Why It’s About Time We Put Some Estrogen into Late Night Television

Alexa Tanney
Written by Alexa Tanney

There has been major shifts in late night over the last year or so that have made major headlines.

Jay Leno stepped down from The Tonight Show as Jimmy Fallon swept into the spot.

Seth Meyers was promoted from the news desks of SNL to replace Fallon at Late Night.

As David Letterman celebrated his final show last night on The Late Show, viewers anxiously await his successor Stephen Colbert, widely known for his pseudo-Fox impersonation on Comedy Central.

And speaking of Comedy Central, Jon Stewart announced his final show would take place this summer, as his widely controversial replacement South African comedian Trevor Noah will replace him at the satirical news desk.

Oh, and lets not forget Craig Ferguson stepping down from The Late Late Show as James Corden came from England to CBS.

All of these successful, funny and talented comedians are both worthy and deserving of the positions that they are about to begin, no doubt.

But, ever since Chelsea Handler announced her exit from the E! Network last year, the late night sector has lacked a good, strong, female personality.

And, even though Handler may be the best kept secret of comedy today, there has yet to be a female late-night host that was able to talk about more than just the celebrity gossip and bullsh*t.

Why haven’t we seen a female in the late night sector yet?

It’s 2015. It’s about damn time we did.

It’s not as though there’s a lack of talented, witty and quick, funny females in the ranks to take a position in late night. Just look at the top female comedians who grace the stages of all these shows over the years. Tina Fey, Amy Poheler, Maya Rudolph, Kristin Wig, Kathy Griffin.

Even Giffin told the New York Post that when she was interested in the Craig Ferguson position for CBS, she was told “They’re not considering females at this time.” (http://pagesix.com/2014/09/12/kathy-griffin-slams-tv-execs-over-lack-of-female-late-night-hosts/)

Women are more than just the day time talk shows about cooking and DIY projects that are easy for stay at home moms. We’re shifting into an era where more females are in the work force and less of them are stay at home moms who even have the time to watch the talk shows that appear right before General Hospital (Is that even still on TV?)

We don’t want four women sitting around a table discussing how to decorate your house for memorial day, and what to wear to a BBQ. We want women who are strong, powerful, funny and who can break the glass ceiling that Hollywood has put over us.

We’re more than just a spectacle to sit in the interview chair for another male comedian to interview about our latest projects. We want to be the interviewer for once, not the interviewee.

Numerous networks have had the opportunity to replace a male exit with a female entrance. Comedy Central, for starters, has several female correspondents on The Daily Show that were more than capable, experienced and talented enough to take Stewart’s place.

They just went in a different direction; the same direction that all other networks have walked down.

That’s why Chelsea Handler says she moved on from cable to Netflix.

She explained to Entertainment Weekly (http://www.ew.com/article/2014/09/11/chelsea-handler-netflix-interview)
that leaving E! was like “graduating high school,” and moving onto college. She was done with being put into the network’s female confined box of talking gossip and wanted to move onto something more real.

And, if the networks can learn anything from Netflix and Handler, it’s that it’s time to get with the times.

Females are killing it in comedy, we’re at the golden age of women comedians. SNL has introduced new, funny and bright faces, and even Cicily Strong hosted the White House Correspondents Dinner and hadeveryone laughing. Even Joe Biden Amy Schumer has pulled in hugerankings for Comedy Central, even the girls of Broad City have made a name for themselves.

So, why hasn’t the sector opened it’s doors to estrogen, feminism and powerful women?

To be honest, I’m not even sure.

But what I do know is, it’s about time they do.

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