Best of Late Night TV in 2021 – The New York Times

“Despite Donald J. Trump’s loss to Joseph R. Biden in the presidential election of 2020, late-night hosts still couldn’t shake the former president in 2021.

Trump’s last day in office was cause for celebration on many shows, but the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, Trump’s subsequent impeachment and his supporters continued promotion of the lie that the election had been rigged meant that the former president remained a fixture of monologues and other late-night bits.

Also, Biden apparently is just not as easy to send up. The hosts’ impressions of him lacked the cartoonish verve of their Trump takes — Stephen Colbert in aviator shades is the only one who makes much of an effort — and while Biden’s age and occasional gaffes were frequent targets, such jokes rarely occupied more than a few minutes of the nightly monologues.

Another defining trend this year was the hosts’ return to their studios after shooting their shows from home for most of 2020 and much of 2021. Colbert, the Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel) and others brought back audiences (with Covid-19 protocols in place), live bands and in-house guests who offered a bit of normalcy to viewers looking for an escape from the coronavirus and its variants, or at least a way to commiserate through comedy.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
This was a fun piece to read, thank you. Here in CT we think it would be fun in 2022 to see the writers turn on the far left of the Democratic party. They sure know a lot about how to make a great president look terrible.

The Smothers Brothers: Laughing at Hard Truths – The New York Times

“Two weeks later, the “Comedy Hour” beat “Bonanza” in the ratings. After a few weeks more, the brothers who had seemed so nonthreatening became more daring, making political and topical references and booking musical acts with new, often anthemic songs to sing. Censors in the network’s standards and practices office began cutting jokes, comments, even entire skits. The brothers’ challenges to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration and comments on other political issues became sharper. Battles with the network censors became more frequent. The brothers took their dispute to the press and became national symbols of countercultural resistance. A little more than two years after the show’s debut, CBS fired Tom and Dick Smothers and canceled their still-successful show.”