Monday, April 27, 2009

Jay Leno tells jokes about his illness

According to a article, Jay Leno didn't disclose what the mystery illness was that sent him to the hospital during tonight's monologue -- but he did joke about his brief sick leave. "What happened was -- and I think this was a mistake -- I ate a raw pig a friend brought back from Mexico," said Leno.

He also took a poke at the man who will be taking over "The Tonight Show" next month. "Have you ever slept in a hospital? I spent the night. I was there for 24 hours," he said. "I had a horrible dream that I couldn't breathe. I felt like I was suffocating. Then I woke up and realized Conan was holding a pillow over my face."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Guests of the Week: April 27-May 1, 2009

Jay Leno should be back on "The Tonight Show" tomorrow (his illness is still undisclosed -- wonder what he'll say about it on the air?) with scheduled guests Eric Bana, prize-winning baker Marjorie Johnson and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Jay also has some fellow chat show hosts scheduled to visit with him next week: Chelsea Handler on Tuesday, Jimmy Fallon and Chris Matthews on Wednesday, Earvin "Magic" Johnson (remember "The Magic Hour"?) on Thursday and Arsenio Hall on Friday. Maybe Leno can ask Fallon why the heck he's taking another week off already. Talk Show News doesn't know the answer to that one, and our sources at NBC either don't know or aren't sayin'.

Jon Stewart brings back a favorite guest, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, on Wednesday, while on Monday night, Stephen Colbert will have a rematch with The Decemberists (click here if you want to relive the alt-rock band's 2006 guitar "shred-off" against Colbert and his stand-in, Peter Frampton). Jimmy Kimmel will host beloved actor/author Michael J. Fox on Wednesday. It's Broadway Week on "Live with Regis & Kelly," as the duo cavorts with the casts of shows like "West Side Story" and "Shrek." (Meanwhile, Reege is scheduled to appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday.) Tavis Smiley will chat with the elusive Prince on Monday and Tuesday. And fans of 70s/80s rock should tune in to "The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet" on Tuesday as REO Speedwagon and Styx perform -- together!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Jay Leno out of the hospital

What was the mystery illness that sent Jay Leno to the hospital yesterday? Maybe it was a viral infection, according to this report, but the official cause hasn't been revealed. Sources have denied rumors that Leno, who turns 59 next week, had had a heart attack, was dehydrated (hey, it was pretty hot in L.A. earlier this week) or suffered food poisoning.

In any case, another rerun is in store for tonight, featuring Charles Barkley and Leslie Mann (it first aired a week ago). In addition, the comedian had to cancel a Vegas appearance at the Mirage. Leno, who was released from the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center today, will reportedly be back to work on Monday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Leno in hospital, cancels taping

The Associated Press is reporting that Jay Leno checked himself into the hospital this afternoon, canceling tonight's new episode of "The Tonight Show."

"Jay Leno is doing just fine," read a statement from NBC spokeswoman Tracy St. Pierre. "He was kidding around with the hospital staff and running his monologue jokes by the doctors and the nurses. He’s expected back to work on Monday."

Leno's publicist, Dick Guttman, would not disclose what was ailing Jay.

Thursday's scheduled show was to feature guests Jules Sylvester, Ryan Reynolds and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. A March 26 episode with Paul Giamatti, Emma Roberts and Prince will air instead.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wilmington, OH: bring Mom to a free Jay Leno show

Following his first "Comedy Stimulus" show in Detroit, Jay Leno has announced his next free show, and it'll be in Wilmington, OH on May 10 -- Mother's Day. "This is the town that got devastated. Remember DHL was there and the whole company just closed up, like 80 percent unemployment. Folks there are having a hard time. They're good folks," said Leno.

The show, parking, and even refreshments will all be free. Tickets will be available at the Roberts Centre Conference Center beginning at 12 noon on Monday, April 27. When receiving the tickets, participants must provide their photo ID. Tickets will be limited to two per person.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jimmy Fallon goes on vacation again

Considering that "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" just debuted on March 2, it seems a little ridiculous that the show is going to be taking its second week off already. The first rerun week was the week of April 6-10, when the other NBC late night shows were off as well. But next week, Jay Leno will be doing first-run shows.

Looking at the keyword searches that led people to this site, "why is Jimmy Fallon in reruns already" skyrocketed to the top of the charts during the first week in April. I suspect it'll happen again next week.

