Jimmy Fallon visited The Ellen DeGeneres show on Monday and, while he was there, the two hosts had an awfully interesting conversation. DeGeneres asked Fallon if he ever thinks about what he’d do “if The Tonight Show got offered to you? Would you take the time slot?” Fallon responded with a cute joke about how if he’s learned anything from Conan and Dave, it’s that doing Late Night means you’ll never do The Tonight Show before saying that he’d love to do it, but he loves his 12:30 time slot. Pretty standard banter, but here’s the thing: what if Ellen was asking for herself?
It’s not so far-fetched. Jay Leno will, eventually, retire for real. In Bill Carter’s excellent book The War for Late Night, sources say that Leno is seriously discussing retiring in his mid-sixties, just a few years from now. When that happens, he’s going to need a replacement and my money is on Ellen DeGeneres. Here’s why. READ MORE
In 1999, I was a junior theatre major at a performing arts high school, in a class that was about 60% female and 30% gay boys. Though Will & Grace, Dawson’s Creek, and Sex and the City were all on air, the only show that was true appointment television at the Boston Arts Academy was a terribly-rated show buried in The WB’s Thursday night line up — Popular, a forgotten gem of female comedy.
Ten years before Glee, Ryan Murphy created Popular, a campy over-the-top comedy disguised as a typical teen drama. The show ostensibly revolved around two high school juniors: the beautiful and popular Brooke McQueen (played by the perpetually underrated Leslie Bibb) and the unpopular Sam McPherson (Carly Pope), who, along with network-mate Dawson Leery, holds a prominent place in the pantheon of wildly unlikable alleged protagonists (sample Sam dialogue: “I’m bored with being penned into the high school corral. That’s why I’m going to get my nose pierced.”). When Sam and Brooke’s parents fall in love, the girls have to negotiate their relationship? Can they look past superficials and become blah blah blah that’s not what’s interesting here. The interesting part is the supporting characters, a veritable treasure trove of weird, funny women. READ MORE
I’m not going to lie: I’m pretty excited that Judd Apatow is working on another movie for Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s characters from Knocked Up. Some might be surprised by this: as I write this piece, I’m listening to a Liz Phair Pandora station, taking a break from writing an all-female sketch show, and preparing for a shoot tonight for a follow-up project to the web series about a feminist magazine I co-created last year. I mean, isn’t Judd Apatow supposed to be sexist?
Here’s the thing: for someone who’s made his name as the poet laureate of twentysomething straight dudes, Apatow actually writes really good parts for women. Don’t get me wrong: Apatow movies are still about men, but, despite the allegations of sexism that have been leveled at him by everyone from Mike White to Katherine Heigl, the women in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Funny People are real people with their own agency — a rare thing in mainstream comedies. READ MORE