Not Your Father's Talk Show

For once, I’m on Alec Baldwin’s side:

Alec Baldwin has endured no small number of “very frustrating and unsatisfactory” interviews, so he’s eager to get it right when his MSNBC show launches Friday. “I want to do a show that was more like how I would like to be treated if I were the guest on a show,” he told Politico in an interview. Griping about those half-hearted sit-downs, he said: “It was a very tedious format, and the entertainment press is just the worst of all. Ninety percent of them are just going through the motions.” The 30 Rock alum vows that won’t be the case when he asks the questions on Up Late With Alec Baldwin, his new weekly current events and culture talk show. Baldwin’s going up against HBO’s Bill Maher at 10 p.m. ET Fridays but says he doesn’t really see him — or many other nighttime hosts – as a competitor. “I don’t think it’ll ever be a show you’d see on Comedy Central. We’re not going to go for those laughs,” he told Politico.


A couple thoughts. First, latenight talk shows are tedious and have been for years. Guest comes out to applause, guest tells flack-approved personal tale, host runs clip of star’s new project, the end. Long gone are the days when Carson would fill his chair and sofa with entertainers and hold a conversation.

Very long gone.

Baldwin’s also right not to go for the laughs. Because you take his script away, and he’s a deeply unfunny guy — angry and spiteful.

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