Late-night TV will definitely be worth watching tonight as David Letterman and Craig Ferguson return with their writers, while Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien return without theirs.
Letterman has Robin Williams and Lupe Fiasco on tonight’s scheduled program. Jay Leno’s schedule includes Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, but his (Leno’s) site remains vague — mostly because the Writers Guild strike has the show worried about booking guests. I know an old comedy friend of mine plans to be in a not-written sketch (that’d be improv, then, right?). And something about the fact that it’ll all be somewhat improvised almost makes watching Leno and Conan (and Kimmel, too) a little more of an oddity. I’m friends with striking writers, so I don’t want to support those shows. But the possibility of seeing some televised train-wreckage, at least for a night, does sound tempting. Doesn’t it? As I’ve noted before, Ferguson already operates with a different self-scripted riff of a monologue, but now that he has writers on his side, he’ll also get West Coast guests, too.
By the way, my friend who’ll be on Leno informed me he didn’t encounter any picket problems upon entering the lot this afternoon — in part because he’s appearing as an actor and not as a writer.
I’ll have much more to say on this later.