Picks and Pans Review: The Late Show

UPDATED 08/24/1987 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/24/1987 at 01:00 AM EDT

Fox (Mon.-Fri., 11 p.m. ET)

F

Sad. Pathetic. Tragic. Unbearably so. That is The Late Show. This summer, as Fox went hunting for guest hosts to fill Joan Rivers' spiked heels, we saw more bombs at night than London did during the Blitz. What doozies: Suzanne Somers, all trussed up in leather like a mannequin in a sex shop; dear Estelle Getty acting petrified; Robert (Hollywood Shuffle) Townsend looking awfully lonely when a much-touted appearance by his pal Eddie Murphy doesn't come off. Before long, Fox ran out of guest hosts—and guests—you'd ever heard of. One night, we saw the hard-to-take hostess of an obscure local cable show holding up pictures of herself. That same night, a woman in tights gyrated her body, threw herself into the host's lap and sang the allegedly Christian rock song, Uh-Uh, No, No, Casual Sex. At that moment I gave up. My bosses couldn't pay me enough to watch this TV travesty anymore. Fox couldn't pay anybody to watch. The ratings hit negative numbers. Decent folks had long since shot their TVs to put them out of their misery.

But wait. Just before it was too late, just before Fox station managers started hanging themselves with antenna wire, the network stole away David Letterman's longtime producer, Barry Sand, to come up with a whole new Late Show. Tough job. So, to help him out in a language he'll understand, we offer Sand these Top 10 Suggested Replacements for The Late Show:

10. The Shirley MacLaine Show. Every night watch a different guest host from a different century.

9. The Home Stock Market Show. From the convenience of their couches viewers buy cubic zirconia or companies.

8. The No Frills Clip Show. No host, no band, just stars plugging their latest movies.

7. The CBS Morning Program. Maybe it would look better at night.

6. The Failed Talk Show Festival. Moments that made you cringe from Dick Cavett! Jerry Lewis! Alan Thicke! Richard Belzer!

5. The Psychopaths' Comedy of the '80s Hour. Pee-Wee Herman acts dumb, Emo Philips acts dumber, Sam Kinnison screams and Crispin Glover kicks up his heels uncomfortably close to hosts' heads.

4. The Anybody-Can-Be-a-Host Show. Oops. That's what The Late Show already is.

3. The Lottery Show. Watch the excitement, the suspense, as winning numbers are picked all across these United States.

2. The Beverly Hillbillies. We want Jethro!

1. Silence. The greatest gift of all.

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