George Lopez Canceled: 16 Comedians Who Could Follow Conan On TBS (PHOTOS)
share this story
With the announcement that "Lopez Tonight" will air its final episode on Thursday due to poor ratings, many have started speculating what the news could mean for "Conan."
TBS has said nothing about plans for a new show besides vaguely mentioning the possibility of a new original program "down the road," but we think this could be the perfect opportunity for Conan O'Brien and his production company Conaco to prop up another talk show in Conan's image. Just as David Letterman created "The Late Late Show" to follow his own, and "The Daily Show" spun off "The Colbert Report," Conan could create an iconoclastic dynasty just as well.
Few could argue that "Lopez Tonight" and "Conan" were natural matches for one another, but if Conan hand-picked a host to follow him, they could lead an unstoppable juggernaut of late night comedy on TBS. We've chosen 16 comedians that could be great hosts to follow Conan. Let us know if you agree, and if we missed anyone!
Like Conan, Mulaney has made a name for himself as a writer for "Saturday Night Live," perhaps most memorably co-creating Stefon. He also happens to be one of the funniest working stand-up comedians in the country right now. If given a late night talk show, the fresh-faced 29 year old Mulaney could give Jimmy Fallon a run for his money.
Hey, why not? Stephen Colbert was a correspondent on "The Daily Show" for years before getting his own show, and Andy has proven himself to be Conan's second brain since 1993 (off and on), as well as one of the quickest minds in the business in his own right. As much as we love Richter as a sidekick, we would welcome an Andy Richter helmed talk show.
When Ed Schultz took a forced breather from his MSNBC show after calling Laura Ingraham a "slut," some suggested that "Daily Show" co-creator and comedian Lizz Winstead would be a good replacement should Schultz not return. But we think limiting her to just funny, politicized rants against the right -- which she's great at -- would be a waste of her full-range of talents. As a late night host, Lizz's complete arsenal of comedic tricks would really shine.
Everyone who saw Conan's post-NBC, pre-TBS tour -- as well as comedy nerds all over the country -- is already a fan of Reggie Watts' absurdist wit. If TBS wants to take a chance on the kind of talk show that no one has had the nerve to try before, Reggie would be their guy. Plus, he's both host and house band in one. We think America is ready.
The quick-witted Jimmy Pardo, known as the host of the popular podcast "Never Not Funny," has worked as the opening act for Conan both on "The Tonight Show" and on O'Brien's TBS program and also hosts "Pardo Patrol" on TeamCoco.com. Pardo's proven conversational ability and his close association with Conan would make him a natural pick to follow Conan at midnight.
Marc Maron goes way back with Conan, appearing on "Late Night" more than any other guest. Now that he's hit a career peak of his own, thanks to his remarkable "WTF" podcast, maybe it's time for Maron to take his truly honest comedy interview stylings to nightly television. How about it, Conan? A late night talk show filmed in Maron's garage? We're on board.
On her great podcast "How Was Your Week," comedian Julie Klausner conducts candid and lively chats with authors, comedians, actors and anyone else she finds interesting. Such natural dialogue is rarely found on late night talk shows, but Klausner would bring the coziness of Oprah and the charm of Ferguson to TBS. Plus, Conan would surely appreciate a fellow redhead to follow him.
Michael Ian Black
Despite describing himself as "TV AIDS" in a recent interview with The A.V. Club, a nod to the unfortunate pattern of shortsighted TV networks canceling his projects, Black has been extremely funny on television since "The State" premiered on MTV in 1993. He was even a close finalist to host "The Late Late Show" before Craig Ferguson won the job. Black's tongue-in-cheek wit and experience as a host, sketch performer, stand-up comedian and writer make him an ideal candidate to helm a talk show. Plus, as one of the founders of the comedy Twitter site <a href="http://Witstream.com" target="_hplink">Witstream</a>, his web presence could match that of TeamCoco.com.
Kevin Smith has made it clear that he's ready to move from the director's chair to a talk show host's. He's already a podcast impresario of sorts and he even recently shot a pilot for a potential half-hour syndicated chat show (on the Warner Brothers lot, where Conan shoots his show, natch). But why not go all the way and throw his hat in the ring for a full late night hour? Sure, the censors will have to work overtime on the bleep button, but he's guaranteed to do something interesting.
Only getting the occasional five minutes with John Oliver as a correspondent on "The Daily Show" is simply no longer enough. Oliver's quick wit and high brow silliness would make him an excellent late night host, as well as a good pairing with Conan.
Paul F. Tompkins
Every late night host needs to look good in a suit, and Paul F. Tompkins has been doing that for years. On top of that, he's already got hosting chops (on "Best Week Ever"), is extremely well-respected in the comedy world, and his easy charm would make him as a big a hit with the rest of America as he already is with the comedy faithful.
New York mainstay Chris Gethard made national headlines when he convinced Diddy -- yes, <em>that</em> Diddy -- to appear on his live talk show at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York in January. If the affable Gethard can convince one of the most famous rappers ever to come to an underground comedy club just by bothering him on Twitter, there's no limit to what he could pull off in front of a national audience.
Although Amy Schumer is relatively new to comedy compared to many of her peers, she's quickly becoming one of the hottest stand-ups in the country -- edgy, confident, quick-witted and likable. Her proven co-hosting talent on "Hoppus On Music" with Mark Hoppus on Fuse doesn't hurt, either. Schumer can hold her own with the likes of fellow New York comics Jim Norton and Dave Attell, so interviewing the stars of "Glee" should be a breeze.
"Daily Show" correspondent Wyatt Cenac is stepping out into the limelight more and more, with his first comedy special coming out later this month. His understated coolness is instantly engaging, and he has a sort of educated-everyman quality that would make him unique in the more often forcibly goofy late night host field.
Lisa Lampanelli may be known for her "mean" stand-up on Comedy Central roasts, but her filthy schtick wouldn't work if she weren't so damn likable. Always stealing the show any time she appears with other comics, she could be a great counterpoint to Conan's sillier brand of less-pointed barbs.