Mo 4/27: Regis Philbin, Kat Von D, Jon Glaser, Morrissey (R 3/23/09)
Tu 4/28: Jason Segel, the Amazing Kreskin, Dan Rollman & Corey Henderson (R 3/20/09)
We 4/29: Glenn Close, Kristen Wiig, Gomez (R 3/31/09)
Th 4/30: Tina Fey, Jon Bon Jovi, Santigold (R 3/3/09)
Fr 5/1: Lauren Graham, Judah Friedlander, Cold War Kids (R 4/3/09)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jay Leno's exit interview

Jay Leno talks to Michael Hainey of GQ about his move to 10 PM, his relationship with Dave, and how many cars he has. Highlights:

On his greatest regret, "that The Tonight Show came between us [Leno and Letterman]": "When I was given The Tonight Show, I can honestly say, I didn’t know Dave wanted it. There had been no, Hey, Dave’s looking… It wasn’t until after I got it that all of this started and I said to myself, 'Well, maybe he should have it, he’s been following,' but the network didn’t want to do it."

Answering the question, "Will you ever go back on Letterman's show?": "I wouldn’t rule it out. I was asked to go on the night Conan premieres. I would never do that."

On the format of his new show: "We need to have more comedy in the second half hour so we provide a strong lead-in to the local news. There is no NBC. It’s all affiliates."

How many cars does he have? "You sound like my wife."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Guests of the Week: April 20-24, 2009

Oddly enough, the guest we're most looking forward to this week is Reza Aslan, the Iranian-American writer and scholar who will be plugging his new book, How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror, on Monday's "The Daily Show." Aslan is one of those always-reliably-great talk show guests, and has a nice chemistry with Jon Stewart. On Tuesday, Jon will chat with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Over on "The Colbert Report," public radio fans should rejoice when Ira Glass sits in Stephen's hot seat on Wednesday.

Tuesday on newly high def "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Billy Bob Thornton may or may not explain why he called Canadians "mashed potatoes with no gravy." Jimmy himself will guest on Ellen DeGeneres' show, also on Tuesday. Kal Penn will tell Tavis why he left "House" for the White House on Wednesday (subject to change; check local listings).

If you love Jamie Foxx, it's a banner week since he'll be on Letterman (Thursday), Kimmel (Friday) and Regis & Kelly (also Friday). Since both Kimmel and "R&K" are allegedly "live," we suppose that means Foxx will be hightailing it to the West Coast after taping the morning show in New York.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The man from C.O.L.B.E.R.T.

We'd love to have overheard the discussions between NASA and "The Colbert Report," with the space agency trying to figure out a way to placate the Colbert Nation while getting out of actually naming their new space station node after the comedian. The solution? Honor Stephen with a treadmill on the space station. Hey, at least it wasn't a space toilet. The exercise equipment has the genius acronym C.O.L.B.E.R.T. (the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill) and comes with its own nifty patch -- see it here.

The node will be named Tranquility, something of an upset considering that Serenity, one of NASA's four pre-selected choices, polled #2 after Colbert, who scored an avalanche of votes after exhorting his viewers to write in his name. Serenity won the votes of many Joss Whedon fans (it's the name of the spaceship in his short-lived series "Firefly"), and we're guessing NASA didn't want to be seen as favoring one cultish fan base over another.

Will citizens of the Colbert Nation accept NASA's choice? Over at the rabid "TCR" fan site, people seem satisfied. "I admire NASA for the ingenious way they snuck the Colbert name onto the space station - it was both appropriate and not too pandering to 'Stephen''s ego," wrote one commenter. "I was disappointed when [astronaut Sunita] Williams said they chose Tranquility, and not much happier when she mentioned the treadmill, but when she recited the acronym I was totally sold on it," said another.

Watch the video segment here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Jay Leno to air at 10 PM in Boston after all

WHDH has done an about-face and is now saying that it will air Jay Leno in prime time this fall, after a well-publicized statement to the Boston Globe that they would be broadcasting a local news show at 10 PM instead of the "Tonight Show" host's new venture. NBC threatened to strip WHDH's network affiliation; I'm sure the folks at KRON in San Francisco would be happy to tell WHDH just what that can do to your station's value.

Guests of the Week: April 13-17, 2009

After a rerun week, get ready for some big names on this week's shows: David Letterman hosts Zac Efron (tonight), Drew Barrymore (Wednesday) and Russell Crowe (Friday), while Jay Leno welcomes Sen. John McCain (tonight), Jamie Foxx (Tuesday) and Jessica Alba (Thursday). Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, always a great talk show guest, sits down with Craig Ferguson on Thursday. After a vacation day, "The Colbert Report" returns Tuesday night with its long-awaited NASA announcement. Crowe and Barrymore pop up again on "Regis and Kelly," on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

"Dancing with the Stars" host Tom Bergeron plugs his new autobiography on "The View" Thursday. Speaking of "DwtS," the week's castoff usually appears that same night on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Last week, however, Kimmel was on vacation so his old pal David Alan Grier never got the chance to have his shoes burned (symbolically, of course -- we understand the real ones are kept or donated to charity). DAG is scheduled to turn up on today's "Ellen DeGeneres Show," but we hope Jimmy gives him some air time soon. In other "DwtS" related guest spots, Cloris Leachman sits down with Bonnie Hunt on Tuesday and rodeo star/contestant Ty Murray is scheduled to appear on "Chelsea Lately" on Wednesday.

