Shalom Life | April 13, 2014

Jewish Top 10s: Comedians Who Could Have Taken Over for Letterman

Yesterday the world learned that Stephen Colbert will be taking over for David Letterman when he retires next year. While he is a good choice, it doesn't hurt to have a Plan B

By: Zak Edwards

Published: April 11th, 2014 in Culture » TV » News

Jewish Top 10s: Comedians Who Could Have Taken Over for Letterman

Welcome to Jewish Top 10s, where we compile lists that highlight the best and the brightest of everything yehudi, from delicious recipes to funniest actors, to most obnoxious Jewish wedding songs.

As we have all heard, David Letterman is retiring from the Late Show. With this, the last of the great late night hosts has packed up their things to, in his words, “spend time with the family.” I read an amazing piece here about his announcement, one that sums up all we love about Mr. Letterman and his show. He has been behind the desk for a long time, 34 years to be precise, and while others have eclipsed him in the ratings, no other late night host has been people’s go-to for the major events. As the aforementioned article mentions, we all went to various people after 9/11, but Letterman was the only late night host we trusted that night, the only one who combined the straight talk and real personality with a lovable character. He was the one we trusted in a strange way that only comedians or poets can be trusted in times of crisis.

Letterman has seen us through some very intense times, and now that torch has passed to another, Stephen Colbert. Colbert, no doubt, has the brass to take over. His character from his own show will be retired and we can look forward to seeing a different side of a man we have gotten used to as a neo-conservative ignorant nutjob and perhaps be a man we can relate to. I personally think Colbert is a wonderful choice and he will be nothing but amazing.

But for the past week here at ShalomLife, we started thinking about who else could have replaced Letterman, who in the Jewish community could take such a crown from the king of late night, and not just another late night TV host. There’s tons of talented Jewish artists out there who could and we decided to share those with you.

So here’s our Top 10 Jews Who Could Have Taken Over for Letterman:

10.


STEPHEN FRY

Craig Ferguson doesn’t have to be the only man to successfully leap the pond and land behind a desk. Well, a late night host’s desk, plenty do the other, of that I’m sure. Stephen Fry at this point is an institution in his native England, well respected and good friend of another successful pond-leaper Hugh Laurie. Fry combines the classics of British humour with a commanding respect and earnest beliefs. Sure, the tone would change, but few people who replace Letterman could command the respect Fry does.

9.


OPHIRA EISENBERG

CBS would never hand over the reins of the Late Show to a comedian that makes most people say, “Who?” but Eisenberg could make a great host. She’s funny with plenty of stand up experience but also one heck of a writer. Shows, especially late night shows, live and die by their writing and Eisenberg has the chops. Her hosting gig on Ask Me Another proves she can be funny and hold her own, Late Show hosting would just bring her game up that much more.

8.


RICHARD LEWIS

His wardrobe would need to change a bit, but I think his staged anxiety could work well on the Late Show. He’s smart, has connections, and can put up with anything (up to and including Larry David), so he could make a great host. I think guests would be entertained by someone like Lewis asking them questions and it would certainly veer off the rails of the usual “I’m here because I have to hype my latest movie” style interview, another thing Letterman mastered in his time on the air.

It could be the Late Show from hell, or it could be brilliant.

7.


BILLY CRYSTAL

A man who simply doesn’t need the headache or constant pressure, as demonstrated by his leisurely last decade or so, but Billy Crystal would command the respect and admiration of every single person who came on the show. He could tease out people who haven’t done interviews in years through his connections alone, and he would do a show that’s classy, smart, and endearing. Basically, it would be a show for those who still watch television, not the key 18-35 demographic, but it would be one that calls back the best Hollywood has to offer. Plus, I think celebrities would be a bit star-shocked when he first started out, which would be great to see them sort of fall apart.

6.


MARC MARON

If there is one man who balances experience with rising fame, it’s Marc Maron. Longtime podcaster, comedian, writer of his own show, and general curmudgeon, he is everything we need in a late night host. He has deep connections in the comedy business and that could only help him put together an amazing show that could combine surprise guest stars with exceptional writing. Plus he has tons of interview experience and doesn’t shy away from his own personality. Marc Maron could be a new type of host while still knowing what works and what doesn’t through his years of stand-up comedy, television writing and producing, and amazing podcast skills. Plus he’s already a hit on the social networks, meaning he is one person on this list who could nab that precious younger demographic.

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