Late night talk show guests: November 23-29

Hey everybody, it's Thanksgiving week (well, in the U.S. anyway -- us Canucks ate our turkey and pumpkin pie over a month ago). Surprisingly, though, the entire late night schedule ISN'T repeats this week. Some shows took the whole week off, while other shows are airing 3 or 4 days of new episodes, and a couple are even airing a whole week of new shows. No time for family and food if you work in late night television, apparently.

While there may be less talk and comedy goodness to check out, that doesn't mean there aren't still five guests I think you should check out (and I think we've come to a general understanding that my opinion on late night guests is the standard by which all other opinions are measured). Here they are:

  • Norm MacDonald (Wednesday on Conan) – I will always tell people to watch Norm MacDonald on anything. It just so happens this his third appearance on The Tonight Show since Conan took over the show, which is exactly what I was hoping would happen (Norm was a frequent guest on Late Night until he moved to L.A.). Here's hoping his string of purposely awful (and brilliantly executed) jokes continues, as it's a delight for any true comedy fan.
  • Natalie Portman (Wednesday on Letterman) – Of course, if you have a PVR (or just don't find Norm's brand of comedy as amazing as I do), then you're in luck! You can tune into CBS and see Natalie Portman promoting her new movie Brothers. Ms Portman is pretty funny herself (if you've ever seen her SNL Digital Short or heard it on The Lonely Island album, you'd already know this), plus she's #2 on my list of favourite female celebrities, so she has to get a mention here. A beautiful Harvard grad with a biting sense of humour, acting chops, and geek cred (possibly the only consistently good thing about the Star Wars prequels)? Yeah, I don't think I'm the only one.
  • Mos Def & Talib Kweli (Wednesday on Fallon) – Wednesday's shaping up to be a pretty good night for late night television. These two incredibly skilled emcees will surely be joined by the "Greatest Band in Late Night" (The Roots, of course) for what will no doubt be an amazing performance. If you like good music, you should NOT miss this!
  • Donald Faison (Thursday on Conan) – Did you hear? Despite all the signs pointing to last season of Scrubs (and its first on ABC) being its last, it's acually coming back. Well, sort of. Apparently it will still be called Scrubs, but the show is shifting locations and shifting focus. Gone are most of the regular cast (except for a handful of appearances by Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke) and gone is Sacred Heart. The focus is now on the medical school side of the teaching hospital, where Cox and Turk are in charge (and joined by some new med students). Faison, always funny appearing with Conan, is on to promote the December 1st season premiere. Here's hoping he pulls out his great Neil Diamond impression again!
  • Maria Bello (Tuesday on Ferguson) – There's nothing particularly noteworth about her appearance on The Late Late Show this week. But every time I've seen her on with Craig, it's been delightful. If memory serves, they're good friends, and always just flirtatious enough for it to be endearing rather than creepy. If you're looking for entertaining and enjoyable conversation this week, this is the interview to watch. Plus, Ms Bello is pretty nice to look at, too. (Was that endearing or creepy?)

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (NBC)

  • Mon 11/23: Taylor Lautner, Jon Lovitz, Timbaland with Nelly Furtado and So Shy
  • Tue 11/24: Jack McBrayer, Marisa Miller, Weezer
  • Wed 11/25: Norm MacDonald, Gretchen Bleiler, Dan Cummins
  • Thu 11/26: Pee Wee Herman, Donald Faison, Bon Jovi
  • Fri 11/27: Shaquille O'Neil, Demetri Martin, Jack Ingram (Repeat)

The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS)

  • Mon 11/23: Robin Williams, Ashley Greene
  • Tue 11/24: Zac Efron, Carrie Fisher, Rihanna
  • Wed 11/25: Natalie Portman, Adam Lambert
  • Thu 11/26: Jack Hanna, Shakira (Repeat)
  • Fri 11/27: Bill Murray, Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe (Repeat)

The Jay Leno Show (NBC)

  • Mon 11/23: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lady Gaga
  • Tue 11/24: Charles Barkley, the latest Biggest Loser castoff
  • Wed 11/25: Paula Patton
  • Thu 11/26: Megan Fox
  • Fri 11/27: Jenna Bush Hager, Laura Bush, Sebastian Maniscalco (Repeat)

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

  • Mon 11/23: Blake Lively, Tommy Lee, Ilo Ferreira
  • Tue 11/24: Claire Danes, Chad Ochocinco, the Pixies
  • Wed 11/25: Seth Green, Padma Lakshmi, Tommy Lee, Mos Def & Talib Kweli
  • Thu 11/26: Robin Williams, Rashida Jones
  • Fri 11/27: Fred Armisen, Carey Mulligan, Daniel Boulud

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS)

  • Mon 11/23: Margaret Cho, Carl Edwards
  • Tue 11/24: Maria Bello, Peter Capaldi, Ben Harper & Relentless7
  • Wed 11/25: Robin Wright Penn, Wolfgang Puck
  • Thu 11/26: Toby Keith, Michelle Monaghan (Repeat)
  • Fri 11/27: Sherri Shepherd, Alex Dryden (Repeat)

Jimmy Kimmell Live (ABC)

  • Mon 11/23: Heidi Klum, Ron Artest, Weezer
  • Tue 11/24: Charlize Theron, Regis Philbin, the latest Dancing with the Stars castoff, Wolfmother
  • Wed 11/25: Charles Barkley, Peter Facinelli, Leona Lewis
  • Thu 11/26: Guests TBA
  • Fri 11/27: Guests TBA

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, CTV)

  • Mon 11/23: Lou Dobbs (Repeat)
  • Tue 11/24: Jack's Mannequin (Repeat)
  • Wed 11/25: Vice President Joe Biden (Repeat)
  • Thu 11/26: Pre-empted

The Colbert Report (Comedy Central, CTV)

  • Mon 11/23: John Pike, Elvis Costello (Repeat)
  • Tue 11/24: Norah Jones (Repeat)
  • Wed 11/25: Malcolm Gladwell (Repeat)
  • Thu 11/26: Pre-empted

Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC)

  • Mon 11/23: Brett Dennen
  • Tue 11/24: OK Go
  • Wed 11/25: David Gray
  • Thu 11/26: Weezer
  • Fri 11/27: Juliette Lewis, Joe Firstman

Lopez Tonight (TBS)

  • Mon 11/23: Eva Mendes, Craig Robinson
  • Tue 11/24: Sandra Bullock, Derek Luke
  • Wed 11/25: Arsenio Hall
  • Thu 11/26: Taylor Lautner, Kristin Cavallari, LMFAO

The Hour with George Stroumboloupoulos (CBC)

  • Mon 11/23: Eugene Levy, Michael Chambon
  • Tue 11/24: Steven Levitt, Anika Noni Rose
  • Wed 11/25: Naomi Klein, Jim Cuddy & Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo
  • Thu 11/26: Michael Moore, Peter Sarsgaard, Juliette Lewis (Repeat Guests)
  • Fri 11/27: Morgan Freeman, David Cross, John Irving (Repeat Guests)

Kevin Pollak's Chat Show (Online)

  • Sun 11/29: No show due to Thanksgiving

Tags: The Tonight Show, Late Night, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, The Hour, Norm MacDonald, Natalie Portman, Donald Faison, Mos Def, talk shows

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Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found putting on and promoting music and comedy events with The Purple Room in Winnipeg, or co-producing the live comedy game shows Pants on Fire and The Great Patio Showdown. (@comedygeek)

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