(SNN) I’ve decided to start a show business rumor.
Just me. All by myself, no sources, no late night phone calls from the participants. No leaked information from insiders.
If it happens to come true, remember, you read it here first.
Seth Meyers will be the next host of The Daily Show.
All around North America I can hear people saying: “Prove it, fathead.” Or "WTF?" Or “Wait, didn’t Late Night host Meyers and The Daily Show host, Trevor Noah, just start their new gigs?”
So why take the word of a knucklehead like me? Easy… I’m not as dumb as I look.
Here’s the deal.
The Daily Show has problems. Noah missed one recently with an alleged emergency appendectomy. Am I hinting he was secretly shot by Meyers? Maybe, maybe not. Keep in mind Cork’s rule of Tabloid-think is always start a rumor with a shocking accusation or possibility.
The trouble is The Daily Show is not the same show as Stewart’s version; it’s not very good. Stewart was sardonic, ironic, sarcastic, and a brilliant writer/performer/thinker. (And will be again when his new deal with HBO gets rolling)
In replacing a legend, Comedy Central went the other way with the non-legendary, albeit likeable South African comedian. Noah is affable, handsome, easy to smile; and with a people-pleasing grill, a sharp contrast to Stewart’s glum piehole. But TDS is a show about content, not looks. And quality content is missing. Noah may be good, but Stewart—with an able assist from his nine-time Emmy-winning staff of writers—was a Genius.
By not looking to bring in another angst-y anchor, Comedy Central must have figured ratings would benefit with a cheery, smiling visage and material never as dark or brilliant as had been the case before. They were wrong. Ratings have headed south, and are currently down 37%. If they don’t improve during November sweeps, Noah should start updating his resume. And no, I don’t dislike the guy. He’s talented and could host the Hell out of a talk show. I just think he’s the wrong host for The Daily Show.
A Quick Hook?
I realize even Stewart wasn’t great at the start. I don’t see a quick removal of Noah—he should get a year, maybe longer if he uptrends in ratings. To fire him this soon would be an admission of failure. Admissions of failure get Television Suits fired themselves. Comedy Central will attempt to salvage him. Expect changes on the show. Let’s start by getting Noah to smile less
Meanwhile, Meyers, although successfully hosting The Late Show, has not stopped fiddling with his format. Ill at ease with the traditional standup monologue, he now begins the show parked at his desk. The opening comedy is now more in line with his work as host of SNL’s “Weekend Update.” Unlike other hosts, he gets to use over-the-shoulder visuals—and to good effect.
After his “Sitalogue” Meyers announces his upcoming guests and does a second comedy desk piece before the first commercial break. Recently Meyers did a six-minute, well-produced commentary about an equal rights law in Houston defeated by some sneaky campaigning.
The bit even showed a clip of Steve Doocy, Fox & Friends' walking punch line, looking ridiculous. That’s something Stewart used to do with regularity. Before his first show even aired, Noah said he would pretty much stay away from the Big Bad Fox.
John Oliver's Bad Timing
An irony to this is if John Oliver had still been at The Daily Show when Stewart announced he was leaving, he would have been the odds-on favorite to replace him. Oliver is now successfully hosting Last Week Tonight on HBO.
Will Meyers even want to leave his gig if The Daily Show is available? Only if he gets the blessings of Lorne Michaels, his boss at NBC going back to SNL days and an uncrowned kingmaker at NBC.
And why would Meyers want to leave the Late Show? Perhaps because—love him or hate him—Jimmy Fallon isn’t going anywhere. His Tonight Show ratings are up and it would take a major Tectonic Shift to get him out of there. And, except when it comes to doing impressions and playing music, I have to think Meyers believes he is the superior talent. It must be tough playing second fiddle to Fallon.
So there you have it. As with most show biz rumors, it’s probably wrong.
But if I’m right? I’ll be back to brag.
Image: Gage Skidmore flickr photostream. Some rights reserved. Original image found here.
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