When Jimmy Fallon was announced as the new host of The Tonight Show, feminists everywhere held bated breath. With a vacancy at Late Night would a woman finally break into the world of late night network talk shows? Um, no. NBC recently named Seth Meyers as the new Late Night host, killing the hopes of feminists everywhere.
Seth Myers is very funny and appropriately talented for an endeavour like this but he represents more of the same. Late night television remains the ultimate boys club which begs the question: with so many popular female comedians why is the late night landscape so intent on keeping the status quo? With that in mind, here are just a few women I think would have been bolder choices than Seth Meyers.
1. Sarah Silverman
Four words: I’m F%&^ing Matt Damon. Silverman’s heartfelt anniversary song to then-boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel made her a household name and a viral sensation. But more importantly, her show, The Sarah Silverman Show, proved she can be funny on a regular basis. Oh and she’s been preforming stand-up since she was a teen so I guess that helps. Plus she showed up regularly on Jimmy Kimmel Live so she has the know how to boot. Perhaps NBC’s hesitation comes from her not so PC Twitter feed. They’d have to have the delay button ready, but then that’s half the fun right?
2. Maya Rudolph
I know it’s a longshot but Rudolph is one of the funniest women around. Having honed her chops on SNL, her Donatella Versace was probably my favorite thing ever, she has only gotten more impressive since leaving. Appearing in Bridesmaids, Away We Go, and Grown Ups, to name a few, Rudolph is a rising movie star. Maybe that’s why her name didn’t come up in the Late Night rumor mill. But her goofy charm and raw talent would make her the perfect fit for a late night talk show. Too bad NBC doesn’t agree.
3. Wanda Sykes
Sorry Seth but Wanda Sykes is one of the funniest people in America. Don’t take my word for it, Entertainment Weekly named her to their list. Not only is her stand-up laugh out loud funny, but she is a scene stealer in every film she costars in, no matter how terrible it is. Like Silverman, Sykes would bring an edge to Late Night that neither Fallon nor Meyers have. NBC would have to be quick on the censor button, but they would have a consistently funny show.
4. Rebel Wilson
Man is she hot right now. Not only hosting the MTV Movie Awards, but also getting a pilot picked up on ABC. Wilson is the consummate scene stealer who would fit in well to the late night talk landscape. She’s already proven she can out dance Jimmy Fallon, maybe she could out talk him too? I would stay up any night of the week to watch Fat Amy put guests in the hot seat. How awkward is too awkward? Only Rebel Wilson knows.
5. Samantha Bee
Samantha Bee may not be a household name but she is part of the strongest comedy writing team on television. Under Jon Stewart, Bee has been able to blend the ridiculous with the politically motivated to come up with some of the most hilarious “news” stories on television. Just recently gave an insightful report on Canada’s favorite pastime, smoking crack. Now that the Late Night chair is filled, we can only hope that once Stewart rides off into the sunset (in a far, far, far off future) Bee will have a shot at the anchor desk.
6. Aisha Tyler
Tyler is one of the few on this list with talk show experience. She hosts The Talk on ABC but it was her stint as host of Talk Soup that prove her a viable candidate for the job. She can be ridiculous with the best of them and she’s also fairly well known: she was the only black character to romance any of the Friends. And while her stint as Charlie on the sitcom wasn’t my favorite, she has the type of humor that would work in late night.
7. Amy Sedaris
Anyone who hasn’t heard of Sedaris should get on that, like now. She is best known for Strangers with Candy, which she co-created and co-wrote with an up and comer named Stephen Colbert. She has also been in numerous films, including Elf so she has the comedy contacts to call upon. She might be a little obscure for Late Night, but her wit and charm would likely endear her to audiences more so than a lot of men who run the late night circuit these days, ahem Jay Leno.