Even though the landscape of late night has had a vast changing of the guard recently, white men still make up the overwhelming majority of late night hosts.
However, the tide is changing as Larry Wilmore hosts The Nightly Show, Trevor Noah is set to replace Jon Stewart, Chelsea Handler is coming back with a show on Netflix next year, and Grace Helbig, though she goes on air in primetime, just premiered her own talk show.
Niche cable networks Fusion and Fuse are betting that things are going to keep changing and have just debuted their new late talk shows “Come Here & Say That with Alicia Menendez” and “White Guy Talk Show” respectively.
Now, you might not have heard of Alicia Menendez or the hosts of the ironically titled White Guy Talk Show, Saurin Choksi and Grace Parra. Menendez has a background in traditional news media and co-hosting a talk show is Choski and Parra’s first big TV gig.
So, even beyond choosing something outside of a white guy to host their late night talk show, both Fuse and Fusion made an even less traditional choice, (usually an established comedian that’s been on TV more than a few times) with their hosts, which will prove prudent or not in the coming weeks. That’s especially true since both shows are weeknights as opposed to weekly like Last Week Tonight.
Seeing how crowded late night has become (that includes parodies of late night like The Eric Andre Show and Comedy Bang! Bang!), we can only the uphill battle Come Here & Say That and White Guy Talk Show have in front of them. Carving out their niche and gaining a following is going to involve more than just offering a different perspective.
Like James Corden has done with The Late Late Show, they’ve got to make us want to tune in every night, or in the case of the Internet, whenever we want to kill time.