Critic: We Need More Diversity In Late Night!

Aisha Tyler, Samantha Bee would be welcome additions to the landscape

Late Night Hosts

Late night TV could use a bit more diversity, one TV critic says.

Eric Deggans of NPR believes that with folks like David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel ruling the airwaves after dark, late night talk is “led by a narrow cultural point of view, which tells everyone that the way white males see the world is what matters most.”

Deggans (who frequently writes about race issues in media) is now lobbying to bring some diversity to the lineup as it appears two high profile jobs — Stephen Colbert’s slot at Comedy Central and Craig Ferguson’s gig at THE LATE LATE SHOW — may be up for grabs.

“There is no one better for the CBS job than African American comic and actress Aisha Tyler,” Deggans insists.

“Tyler is fearless when she skewers everyones race and gender hangups.  She’s also well prepared.  She kept Sharon Osbourne in check on CBS’ daytime program, THE TALK, played the one non-white friend on FRIENDS and even guest hosted on THE LATE LATE SHOW a few years ago.”

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“Imagine her takes on race and gender splashed all over late night in the age of Trayvon Martin and Hilary Clinton.”

Deggans also through his support behind DAILY SHOW correspondent Samantha Bee, calling her an “ace in house candidate” for the Comedy Central job.

“Bee’s secret weapon is her skill at getting subjects to reveal themselves in interviews,” Deggans says.  “That just happens to be an important part of the late night host job, too.”

In the interview below, Deggans also offers Amy Schumer as an interesting candidate and notes comics Key & Peele “might offer a show filled with telling sketches on race and society.”

“These suggestions aren’t just about finding a token or checking a box,” he says.   “It is about bringing new creative voices to a late night scene dominated for too long by one point of view.”

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly