Ken Tucker wrote about the shifting late night television front for Grantland. There’s a lot of good info and insight here, but I particularly liked what he had to say about how Jimmy Kimmel both is and isn’t the next Letterman:
Kimmel has proven to have a talent for Letterman-esque sarcasm, impish impudence, and an insistence upon calling attention to the tropes of talk-show structure. (His amazingly sustained kidnapped-by–Matt Damon show in January was especially impressive.) Yet he’s never picked up on the other side of Dave, which is a core of seriousness that has enabled Letterman to surge ahead of his genre colleagues in moments of national drama, whether it’s presidential politics or the entertainment industry’s vexed reassertion into post-9/11 American culture. Bill Carter quoted an anonymous executive in Monday’s New York Times as saying, “I always wonder how the younger hosts will handle being in the heat of a presidential election where they have to be accountable and ask tough questions.”
Tucker nails what I love about Dave.