The abrupt series finale of HBO’s Any Given Wednesday weekly talk show hosted by Bill Simmons brought with it many jokes, thanks to his guests and longtime friends Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla — who not only made fun of Simmons for waiting too long to invite them on his program, but also about how picking a Wednesday timeslot put Simmons up against much better viewing options for the first 16 weeks it was on TV.
Simmons did try to sneak in some serious talk, though, with his guests about the future of broadcasting.
Kimmel noted the differences between making late-night TV in 2016 compared to his own debut of Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC in 2002. For one thing, YouTube wasn’t a thing back then. Kimmel talked about how people watch his shows and his competition at any time of day and by individual segments thanks to YouTube — he suggested James Corden could just make “Carpool Karaoke” instead of worrying about the rest of an hourlong TV show, and he predicted that the field of “late-night hosts” would just keep expanding, so that anyone could host a show from anywhere and reach a sliver of the global audience. Of course, they joked that those hosts would likely still be white guys. And Carolla took the YouTube mention to go off on a riff about porn.
As for podcasting’s future?
Carolla: “It’s one of these things where the barrier to entry is almost zero, so anybody can do….”
“No, it’s literally zero,” Simmons said.
(Editor’s Note: Well, not literally zero. You need to pay for equipment and MP3 hosting)
“It’s literally zero,” Carolla said. “Anybody can do a podcast. And now that everyone can do a podcast, it’s essentially like music. Where anyone can record now. You know, when we were kids, if you had a CD, if someone made a CD, that was a big deal. So now we’ve opened it up to the entire world, and it’s going to be a competition just to see whose voice and whose ideas people want to hear more than the next.”
Simmons: “All of it was foretold in the movie, Pump Up the Volume, with Christian Slater.” Alright, Simmons.
They jokingly reminisced about when Carolla appeared on Simmons’ second-ever podcast, in 2007, and had to call in on a telephone from his driveway so they could record, because he lacked any other equipment.
Roll the clip.