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Friday, July 22, 2005
It's Friday!

... Oh boy, this week really flew by. I can’t believe that it’s actually Friday already. I must have been busy all week or fell into a time warp, because I swear it was only Monday yesterday. But here I am, sitting with my Starbucks that I only get on Friday mornings, and trying to get stuff done so that I can go somewhere for lunch, and to be able to bail early so I can go to Costco on the way home. If I wasn’t entertaining the idea of picking up something out of the refridgerated/frozen sections of the place, I’d go at lunch and have a slice of pizza. Ah well.

Today’s Friday Forum is about talk shows…

1) Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart, etc... which late-night talk show host do you enjoy the most? Why? Do you usually stay up to watch every night or record it?

Of all of them I think I like Letterman the most – I used to watch him all the time when I was in college, with the occasional night thrown over to Johnny Carson, who retired just before I graduated. I miss Carson. He was really good.

The reasons I like Letterman – the top 10 list can’t be beat, he’s very topical and he’s irreverent with his topics. Leno is a little more… vanilla and you don’t get as great a play off of him looking human, while you get that interaction between Dave and his band, and he makes people feel at home. At least I feel at home when I watch him, which is a very very rare occasion. Since I get up so early in the morning, I don’t stay up to watch the late night guys anymore.

Not even Saturday Night Live. And with the way our system is set up at home with the satellite, I’d have to leave the receiver on and with volume to pick up the show when I record it. So, no recording for me. And no, I don’t have TiVo, which would solve all of that, now wouldn’t it?

2) How about daytime? Oprah, Ellen, Montel, Jerry Springer ... which daytime talk show host is the best? Why? Do you watch these shows often and/or record them?

Daytime talk shows are the evilness of daytime. Well, maybe that and storylines that require the heroine to be possessed and her boyfriend to be a former priest (or is that a current priest, I lose track). Jerry Springer is good for a laugh in that redneck, white trash, “I don’t have to think and that’s good because I have a 100+ fever” sort of way. But I usually avoid him because he seems rather… well… condescending. Here’s all these folks with these tabloid fodder sorts of problems that are so out there you wonder if it’s all made up, and he’s trying to either solve the problem or encourage it to get to a higher more insane level. That’s why I usually avoid watching him. It’s as if he’s better than them and telling us that we’re all better than them too.

Whether or not that is true, I leave to the reader to decide. I’m not gonna make any comments. I’ve watched Oprah, and Ellen, and Montel, and honestly…. What’s the logical appeal of these shows? To give you a feel better pat on the back that no matter what, someone else has problems that are worse than yours, or to watch stars talk and pour out the innermost feelings they have about charity or something? I can think of better things to do with my time, and if I want to feel better about problems that I have, I either work on the problems, or I watch a movie full of lots of things blowing up and just use transference to solve it.

3) If you had your own talk show [daytime or nighttime], what would it be like? What topics would you want to discuss? What would be the format of the show? Where would it be taped?

Talk show? Me? The guests wouldn’t get a word in edgewise. I’d talk about anything and everything, and… oh wait. I *do* have a talk show. It’s this blog. ‘Nuff said.

4) If you could have dinner with any talk show host on the air right now, who would you choose and why? Have you ever been a guest on a talk show?

I’ve never been a guest on a talk show, and I don’t think that I’d want to, unless I was promoting a book or something. Not to say that I’m writing a book, but you never know when someone might stumble across this blog and decide it’s optionable as a book or something.

Not that the vast masses of people out there would want to read this in book form. Well, maybe a few would. It certainly would look impressive on my shelves at home.

As for dinner with a talk show host, I’d actually like to have a panel dinner where Oprah, Ellen, Montel, Jerry, Rosie, and whomever else has graced the airwaves in the last 5 years is there and we can talk about why they do what they do, and what’s the sense in it, besides the obvious reason (money).

5) Do you listen to talk shows on the radio? Which programs/hosts are your favorite? Do you listen in the mornings on your way to work, or when do you usually tune in?

I’ve been known to catch a talk show or two on the radio when I can’t find anything else to listen to and I don’t have any CDs on hand. Sometimes I catch Dr. Laura, but that’s rare. I rather like Dr. Dean Edell (I’ve watched him from time to time on local television, since he’s been the medical guy for KGO in San Francisco since I was a little kid). Ronn Owens (on KGO Radio) is good from time to time when he isn’t spouting political rhetoric, so I don’t listen to him during presidential years or during congressional hearings to confirm the appointment of *anyone*. It’s just safer that way, trust me. Most of the time, if I’m going to listen to anyone, it’s Pete Wilson on KGO, or Michael Savage on whatever AM station he’s on down here. I’ll flip between the two until I find something that they’re talking about that’s interesting.

Otherwise, I prefer music on the radio or straight news. Car Talk – does that count as a talk show? I’ll gladly listen to Car Talk. I like Click and Clack.

Well, that’s it from me this week. I hope it’s been enjoyable for you, that you’re staying cool (or staying dry) and have a great weekend!