‘Conan’ Gives Norm MacDonald One Minute to Audition for ‘The Late Late Show’

By May 22, 2014

CBS may have already hired Stephen Colbert to take over “The Late Show” when David Letterman retires in 2015, but they still need to figure out who will replace Craig Ferguson, who is stepping down from ‘The Late Late Show” at the end of the year. Names like comedienne Aisha Tyler and Neil Patrick Harris (who passed on the gig) have been mentioned, but how about former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Norm MacDonald?

The stand-up comedian who was infamously fired from “SNL” but remains a revered Weekend Update host was a guest on “Conan” last night, and they discussed his desire to take over the late night talk show to follow Stephen Colbert. And to prove that he has the chops to take over the show from Craig Ferguson, MacDonald took just one minute to run through the monologue and banter with his co-host and first guest, the legendary Fred Willard. Check it out here:

Now MacDonald was clearly having a bit of fun on “Conan,” but there’s no reason he can’t be a viable candidate to host the show. At this point, the only things holding him back would be his firm attitude when it comes to standing his ground for the sake of comedy and his trail of failed programs.

But beyond fallen shows like “Sports Show with Norm MacDonald” and sitcoms like “Norm” and “A Minute with Stan Hooper,” the comedian is still respected among his peers and audiences, mostly because he doesn’t sell out and sacrifice his comedic tastes and style just to please executives and producers who don’t know anything about comedy. But that might be an issue when dealing with a network like CBS.

At the same time, it would be nice for CBS to give him a chance at greatness with a prime time slot and a big show that audiences already like. People are familiar with the format and with MacDonald, so they wouldn’t have to try to like something new all over again like they did with his previous attempts at TV series. And if you doubt MacDonald has the personality to host a show like this, check out his show Live with Norm MacDonald on YouTube:

However, the biggest hurdle with MacDonald is that as brilliant as he seems to certain audiences and comedians, his dry sense of humor is still an acquired taste, and one that not everyone will be able to endure. The same can be said about someone like Colbert, but he at least seems much more charismatic and enthusiastic about his work. I wouldn’t want MacDonald to be any other way, so maybe late night talk shows aren’t for him, but it would be nice to see him find something on primetime.

Would you watch “The Late Late Show” with Norm MacDonald?

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.