Stephen Colbert, I Nominate Myself as Your Nerdy Late Show Announcer

Yesterday I sat in on the filming of Stephen Colbert’s second-ever Late Show in New York! One thing he’s missing? A superhero sidekick (announcer)!

First of all let me say this was a really fun experience. Even though I’ve lived in the general NYC area my whole life, I’ve never gone to a taping of one of the late night talk shows (Though I did attend one of the Saturday Night Live dress rehearsals once!). The newly designed set at the Ed Sullivan Theater is absolutely gorgeous and not just because it houses Captain America’s shield.

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Even though we got there extra early, the one downside to my experience was that the handicapped seating is in the very back of the theater. Anyone who’s been to a Broadway show in NYC knows this is sadly the norm but I thought with the redesign there would have been one or two installed near the front. While the space isn’t overly large, my view was obstructed when the audience got on their feet to clap, otherwise I could see pretty well (though I wished I had remembered my glasses).

Scarlett Johansson, Elon Musk, and Kendrick Lamar were the guests that night but my favorite bit was one he did with Johansson called “Big Questions with Even Bigger Stars.” I don’t want to reveal too much of the “TV magic” but suffice to say, what wound up on air was a bit different than what we saw live. Why? Because about a minute in, Johansson’s microphone slipped off and they had to start over.

There was also one really funny line they wound up using for a promo but not on the show itself and that was Colbert asking her what Robert Downey Jr. smelled like. She took a breathe and exhaled: “money.”


But back to Colbert. The show was entertaining but I have a feeling it will evolve as time goes on, just as many other late night shows have. However, Colbert is missing something in particular: an announcer/sidekick.

I believe I am perfect for this role.

I will not apologize for my lofty goals.

Not every late night show needs to be the same. In fact, it already seems as if Colbert is attempted to merge some of his fun from The Colbert Report with the usual late night format. But it can’t be denied announcers are a big part of history. From Wikipedia (BECAUSE IT’S EASIER, OK?):

Famous announcers include Gene Rayburn and Hugh Downs (both from the early years of The Tonight Show); Ed McMahon from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson; Edd Hall and John Melendez from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; Bill Wendell and Alan Kalter from Late Show with David Letterman; Dicky Barrett from Jimmy Kimmel Live!; Steve Higgins from the Jimmy Fallon eras of Late Night and The Tonight Show; Andy Richter from The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Conan; and Don Pardo from Saturday Night Live.

Something interesting about that list: there’s no women on it. And why is that a factor (other than the usual “ugh, society”)? Colbert penned an essay for Glamour not too long ago in which he stressed his support of women with his new show.

It has been pointed out to me that I, like other late-night TV hosts, am a man. And while I’m happy to have a job, I am surprised that the world of late-night TV lacks a female presence, unlike sitcoms, which are packed with smoking-hot wives who teach their doughy husband a valuable lesson when he slips on a pizza and falls headfirst into a porta-potty full of beer. Check your local listings.

While there are many talented female comedians out there, right now the world of late-night is a bit of a sausagefest. Perhaps one day it will be just the opposite—which I believe is called a Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective.

The whole piece is worth a read but Colbert also specifically writes, “Point is, I’m here for you, and that means I’m going to do my best to create a Late Show that not only appeals to women but also celebrates their voices.”

A good way to celebrate women’s voices are to make sure they’re heard on screen and off, right? Sure, Colbert isn’t going to give up his prime spot but he can add women’s voices to his show in other ways. Right now, just two out of his 19 writers are women. And hey, those may be better odds than most television shows but it’s still pretty bad. But he could also add another voice (literally!) by hiring a female announcer.

I would hope that if having an announcer at all is considered along the way, Colbert and his team push for a woman. But allow me to pull a Colbert right now and tell you why I’d be great for the job.

  • I appeared for 20+ years (starting when I was just 7-years-old!) on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day MDA Telethon. Yes, I was on live TV every year since I was a little girl but along the way I learned about the running of a live TV event, both behind the screens and in front of them. As I got older, I went from the one being interviewed to the one interviewing and even played news anchor in MDA News segments!
  • And wouldn’t you know? That’s what led me to go to school for journalism.
  • After I graduated I worked as a DJ at a radio station for five and a half years. I also produced their morning show. Yes, I can put on my radio voice for you next time you see me.
  • I’m a big ‘ol nerd and so is Colbert. That could make for some great banter.
  • I’m funny. Or at the very least, I amuse myself.
  • I’m generally awesome and am comfortable…nay!…at home on camera.

Sound good? Tell a friend! #ColbertNerdyBird2016

4 Responses to “Stephen Colbert, I Nominate Myself as Your Nerdy Late Show Announcer”

  1. Adam Blackhat says:

    This would be epic.

  2. VBartilucci says:

    Jim Norton’s brief talk show on Vice had Bailey Jay as his announcer/sidekick, or as she described herself, “The official girl of the Jim Norton Show”.