Retta is pitching her own late-night TV talk show

Did you know that Retta currently is pitching networks on her own late-night TV talk show? Or that at least one network is interested in the possibilities of a late-night show fronted by Jen Kirkman?

Or that Margaret Cho and Iliza Shlesinger would love to do it, too? So would lots of comedians. But Vulture only asked 37 of them there so-called “women comedians” and published their e-mail replies today in conjunction with the relaunch tonight of The Daily Show on Comedy Central with decidedly unfemale comedian Trevor Noah hosting.

Oh, and Samantha Bee will launch her own new TBS late-night talk show offering, Full Frontal, in January 2016!

Who might join them next year? Chelsea Handler will have a late-night offering popping back up online via Netflix in 2016.

Retta, who can belt a tune or steal a scene (and sometimes did both on Parks and Recreation), said:

“I’ve actually taken meetings about hosting a late-night talk show. I don’t know that what we know as a late-night talk show is what I want. But I’ve been talked into a talk show, but it would be different. But I don’t want to tell you what it is because we’re still pitching it. There would be alcohol. I would drink on camera, and my guests have to drink on camera. Kind of like Andy [Cohen]’s show, but a bigger studio, because I’ve done Andy’s show and that shit is hella tight! It’s waaay tight! It’s like four people. I took advantage of the liquor, and I was drunk by the time we finished. It would be more people, but, yes, alcohol.”

Kirkman told Vulture, in part: “I actually currently have interest from a network for a kind of talk show that takes place after the sun goes down. I’ve had meetings in the past where I’ve actively pitched late-night show ideas — I’ve been met with odd questions, some from network execs who are women, asking me, ‘How can you prove your show won’t have an overly female-centric point of view?’ At that point, I usually try to prove to them how if they watch me bash my head into a wall, I can make a cool hole in the plaster.”

Cho said: “I’d love to be a late-night host. I have the chops and could do every job from the monologue to interviewing guests! I’m even qualified to be a decent musical director for the house band. It’s a dream, and I’m determined to make it happen!”

From Schlesinger: “My only goal in Hollywood is to have a late-night show, and I won’t stop until this dream is a reality. Besides, I look better at night anyway. The landscape of late night is missing a smart — smart being key — woman who is funny and accessible to men and women. I’m sure if Ellen wanted to, she could crush late-night TV. It’s insane that women aren’t part of the late-night conversation.”

Not all of the women contacted by Vulture would want to hold down a show four or five nights a week, week after week. “Because it’s really a grind,” said Mindy Kaling.

For fuller answers from her, Tina Fey, Ellie Kemper, Lisa Lampanelli, Sasheer Zamata, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rachel Dratch, Tammy Pescatelli, Erica Rhodes, Liza Treyger, Rachel Bloom, Cameron Esposito, Yvette Nicole Brown, Kelly Oxford, Emily Heller, Eliza Skinner, Lauren Lapkus, Loni Love, Beth Stelling, Jo Firestone, Phoebe Robinson, Sara Schaefer, Carol Burnett, Kathy Griffin, Sandra Bernhard, Noel Wells, Kristen Acimovic, Michaela Watkins, Amy Hoggart, Sara Benincasa, Miranda Hart, Bridget Everett and Alison Rosen, go to Vulture’s piece.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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