Adam Carolla does not seem to think much of the people who watch late-night television. He thinks they’re so fragile that they’d find it “confusing” if a woman appeared on the screen. Apparently women telling jokes on late night TV would be strange and bewildering, and now we are really regretting all those hours spent staying up past our bedtimes to listen to him and Dr. Drew on Love Line back in the 90s.
Carolla was talking to HuffPost Live in an attempt to promote a new Spike TV show called Catch a Contractor, where he helps people catch construction workers doing shoddy work. Scintillating entertainment, that. Because he is a comedian and used to work with Jimmy Kimmel, host Alyona Minkovski asked his opinion on if there were any female hosts who would do well on late night TV. Unsurprisingly for a guy who has built a career on being a caveman-child, Carolla doesn’t think the people who watch TV are ready for it, unless it were Ellen DeGeneres.
“To me it’s not so much about women or men,” he said. “It’s sort of ‘who do you want to see at night?’”
To be fair, Carolla’s audiences might not be ready for a woman on TV after dark, but we’re pretty sure the rest of the world would be just fine with it.
He does say that he thinks Ellen could be successful in late night, and that is not a logical leap because it would just involve moving her already wildly successful daytime talk show back a few hours. But other than that, apparently Carolla thinks people just don’t want to see women on TV after dark unless they’re dancing around in bikinis, like the “Juggies” dancers on Carolla’s awful The Man Show.
Carolla says that to him the issue is not “about women or men” at all, despite the fact that the specific question he’s answering was about if there were any women who could do well on late night. He’s just concerned that the TV-viewing audience is very committed to the idea that late night TV is “a guy standing there in a suit telling monologue jokes.”
“I don’t know if it would be confusing if it’s a woman standing there telling monologue jokes,” Carolla said. “We’re just used to certain genders in certain roles, and I know we’re trying to do away with all that, but I don’t know.”
Oh god, so confusing! There used to be a person standing on TV telling jokes, and now there is a different person standing on TV telling jokes. What is happening in the world!? The streets will literally run red with blood. It will be just like Y2K all over again.
“I’m not sure if the world is ready” is always a reason not to change things, if you’re a moribund traditionalist crippled by risk-aversion. Carolla sounds like the Dowager Countess fretting about the slippery slope of letting electric lights, opera singers, and unwed mothers into Downton Abbey. We wish we had two more arms so we could flip him off twice while still being able to type angry things about him.
Nobody seems to be confused by what is happening when Chelsea Handler hosts Chelsea Lately. Joan Rivers hosted The Tonight Show as Johnny Carson’s permanent back-up host in the 80s, and nobody was confused about how she got inside their TV boxes. Carolla just seems to think late night TV audiences are a bunch of very old people falling for 419 scams.
Maybe some people would be surprised to see Wanda Sykes or Sarah Silverman or Kathy Griffin or Amy Poehler or Retta hosting a late night TV show, but we think better of TV-viewers than Carolla does, and we think the audiences would be just fine. Besides, any of those shows would be a hell of a lot more entertaining than watching Adam Carolla try to catch contractors installing shoddy baseboards.