With the first crazy weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament out of the way, everybody in the talk show community apparently feels safe enough to come out of hiding and return to the airwaves. Just about everybody is back this week after a rather disjointed set of schedules last week (mostly thanks to basketball). And while a few shows will bow out by Thursday and Friday to make room for more hoops, that still leaves a healthy dose of late night goodness to go around. Though he’ll be in repeats on Thursday (March 24) and Friday (March 25), David Letterman will fill the first three days of the week with great music from British Sea Power (Monday, March 21), breakout band Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Tuesday, March 22) and the Strokes (Wednesday, March 23). That’s a lot of jangly guitars to send you into slumber.
Meanwhile, Jay Leno also has a big music week planned on “The Tonight Show,” as there will be performances by Raphael Saadiq (Monday), Duran Duran (Tuesday), Keith Urban (Wednesday) and Peter Bjorn and John (Thursday). Leno will also chat with “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Kirstie Alley and former “American Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson. When Leno throws to Jimmy Fallon, that will mean the entrance of Orland Magic star Dwight Howard (Tuesday), “South Park” creators and “The Book of Mormon” writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone (Wednesday) and buzzy indie band Cut Copy (Friday).
On cable, Stephen Colbert will feature music on Monday’s edition of “The Colbert Report,” as the special guest will be Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Chelsea Handler will sit down with Avril Lavigne on Monday’s “Chelsea Lately,” while this week’s episodes of “Conan” feature visits from Sarah Silverman (Monday) and a killer Wednesday night lineup that features Vanessa Hudgens, WWE Champion (and former “Real World” star) Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and musical guest Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. (Hudgens will also be on a repeat of “Letterman” on Friday as well as Wednesday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”) And if you stay tuned for “Lopez Tonight,” you’ll be treated to a performances by 30 Seconds to Mars (Monday) and Slash (Thursday).