Category Archives: Reeeeeege

An Earlier ‘Late Night’

Q: When is a sitdown a standup? 

A: When Seth Meyers premieres as host of Late Night and takes his act out from behind the “Weekend Update” desk and moves it to center stage. 

Seth Meyers Late NightIt was a much less of an auspicious debut for Late Night with Seth Meyers than Jimmy Fallon’s maiden Tonight Show voyage, even with a visit from Vice President “Crazy” Joe Biden (indeed, maybe the most notable part of the evening came from Amy Poehler, who utilized the opportunity to announce a second season renewal for Comedy Central’s Broad City). However, that it was a low-key evening was not a surprise, it was probably by design. In fact, whereas Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night distinguished itself for being the late night show for millennials, the first one crafted with YouTube and Twitter in mind, this iteration of Late Night might stand out for being something quite the opposite. And if it’s balance that Lorne Michaels’ late night lineup is after, then Meyers’ hour might bring it.

It’s foolhardy to judge the long-term success of a program based off of one show, or the first week of shows, or even the first moth, maybe even the first year. Conan O’Brien famously took some time to adjust, and Meyer’s predecessor Fallon slowly settled into his groove, and even after his promotion he still struggles mightily as an interviewer. So it was both no surprise and no cause for alarm that Meyers’ first outing left much room for improvement. His monologue, something that likewise remains a weak spot in Fallon’s arsenal, felt awkward, unnatural, and Meyers seemed uncomfortable finding his mark on the studio floor instead of behind a newsdesk. Indeed, leading up the premiere, we wondered if Meyers should dispense with the traditional stand-up monologue all together and just do it all from the desk, Daily Show style. However, after seeing what we feel is a beautiful, vibrant studio with distinctive sliding doors in place of curtains, we’re rethinking that sentiment; the setting is right, it’s just the style, subject and delivery that needs some work. More topical, pop-culture and current event setups, less obscure, strange-but-true stories. Similarly, his first desk piece, “Venn Diagrams,” had promise, but quickly lost momentum, and had little to separate itself from a Buzzfeed slideshow. We applaud the concept, but it needs more. Or less, like some cheap, low-concept Late Show segments. But, unfortunately, it was caught between a throwaway sight gag and entertaining, clever wordplay. What it maybe missed most was more of Meyers himself.

Which is where the show might need to go to find its sweet-spot. Meyers’ strength, as opposed to Fallon, is interviewing, is engaging with his guests in a way that’s neither fanboy nor sycophant. It was for precisely that skill that he was considered as a replacement for Regis Philbin on Live!, and it’s that ability he needs to exploit, even if, in the current talk show landscape, traditional interviewing is something that seems to be reserved for Charlie Rose. Perhaps, then, it is not any of Meyers’ Late Night forebears that he should strive to emulate, but Tom Snyder, whose Tomorrow Show was the precursor to Late Night with David Letterman. While we’re far from suggesting that Meyers dispense with the live audience, only interview one guest per show and take up smoking, emphasizing a more straightforward format – interesting, revealing interviews that allow for both Meyers’ and his guest’s personalities to shine through – might make the most sense, might allow Late Night with Seth Meyers to find its own voice. In fact, the new Late Night set itself – a sparse, almost teacher-like desk, and 70s style chairs instead of a plush couch – evokes the feeling of The Dick Cavett Show, another early talker that stressed insightful interviews over bits and punchlines. If Jimmy Fallon is the cutting-edge, high-energy, internet-savvy model at 11:30pm, then Meyers can be the more relaxed, subtler throwback at 12:30pm. He might need to go back, if he wants to stay late.

And, if Meyers focuses on those things, then he can leave the fun stuff to Fred Armisen.

 

 

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Filed under Back to the Past, Must See TV, Reeeeeege, Saturday Night Live, Talkies, Weigh-in

Today in ‘Today’: Reege is a Zombie

For years now Regis Philbin has been on a path of destruction, an unstoppable wave of violence that not only has counted many victims, but has also been self-directed, from box-cutter wounds to hip replacement.  And today on Today, sitting in for Hoda, Regis admitted that he finally finished the job, doing what God himself couldn’t do.

But, then, if Regis off’d himself how could he be co-hosting the 4th hour, perfunctorily sipping what looked to be a gin-based drink?  Well, there’s only one answer: he’s a zombie.  Why else would he so readily believe in vampires?

Notice the look of shock and horror on Kathie Lee’s face, truly, genuinely unsure if Reege is kidding or officially senile.  We’d be tempted to give KLG points here, if she didn’t conclude that of the two guests it’s Benjamin Walker who plays the title role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter based on the length of his legs, and not because between him and Anthony Mackie he’s the only white one.