Chelsea Handler naked

Did we get your attention, talk show fans? "Chelsea Lately" host Chelsea Handler posed nude for Allure magazine's Naked Issue, although judging from the photo on Allure's web site, Chelsea has been Photoshopped and airbrushed more than a little bit. No one's body is that unblemished in real life. Handler told the magazine about her favorite feature: "My boobs are good. They're real and perky. Even if you can't see them, the important thing is that I know about them, and the guys I've slept with know about them."

Also posing for the mag: Eliza Dushku, Padma Lakshmi, and actresses Sharon Leal and Lynn Collins. The issue will be available on the newsstands April 21.

Friday, April 10, 2009

NASA announcement on Tuesday's Colbert

It's been a quiet, relatively news-free week in the world of late night talk shows. Hopefully everyone is all caught up on their reruns now and ready for fresh shows beginning Monday. Of course, "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" did have new shows on the air this past week... and fans should be aware that Monday's "TDS" and "TCR" will be reruns, but both shows will be back with fresh eps on Tuesday! We're also eagerly awaiting the first high def broadcast of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that night.

Reader Ted sent us a link to this Yahoo article announcing that NASA plans to announce the name of its new space station module Tuesday on "The Colbert Report." Astronaut Sunita Williams will appear on the program. Of course, "Colbert" beat out pre-approved names like Serenity and Legacy in NASA's online contest to name the module; we suspect the space agency will not be conducting any more naming contests with write-in options in the future, but the publicity can only help generate much-needed buzz for the space program.

If the new node doesn't get the Colbert moniker, look for NASA to give Stephen a consolation prize -- a space toilet, perhaps?

Friday, April 3, 2009

HD MSNBC coming in June

Talk Show News doesn't really consider pundit shows part of our purview, but as diehard HD fans, we can't resist reporting the news that MSNBC will be going high def on June 29, according to Variety. Good news for everyone who wants to watch Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in glorious high definition -- provided, of course, that your cable or satellite company plans to offer the HD version of the channel.

Hell no Leno

Boston's NBC affiliate WHDH has declared that it won't broadcast Jay Leno in primetime this fall, choosing instead to show a 10 o'clock local newscast. Ed Ansin, who owns the station's parent company, told the Boston Globe, "We don't think the Leno show is going to be effective in primetime. It will be detrimental to our 11 o'clock (newscast). It will be very adverse to our finances." Meanwhile, NBC has countered with "you will run Leno or else," threatening to strip WHDH of their network affiliation.

One wonders, if WHDH got away with their plan, would other affiliates follow suit? If so, it could easily turn into a disaster for NBC, so we're not surprised the network is taking a hard line with the station. Variety reports that NBC outlets are "nervously wait[ing] to see how NBC's primetime Leno series evolves and ultimately impacts their business... The Peacock affils have been conducting a study to see how viewers actually watch 'The Tonight Show' -- and how there might be ways to produce and schedule Leno's new show in order to help out affiliates. NBC has also put a task force in place to work with the stations on the launch."

A commenter on the Huffington Post asserts that this isn't the first time Ansin has stirred up trouble with NBC. "When his Miami station WSVN (then WCKT) was an NBC affiliate, the network castigated the station for covering network commercials to run locally originated spots (increased revenue). Carson even called out the station on-air during a 'Tonight Show' telecast."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wanda Sykes on Saturday nights's Broadsheet blog just passed along the news (from Reuters) that Wanda Sykes will be filling FOX's recently vacated "Mad TV" timeslot this fall with her own talk/sketch show. Reuters:

The hourlong show, slated to premiere in the fall, will succeed the recently canceled sketch comedy show "MadTV." It will be topical, featuring a panel of recurring guests sparring over issues concerning politics as well as pop culture. Sykes will appear in field segments as well.
Sounds like it could be a bit like HBO's old "Chris Rock Show," which Sykes appeared on. In any case, Talk Show News is looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vacation time for Jimmy Fallon

Most of us, upon starting a new job, have to work for at least a few months before getting a week off. Not Jimmy Fallon, though. After an arduous five weeks of shows, it's time for Jimmy to kick back, relax and show some reruns.

In case you missed 'em the first time around, here are the listings for next week's repeats.

Since sweeps were in March instead of February this year, next week, the first full week of April, will bring a bumper crop of reruns; David Letterman, Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, Carson Daly, Jimmy Kimmel, "The View" and Ellen DeGeneres will also be on vacation April 6-10.