The Uproar

Late Night Limbo

Three hosts make for one big choice

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Late Night Limbo

courtesy of Variety

courtesy of Variety

courtesy of Variety

Katelyn Steigerwald, Features Editor

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Most students spend the late night and early morning hours sleeping, studying, or at least trying to do either of those things. However, a select few, including myself, prefer to use our time popping popcorn, grabbing a blanket, and settling in for 11:35, when late-night hosts take over the otherwise boring local newscasts.

Being something I look forward to each and every evening, I take my late night opinions very seriously. Therefore, I present to my night owls and newcomers alike, all 11:35 options in an extremely unbiased way. Hopefully you can make the right decision next time you’re awake to see late night take over TV.

Let’s start with NBC’s moonlight man: Jimmy Fallon. For many, he is a sweet and subtle New Yorker complete with jokes that can only be described as understated. But, in my bloodshot, 11:35 eyes, he comes off slightly different. I would consider Fallon to be more of a people-pleaser than anything else. His interest in comedy originates from a childhood fascination in all things funny. Years later he would go on to join the Saturday Night Live team as a cast member and become a star in his own way, eventually stepping up to host The Tonight Show on NBC. However, over the years, Fallon’s viewership has dispersed slightly because of his overwhelmingly neutral stance on EVERYTHING. These days, late-night hosting has steered away from light humor and now requires some strong opinion when it comes to politics, the world, and so on. For example, a segment on the show with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump received criticism for the way in which Fallon made Trump out to be lighthearted and normal. His lack of personality, relatability, and credibility have been consistently visible to the viewer. In my opinion, the lesser of the two Jimmy’s.

Next is Washington DC native, Stephen Colbert, who serves as host of The Late Show on CBS. He initially planned to become an actor in dramatic film but became drawn to improv during college. After working on some different, smaller comedic collaborations and performing as an understudy in a few cinematic endeavors, Colbert landed a spot as a Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. After years of hard work, he received a show of his own on the network titled The Colbert Report—a concept that aimed to poke fun at the iconic, scrutinized The O’ Reilly Factor. With ten years of hosting under his belt, he took on his final challenge of hosting CBS’s The Late Show, inheriting the role from David Letterman. At first, the program fell victim to a rocky start, falling behind both Jimmy’s in ratings. And, due to Colbert’s age and comedic style, his popularity suffered among younger populations. His major political focus has turned off some viewers that desire a distraction from the daily headlines. In my opinion, Colbert’s jokes sometimes go too far and create divides within his fan base, and because of this, he would not be my first pick for late night. Love him the most, but not for every day.

Ahhh Jimmy Kimmel, America’s sweetheart. Though just another New York-born comedian, this one rises above the others in his league. He got his start during college while working at local radio stations across the country along the way. Similarly to Colbert, Kimmel began his Comedy Central career in 1997 when he worked on a satirical game show. From there, he participated in various other works from the network, also helping to write and produce some award-winning film. 15 years ago, he catapulted into the late night scene with his own show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC. The name may be misleading because the show was actually only aired live for the first few years of production, but, nevertheless, Kimmel has refreshed a repeated craft. He breaks the bounds of late night standards with segments that vary from a sit-down setting and engage the audience in his funny antics. He brings family and friends into the mix like his equally comedic cousin, Sal, his aunt/prank victim, Chippy, and his parking lot security guard turn good friend, Guillermo. All this allow Kimmel’s show to feel relatable, almost like talking with an old friend. Though he can come across as edgy or widely political, he keeps his opinions respectful. Overall, my top pick for 11:35 programming.

So here we are, after a lengthy analysis of the differing late night hosts, I am sure you have either learned something new, decided alongside me that which of these men is the best, or are ready to leave a long winded counterargument in the comment second below. Regardless, each host is unique in their own way and have many die hard fans. No matter who you choose at 11:35, when you need a homework break or can’t sleep, you’ll always have a late night show to watch.

About the Writer
Katelyn Steigerwald, Features Editor

Katelyn Steigerwald is a senior at North Allegheny Senior High and is thrilled to serve as Features Editor for the NASH Uproar this year. When not stressing...

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