One thing is for sure, Reege has officially crossed the line from lovable old curmudgeon to Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.  For the full final hour of Today, it just seemed like Regis was really pissed that all these strangers were on his lawn.

Wednesday Winesday, y’all!

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Filed under God Laughs, Huh?, Reeeeeege, Today in Today

Parting Shot: Goodbye Reege

Thanks for the memories, most of which were caused by your terrible, terrible memory. 

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Filed under Good with Coffee, In Memoriam, Parting Shot, Reeeeeege

TONIGHT: Russell vs. Boston Rob Round 2 (Oh, and the Premiere of ‘Survivor: Redemption Island’)

February 16th is finally here and tonight is closing in fast.  Which means that, after literally weeks of anticipation, Survivor: Redemption Island premieres this evening.  But, more importantly, that means the epic, long-awaited, dream come true, clash of the titans showdown between Russell Hantz and Boston Rob is nearly upon us.

When their return was announced a few weeks back we quickly voiced our initial skepticism.  And in the intervening time our feelings haven’t really changed.  We’re still extremely hesitant about this twist, bringing Rob back for his fourth go ’round and Russell for his third attempt in four seasons, because their personal battle genuinely threatens to be bigger than the game, and we’re nervous about what it means for future seasons.  The initial returns could be astronomical, but we could be trading long-term satisfaction for immediate gratification.

But it’s hard to watch this and not get excited.  We’re excited.

More: Early predictions that may surprise you. And Jeff Probst teases the future!

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Filed under Be careful what you wish for, Century 21 Reality, Freak Out Control, Impatience, Intersection of the venn diagram of things that I love, Reeeeeege, Tribal Council

Was That Special? Dana Carvey Returns to ‘SNL’ And Our Childhood Officially Ends

We’re going to warn you right off the bat that this is probably going to be the most subjective SNL recap we’ve yet written.  So if you like your SNL analysis free of emotional attachment, well, then you should look somewhere else (we’re sure the web might offer one, maybe two, other options), because, unfortunately, as we watched this last SNL, hosted by legendary cast member Dana Carvey, our reaction was intrinsically bound up in how we’ve watched this show since childhood, and how the this particular episode made us reexamine and reassess our feelings about the show, Dana Carvey and his SNL era.  So, at the extreme risk of being self-indulgent, here we go.

Read on: We mourn our youth and ask the question: who is Dana Carvey?

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Filed under Analysis, Be careful what you wish for, Crucial Taunt, Flashback!, Nostalgia Corner, Reeeeeege, Saturday Night Live, The Bieb

You Can Only Run For So Long: Regis Finally Takes Out Regis

Well, as much of a danger that Regis Philbin has been to himself and others over the years, it seemed that the only one who would ever get Regis off his hosting stool was the Grim Reaper.  However, Death can relax (for now), since Regis announced today that come late summer or fall he will leave the Live! after twenty-five years (twenty of which he was there mentally.  Fascinatingly, it wasn’t a consecutive run).  We can only assume he’ll spend his retirement yelling about the Yankees and Notre Dame, butchering people’s names, forgetting what he’s doing, making unintentionally lewd remarks, making intentionally lewd remarks and lacerating himself with a box cutter.  So, no different really.

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But, fret not, after Reege’s announcement it was business as usual:

And apparently ABC ran a little message for Reege right after the show, one that we thought was in rather bad taste.

(that’s an amazing URL, btw)

But, seriously, Regis, mornings will never be the same without you.  Safer and more coherent, sure, but certainly not as entertaining.

So who will fill Regis’ spot next to Kelly?  Anderson Cooper, are you regretting that daytime talk show deal now?  Because we are.

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Filed under Good with Coffee, Reeeeeege

In Regis News We Missed: Reege Still a Danger to Himself, Others

We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t bring you all the news about any injuries or medical issues concerning Regis.  We were there when he announced his hip surgery, and when he nearly gave Meryl Streep a coronary.  And we’re here now (albeit, slightly late) for his latest malady, as he recently sliced his hand with a box cutter, requiring upwards of four (!) stitches.  And to make matters worse, he went back to the ER to get his stitches out (why he went to the ER to have stitches removed, and not somewhere more appropriate, like anywhere else in the hospital, we’ll never know) and they said it was too soon.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?

Meanwhile, while being careful not to steal Reege’s “disability thunder,” Kelly is nursing a hip injury of her own, no doubt caused by all these years of carrying Regis (NAILED IT!).  So this just goes to prove, once again, that Regis is mid-morning talk’s foremost sadomasochist, and no one around him is safe.  NO ONE (Gelman).

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Filed under Good Humor, Reeeeeege