Staff Writer @MovieUnchainedYou can turn to CBS on any weeknight and see David Letterman's wise but edgy antics, and then afterwards you'd be able to watch the surreal and goofy comedy of Craig Ferguson. However, next year they will both be gone, as both are retiring from their shows. Stephen Colbert has already been tapped as the successor to Letterman, but the replacement for Ferguson isn't so clear yet, and the race to see who will get it will be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Here are what I (and others) feel are legitimately good choices for the Late Late Show's hosting job. There are a few names buzzing around the CBS offices, and some being mentioned by online pundits as to who is getting the spot.
Neil Patrick HarrisNeil Patrick Harris is a multi-talented performer, and one that is a valuable part of the CBS family. For nearly a decade, he was the scene-stealer on How I Met Your Mother, hosted CBS' broadcast of the Emmys twice, and the Tonys four times. He is naturally charming and funny, and is very difficult to dislike. He would be a great choice for the show, as it can give him new avenues to explore as a talented entertainer. He doesn't seem to have anything major coming up in regards to series or movies (he is currently starring in a critically acclaimed revival of the brilliant Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway), so he would be a natural fit for a hosting gig like The Late Late Show, and will be able to claim the Late Show spot from Stephen Colbert when (or if) he ever leaves the show.
Aisha TylerHow about having a woman host a late night talk show on a major network? Chelsea Handler was the only woman, and she was on E! and unfortunately she is leaving and probably going to Netflix. There are several funny ladies who could handle a show like The Late Late Show, the top ones being the likes of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The problem? They have an allegiance to NBC and will likely never go to CBS to host a show against NBC darling Seth Meyers. So who is left? One name being mentioned that I feel is a great choice is Aisha Tyler. She has guest-hosted The Late Late Show on a few occasions before Ferguson took over, and she is one of the panelists on The Talk, which also airs on CBS. Tyler is charismatic and funny (as can be demonstrated when she hosts Whose Line Is It Anyway). The problem is that The Talk doesn't allow her to expose her talents as a comedian. The Talk has had many replacement hosts, so it shouldn't be an issue for Tyler to get the upgrade to late night. The added bonus is she will be the only female late night talk show host, and the very first African-American host in network late night talk show history. Giving Tyler the gig will be a great move on CBS' part, as they previously gave Ferguson the show a decade ago, allowing him to become the first non-American to host a late-night talk show.
Joel McHaleIf there is someone whose star is going to rise incredibly high very soon, it is Joel McHale. He is a beloved comedian, but has never really been given the appreciation he deserves. Community is loved by many, but it is not a very popular show. However, McHale is adept at hosting (The Soup, anyone?) and although he is on NBC, he does not have the ties to it that Tina and Amy do, so it will be very easy for him to get the job at CBS. He is headlining the White House Correspondent's Dinner on Saturday. If you look at the people that have hosted it this decade alone, it becomes very clear that it is late night elite - Seth Meyers hosted in 2011 and two years later was given Late Night. We can only hope that McHale gains such success. Other names being thrown around include oddball Amy Schumer (once again, reiterating my point that CBS could create new opportunities by giving a woman the position), John Hodgman, and Michael Ian Black, who also guest-hosted The Late Late Show before Ferguson was around. Stephen Colbert's succession announcement was made very fast, and therefore we should not expect CBS to be speedy when it comes to finding a successor to Ferguson. But they should hurry, because Ferguson's show is ending at the end of the year (as opposed to the vague "sometime next year" ending of Letterman's show), and to be honest, we just can't wait to see who's next.