The last two weeks of late night shows have been so great that it's easy to forget that, most of the time, those shows aren't all that amazing. For all the great things that David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien or anybody else have done, their shows are typically cycles through a handful of familiar tropes: The news-based monologue, the wacky interaction with the band leader, the piece of audience participation, the wacky off-set video package, two celebrity interviews and a musical performance. It's a predictable formula that has worked for years, but it's also just that: A formula. While "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" have shaken things up a bit, the late night scene is still flooded with stuff we've seen before.
It's also full of people we've seen before. Leno and Letterman have literally been on the air for decades — isn't it about time some new blood got injected into the after-hours game? (And we're not talking about Chelsea Handler.) Here are a few people who should really be given the opportunity to shine.
The breakout star of last summer's "Funny People" and NBC's "Parks and Recreation" has experience in both stand-up and sketch work, so his comedy pedigree is top-notch. He has plenty of famous friends, an interest in music and is considered cool by just about everybody who matters in Hollywood. A regular dose of Raaaaaaaaaaandy would inject an awful lot of life into late night.
The guy already has experience hosting the MTV Movie Awards and has been the MVP of "Saturday Night Live" for the past few years. He's everything that's great about Fallon (the easy-going personality, the "Everyone's invited!" brand of humor, the willingness to look weird) without as much stammering.
Yeah, he already had a crack at a late-night show (2002's "Late World with Zach"), but let's consider that a test run for later greatness. Galifianakis has an incredibly fast wit, a willingness to play the fool and genuine musical chops. Plus, "Late World with Zach" was secretly genius.
Is there anything Nick Cannon can't do? He's got the comedy chops, the musical background and is so unbelievably charming that his interviews would have to be great. Plus, there would always be the possibility of a Mariah Carey walk-on.
Craig Ferguson proved that an accent from the United Kingdom doesn't disqualify you from being an effective show-helmer on American television. Pegg's work on instant classic stuff like "Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz" and the British TV series "Spaced" has made him a cult hero on the comedy scene, and his sharp, easygoing personality would be a great addition to the late-night lineup.
Every time the dude is on TV, something amazing happens. Why wouldn't you want to give him that opportunity every single night of the week?
What do you think? Who would you like to see get a late-night show? Let us know in the comments!