Late night talk show guests: November 15-21

Conan O'Brien returned! Did you watch? What did you think? Many critics thought he was "too safe" -- I guess they were expecting him to re-invent the wheel, given the freedom he had gained by owning his own show on basic cable. But Conan has always wanted to be a talk show host, and we shouldn't have expected him to do too much more than that. LUCKILY, what he's done with Conan seems to be a little bit of a blast from the past -- the show very much feels like Conan's old Late Night show. It's a traditional comedy talk show, but a bit loose and a bit silly. By the final show of last week, I was already fully back in my Conan rhythm, and for that I am thankful!

So what else is going on in the world of late night? Well in general, I think everybody's on top of their game. Maybe it's Conan coming back, maybe it has nothing to do with that at all, but between Craigy Ferg, Fallon & The Roots, Conan, a sometimes-on Letterman, and the Comedy Central boys, everyone's really hitting on all cylinders. It's fun being a late night fan right now!

And now onto this week's Top 5:

  • Craig Ferguson (Tuesday on Lopez) – Sure, you can see Craig and his brilliant silliness every night on The Late Late Show, but it's not often you get to see him on other shows. Occasionally, he'll appear on The Late Show to chat with his boss Dave, but I haven't seen him on non-CBS show ever since he became a late night host. What will he and Lopez talk about? How is this even allowed? Will this pave the way for Ferguson to appear on Conan, which I think would be an awesome discussion/comedy exercise? Who knows, but this is the first time in a while I've been interested in watching Lopez Tonight!
  • Jesse Eisenberg (Thursday on Conan) – The unfounded comparisons to Michael Cera notwithstanding (which Cera himself pointed out on Conan last Friday), Eisenberg is a phenomenal actor, and terribly funny. I actually first heard of Eisenberg when he appeared on Conan's Late NIght many years ago (I think he was promoting The Squid and the Whale, which I later saw and loved). Eisenberg was so nervous (even more so than usual!) as he proclaimed to be such a huge fan of Conan's. Eisenberg was also on Conan's short-lived Tonight Show, and they have a very good rapport together, so don't miss it!
  • Anne Hathaway (Thursday on Fallon) – Besides being insanely attractive, Anne Hathaway is genuinely funny. She's on Fallon because she's going to be hosting SNL this week. Last time she hosted was one of the best episodes in ages, so expect the same this weekend. And expect her to be game for some silliness and goofiness with Jimmy, too. (I wouldn't be surprised to see some good stuff from Thursday's second guest, Zachary Levi, either.)
  • Richard Branson (Monday on Strombo) – Branson is a fascinating guy -- eccentric, sure, and ridiculously wealthy, but definitely fascinating. In his previous appearances with George, he's always been extremely candid and not afraid to answer the tough questions. I would imagine things will be the same on Monday.
  • Russell Brand (Wednesday on Conan) – Russell Brand is at his best when he's in these types of scenarios. Whatever you think about his movies (hit and miss) or his stand-up (usually pretty good), when he's able to be completely spontaneous with someone like Coco, he's definitely hilarious.

The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS)

  • Mon 11/15: Emma Watson, Scott Caan, Rascal Flatts
  • Tue 11/16: Jay-Z, Jamie Oliver, Rihanna
  • Wed 11/17: Jake Gyllenhaal, Fran Lebowitz, Ne-Yo
  • Thu 11/18: Jim Carrey, Nicki Minaj, B.J. Thomas
  • Fri 11/19: Billy Bob Thornton, Mike E. Winfield, the Secret Sisters

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC)

  • Mon 11/15: Russell Crowe, Anna Torv, Annie Lennox
  • Tue 11/16: Julianne Moore, Tom Felton, Nelly
  • Wed 11/17: Christina Aguilera, Buddy Valastro
  • Thu 11/18: George W. Bush, Jewel
  • Fri 11/19: Garth Brooks, Elizabeth Banks

Conan (TBS, CTV)

  • Mon 11/15: LL Cool J, B.J. Novak, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
  • Tue 11/16: Harrison Ford, Rosario Dawson, Reggie Watts
  • Wed 11/17: Russell Brand, Susan Casey, Kid Rock
  • Thu 11/18: Jesse Eisenberg, Venus Williams, the Decemberists

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)

  • Mon 11/15: Kathy Griffin, Miranda Cosgrove, Jason Aldean
  • Tue 11/16: Leah Remini, the latest Dancing with the Stars castoff, Trey Songz
  • Wed 11/17: Patrick Dempsey, Armie Hammer, Nelly
  • Thu 11/18: Robin Quivers, Bill Carter, My Chemical Romance
  • Fri 11/19: Harrison Ford, Gary Dell'Abate, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Repeat)

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS)

  • Mon 11/15: Dennis Miller, Bianca Kajlich
  • Tue 11/16: Chris Hardwick, Matt Smith
  • Wed 11/17: Russell Crowe, Dr. Lisa Masterson
  • Thu 11/18: Jeff Goldblum, Dennis Lehane
  • Fri 11/19: Amy Sedaris, Adam Savage & Jamie Hyneman

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

  • Mon 11/15: Daniel Radcliffe, Quincy Jones, Grinderman
  • Tue 11/16: Bruce Springsteen
  • Wed 11/17: Amanda Peet, Peter Krause, Rascal Flatts
  • Thu 11/18: Anne Hathaway, Zachary Levi, Frank Shamrock, The Frames
  • Fri 11/19: Jake Gyllenhaal, Scott Caan, Kelli Giddish, Sufjan Stevens

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

  • Mon 11/15: Marion Jones
  • Tue 11/16: Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera
  • Wed 11/17: Jay-Z
  • Thu 11/18: Philip K. Howard

The Colbert Report (Comedy Central, CTV)

  • Mon 11/15: David Stern
  • Tue 11/16: John Legend
  • Wed 11/17: Ian Frazier
  • Thu 11/18: Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, Dick Wolf

Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC)

  • Mon 11/15: Morgan Spurlock, Buff Monster, Kate Nash (Repeat)
  • Tue 11/16: Mark Cuban, John Cameron Mitchell, Japandroids
  • Wed 11/17: Jason Ritter, k-os, Broken Bells
  • Thu 11/18: Michael Ian Black, the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba, Menomena
  • Fri 11/19: Mark Hoppus, Fitz & The Tantrums

Lopez Tonight (TBS)

  • Mon 11/15: Sheryl Crow, Manny Pacquiao
  • Tue 11/16: Craig Ferguson, Selena Gomez
  • Wed 11/17: Nina Dobrev, Jabbawockeez
  • Thu 11/18: Michael Chiklis, Carrie Ann Inaba, Neal Brennan

George Stroumboloupoulos Tonight (CBC)

  • Mon 11/15: Richard Branson
  • Tue 11/16: George Galloway
  • Wed 11/17: Les Stroud
  • Thu 11/18: Jamie Oliver
  • Fri 11/19: Callum Keith Rennie, Luke Doucet

Kevin Pollak's Chat Show (Online)

  • Sun 11/21: Leonard Maltin

Tags: Conan, David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, George Lopez, 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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