolling Stone Interview] , a September 18, 2008 interview from the "Rolling Stone" website]

Craig Ferguson era (2005–present)

Changes to the show during Craig Ferguson's tenure as host have included a more improvisational opening monologue and the addition of short comedic sketches starring Ferguson and other semi-regular guests. Upon occasion, Ferguson has delivered monologues more serious in tone; he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a show in which he eulogized his father.


External links

* [ "The Late Late Show"]
* [ On Being a Candidate to Take Over a Late-Night Network Talk Show] , a "McSweeney's" article by Michael Ian Black
*imdb title|id=0112043|title=The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder
*imdb title|id=0192906|title=The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn
*imdb title|id=0437729|title=The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

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