The latest name in the late night hosting carousel is not that of Seth Meyers – the favorite to take over Jimmy Fallon’s time-slot – but Alec Baldwin. Bill Carter and the New York Times are reporting that the former 30 Rock star is in the mix for Carson Daly’s time-slot at 1:30 a.m. on NBC.
In an earlier post, I wrote that Baldwin is too busy for a nightly talk show, but that was for Late Night, not Last Call.
“After that move was announced, speculation immediately began about who might succeed Mr. Fallon at the “Late Night’ show. Now the mutual interest between Mr. Baldwin and NBC about opening a late-night spot for the actor could result in three new late-night hosts for NBC.”
Baldwin is a seasoned guest on late night shows, has hosted Saturday Night Live more than anyone and clearly has the comedic chops to hold his own if were ever forced to do a monologue. Baldwin could do wonders at 1:30 a.m and bring some elegance to a show that would be DVR-ed more than watched live. If he turned it into a network version of Charlie Rose with more laughs, he would excel. He could do longer form interviews with whoever he wants, and record multiple interviews in one day – which would allow him to continue his career as a working actor. Baldwin is currently starring on Broadway in “Orphans.”
Baldwin hosts a podcast that also airs on WNYC Radio called “Here’s the Thing,” which is a twice-monthly interview show. He has interviewed everyone from David Letterman and Lorne Michaels to Andrew Luck and Kristen Wiig. The interviews are free-flowing, with limited voiced interludes from Baldwin to inform the audience of the guests’ past. The conversation is a true conversation, not simply a seven minute segment for a celebrity to plug a project. If Baldwin could bring his podcast to TV, and book the guests that he’s been able to get, it would be a success.
“The format of the half-hour podcasts takes Mr. Baldwin out of the studio and into some remote locations — like a star’s apartment – to conduct the interviews. The advantage of hosting a similar show for television would be that Mr. Baldwin could record several interviews in a single day and leave his schedule open to perform as an actor, either in movies or potentially another television comedy.”