The Boredom-killing Business
The most telling thing to me about the past few years of late-night TV (and you’ll have to pardon me if this has always been true; I’m only 25 so while I remember Letterman moving to CBS I wasn’t aware of the surrounding climate) it’s that I’m pretty sure that most people my age aren’t watching it unless there’s some sort of meta-controversy. They’re rarely interested unless the hosts are taking potshots at each other or their networks.
There’s probably something to be said about the role of reality television in fostering this kind of attitude, and the cynic buried deep inside me might say that someone in charge of programming would do well to make a few clumsy programming moves here and there in order to generate a spectacle, but that’s probably a little extreme.
Whatever the case, it makes me sad to watch everything going on, especially the peripheral hosts circling these situations like vultures, hoping that their sniping will pick up some new viewers when their jokes inevitably get included in the YouTube clip roundup of this bizarre meta-news cycle.