Esquire has a great feature out today, in which they interviewed a bunch of comedians about what their version of a late night talk show would be. In addition to interesting pitches from Jeff Garlin, Chris Gethard, Julie Klausner, Scott Adsit, and John Lutz, they heard from Tig Notaro, who already filmed her ideal late night show as a pilot for the cable channel Logo two years ago. Based on her live LA show Tig Has Friends, the pilot was produced by Sarah Silverman and featured the stars of Mad Men showing off their hidden talents, but Logo didn't pick up the show for some reason. Here's Notaro describing her late night show:
So what I would do with a late night show would be similar: spending time getting to know the artists that come in on a personal level and exploring their hidden talents. Anyone who comes on has to show a hidden talent, whether it is whistling or tap-dancing, or playing the ukulele. When I did the show at Largo, the audience ate it up so much, because the guest is doing this weird thing that you've never seen or they haven't talked about. Leaving the show, you feel like you know them in a personal way other people don't.
There would have to be one theme tying everyone together, but it could be anything: the entire cast of a TV show, or musicians, or all of my old roommates. I had the cast of Mad Men on my pilot, and they demonstrated their talents. Jon Hamm has the ability to seduce anyone he wants, Jared Harris did a scene from Mad Men as different actors he could impersonate like Christopher Walken, and Rich Sommer is great at playing that bar game where there is a split screen of identical pictures, and you need to point out the subtle differences in each, so a blown-up live version of that was created for him. He really is quite good …
I want my show to end similarly to old variety shows, where they sing at the end, but I have a really bad voice. So I would earnestly sing goodnight to the audience with the song that my sidekick Kyle Dunnigan wrote with my voice going off the rails. I'd grab somebody's chin and sing to them and then go out in the audience and tussle someone's hair. People would think, Oh Gosh, she must be a little nervous, her voice isn't sounding so great. But then it never gets better.