Would you be able to host a talk show?

I saw Bruce Willis and that tennis player try to cover for the ailing David Letterman, and they were sweating bullets.

Yet I always assumed Letterman didn’t even try, or have to.
He just put on his Don’t Care face and mocked everything.
I could do that.

I heard about Bruce having to step in … can’t actually watch Dave anymore [he’s not on a channel I can watch damnit!], I always thought Dave made it look easy but it was probably terribly difficult to do …but then I’m crap at small talk myself

Didn’t see that show, but hell no, I couldn’t host a talk show. I don’t think quickly on my feet, and alot of jokes go right over my head. Yeah, I’m the one that finally gets the joke once everyone else is done laughing.

I could and have, though it was a sports talk show. Letterman is a different league; I’d have to prepare, but I would manage once the red light went on.

I would be somewhat dry at first, but it’s something I’d like to try.

Yep. I’ve hosted several hundred editions of a local radio talk show and once a segment of a regional telethon.

For a chance to interview A-level guests with a whole staff in support, it would be a giant kick. Trying to interview the mayor or the rodeo queen or the cheerleaders who are going to hold a carwash that weekend – and make it sound interesting – that’s difficult.

Letterman (and the other late talk show guys) earns his money, but it’s not as an interviewer. Next time you watch him, pay close attention to the interview segments. It’s just one unbelievably inane set-up line after another.

Everything has been preplanned so all Dave has to say is, “So Bette, I understand you took some time off in Mexico…” At which point Ms. Midler launches non-stop into her south-of-the-border schtick that ends in a big laugh. Then Dave goes, “They tell me you just got found a new apartment…” And off she goes again. Pay attention and you’ll notice that a trained monkey could do Dave’s part during the interview portions.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying he’s not a great ad-libber or comic – like I said, he earns his money. But when it’s the guest’s time to do his or her thing, Dave is little more than a glorified script boy feeding cues.

I’d love a shot at it. I’m blessed with the ability to think up the right, usually funny, thing to say, and to think it up while I’m still talking to the person.

I’ve also done some very amatuer acting, just enough to know I’m okay in front of an audiance. I don’t have a problem with talking to people and I’m DEFINATLY not shy!

Let me at it!

It depends. There are all sorts of talk show out there, and a host can always progress up the ladder. Start with a local radio one, then up to a regional one, and so on.

The Joan Rivers Show.
The Pat Sajack Show.
The Magic Johnson Show.
Arsenio Hall.
This list goes on from people who thought talk shows would be a snap. And they bombed.

It looks easy…and to do one or two, maybe. But to do it five nights a week?

Jay Leno tapes from 4 to 5 pm. Immediately after the show, he and his writers get together and plan tomorrow’s show. Those sessions usually end at about 1 or 2 AM. Then they go over the material in the early afternoon. He does this every day. On the weekends, he does stand up in a comedy lounge to try out new material.

Think about trying to interview everybody you know. Some of your friends would be a snap…others would be a disaster. The trick is, you have to make everybody look good, all the time, every night. It is not as easy as it looks.

It’s a LOT of work to host a show, and that’s not even counting the jokes.

A host must read the guest’s book, see the guest’s movie, read background information about the guest, possibly talk to some people who know the guest, or about the guest, and synthesize this information into a Q&A format. Also, a host must be prepared for just about any response that comes out of the guest’s mouth, because people are unpredictable.

And these are the hosts with credibility. There are talk-show hosts who have their assistants do the homework, and it shows.


Nope. I’m not that comfortable around strangers, and I don’t give even half a damn about celebrities. I have no idea how you sit there and pretend Robin Williams’ new movie is worth seeing.

Larry King didn’t start with a TV talk show. Only an idiot (or a genius) does that.