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Now here’s your host…

Over the past two years, the late-night talk show scene has undergone quite a few changes. Have you been keeping up?

Here’s a quick recap:

  • In early 2014, Seth Meyers left “Saturday Night Live” to take over “Late Night” after Jimmy Fallon was hired to replace Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show.”
  • In April of that year, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” premiered on HBO.
  • That December, Stephen Colbert ended his run on “The Colbert Report” and in September of 2015, he took over the “Late Show” following David Letterman’s departure.
  • On February 10, 2015, Jon Stewart announced he was leaving “The Daily Show”, and he was later succeeded by Trevor Noah.

As we delve into the world of late-night comedy, I thought we should first take a look at the talking heads who currently dominate the world of political humor and news satire.

One thing you’ll immediately notice about this group is that it is overwhelmingly male and – with the exception of Trevor Noah, who is of mixed race – white. However, you could also note that the field is also increasingly becoming open to non-American hosts.

Though most of these people have been in the comedy business for a long time, all of them are relatively new to their current positions, indicating a increasing inclination toward political humor in the late-night scene.

Here are some quick stats on the four late-night hosts whose shows I’ll be following on this blog:

SETH MEYERS, “Late Night with Seth Meyers

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@sethmeyers

Age: 42

Hometown: Evanston, Illinois

Education: Northwestern University School of Communication

Previous: Head writer and host of Weekend Update, “Saturday Night Live”; keynote speaker, 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner; Boom Chicago improv troupe; misc. film, TV and stand-up

JOHN OLIVER, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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@iamjohnoliver

Age: 38

Hometown: Birmingham, England

Education: Christ’s College, Cambridge

Previous: Senior British Correspondent and guest host, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”; co-host of “The Bugle” podcast; voice of Vanity Smurf, “The Smurfs” movies; Dr. Ian Duncan on “Community”; “John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show”; misc. film and TV

STEPHEN COLBERT, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

TV-Stephen-Colbert
@StephenAtHome

Age: 51

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina

Education: Northwestern University School of Communication

Previous: Stephen Colbert, “The Colbert Report”; author, “I Am American (And So Can You!)”; featured entertainer, 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner; correspondent, “The Daily Show”; Second City improve troupe; misc. film and TV

TREVOR NOAH, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

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@Trevornoah

Age: 31

Hometown: Soweto, South Africa

Education: Maryvale College (Johannesburg)

Previous: stand-up comedian; correspondent, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”; subject of the documentary “You Laugh But It’s True”; host of various TV shows in South Africa; host, “Noah’s Ark” radio show; starring role, South African soap opera “Isidingo”

**BONUS: Starting Monday, a new face – Samantha Bee – will be joining the “boys club” that is late-night television, with her new TBS show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”.

SAMANTHA BEE, “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

SamanthaBeeFeb2011
@iamsambee

Age: 46

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Education: University of Ottawa, George Brown Theatre School

Previous: correspondent, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”; author, “I Know I Am, But What Are You?”; title role, live action production of “Sailor Moon”; misc. TV guest appearances

 

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