So... in hopes that I'm not the only goober who is absolutely enraptured by the whole Conan O'Brien/Jay Leno/NBC thing, here are my Top Ten Suggestions for who, other than those already involved in the debacle, should host The Tonight Show...
10. The Tonight Show with… The League of Reluctant Adults
This one is a no-brainer. We just share it. Though to be honest, I think Jeanne, Mario, and Mark should get most of the face time. If you guys have had the chance to listen to Mark Henry really cut loose on a panel. Squee! We could all take turns bringing in great bands that would never get tapped for The Tonight Show otherwise and we’d try to interview Mike Mignola, Joss Whedon, and Neil Gaiman at least once a month. :)
9. The Tonight Show with… Bruce Dickinson and Nicko McBrain
Okay, so maybe I'm the only one who cares, but Bruce is the lead singer of Iron Maiden and he and Nicko are main reason I keep buying Iron Maiden DVDs. I just love to hear them talk. Unleashed upon a nightly dose of Hollywood celebrities and I can’t help but think the ratings would soar.
8. The Tonight Show with... Terry Gross
Just call it Fresh Air on the Air. WHYY's interviewer might lack a little of the funny, but I listen to every episode of her Philadelphia-based radio show without fail. Her interviews are insightful and engaging. Plus, her show turned me on to Nellie McKay and her interview with Gene Simons… wow, let's just say Ms. Gross can really hold her own with a guy (who in that interview anyway) comes off as one of the most obnoxious men I've ever heard use English.
7. The Tonight Show with... Whil Wheaton
Wesley Crusher aside, Mr. Wheaton is one funny man. Whether he's playing 4th Edition on a podcast, blogging, appearing on Big Bang Theory, or on webisodes of Felicia Day's The Guild, he doesn't disappoint. Cut that man loose in late night with celebrity guests and the fun won’t stop until the network shut him down.
6. The Tonight Show with... Mark Hamill
As long as he started every episode with "Hello, kiddies!" using his Joker voice, this Star Wars Jedi turned Clown Prince of Crime voice actor couldn’t help but be a blast.
5. The Tonight Show with... Alethea Kontis
New York Times Bestselling Author of cool short stories, essays, THE DARK-HUNTER COMPANION, and (far more importantly to my two boys) ALPHA OOPS: THE DAY Z WENT FIRST and the forthcoming ALPHA OOPS: H IS FOR HALLOWEEN. Anyone who has met Lee or attended any of her readings (particularly Princess Alethea’s Travelling Sideshow at Dragon*Con last year) knows exactly why she's in my top picks. And I won't even get into the how much easier on the eyes she is than Conan O'brien or Jay Leno.
4. The Tonight Show with… Doctor Who... um, I mean... David Tennant
Sure it would never happen and I think we'd all rather have Mr. Tennant spend his time acting, so we can enjoy his post-Doctor Who acting career, but like NBC is going to even read this list...
3. The Tonight Show with... Lou Anders
Is there a cool Sci-fi franchise with which Lou doesn't have some connection? He's a multiple Hugo Award nominee, the editorial director of Pyr, and an all around cool guy. While I doubt we'd be seeing quite so much monologue at the front of the show, it would be replaced by what I’m certain would be truly engaging Q&A. He might even deliver an appearance by THE MOUNTAIN GOATS!
2. The Tonight Show with... Simon Cowell
NBC could never afford him and I doubt he'd be interested, but this is the guys who turned down 100 million dollars to sat on American Idol and to be honest, he's the reason I tune in. Can you imagine the cringes of various celebs whenever Simon broke out one of his trademark, "If I’m being honest"s?
1. The Tonight Show with... Kevin Smith
Do I even have to go into how awesome it would be to watch this pot smoking potty mouthed funny man smiling cherubically as he tried to get guests to answer questions about religion, movies, and sexual hijinks? Seriously, watch any of his An Evening with Kevin Smith DVD's and you’ll see how great a host he would be.
Okay, so obviously there are tons of other cool folks who should be on the list. Who would you pick?