The buzz in Hollywood is that Jay Leno’s time behind the desk for NBC’s “The Tonight Show” could be coming to an end in 2014. That’s when Leno’s current contract ends. Leno’s losing young viewers to Jimmy Kimmel since he moved his ABC late night program to 11:30 p.m.
Should it be an end for Leno, the natural replacement would be Jimmy Fallon who hosts “Late Night” that airs immediately after “The Tonight Show.” Of course, the last time Leno left “The Tonight Show,” Conan O’Brien was the obvious choice. Leno’s failure in primetime coupled with a slow start for O’Brien sent Leno back to the late night shift and O’Brien ended up on TBS.
Let’s assume NBC does the logical thing and gives Fallon “The Tonight Show” job. That would leave an opening on “The Late Show.” This is the start of my campaign to get “The Soup” host Joel McHale to be Fallon’s replacement.
Here’s why he would be perfect:
- You might not know it by the way NBC has moved his comedy “Community” across the schedule and sometimes left it off for months, but McHale’s already part of the NBC family.
- He’s tall enough. McHale stands 6-feet-4, the same size as O’Brien. Carson Daly and David Letterman are both 6-feet-2 and ABC talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is 6-feet-1.
- It’s easy to make fun of McHale’s hair that appears to have been cut by the Los Angeles Barber School for the Blind. O’Brien has been able to get countless jokes out of his mass of red hair.
- He has the right amount of letters in his last name: 6, Other talk show hosts with six letters in their last name include: Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers, Joey Bishop, Kimmel, Fallon and O’Brien.
This all makes McHale the perfect choice to replace Fallon. Some of you might be thinking O’Brien could be lured back to NBC. That isn’t going to happen. The only way O’Brien would return to late night network TV is if he’s named to replace Letterman when the CBS talk show host retires.