8 Potential New “Late Night” Hosts Who Aren’t White Men

The New York Post says Seth Meyers or Howard Stern may take over for Jimmy Fallon when he moves to The Tonight Show. Hey, NBC, why not consider someone who isn’t a white man?

1. Maya Rudolph

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With the slow, sad demise of NBC’s Up All Night all but certain, Rudolph is said to be contemplating mounting a variety show. But her ability to play broad and big as well as small and nuanced would also fit perfectly into the late night chat show format, and she’s clearly tight with producer Lorne Michaels, who will likely retain control of the show.

Best first guest: Kristen Wiig

2. Amy Sedaris

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She’s hysterical, a legendarily great late night guest, and she literally wrote a book on how to be a perfect host. What’s not to love here? NBC, call her!

Best first guest: Stephen Colbert

3. Kenan Thompson

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Ten years on Saturday Night Live have transformed him into a confident comic presence, and his aura of constant bemusement would serve him well at 12:30 a.m.

Best first guest: Lindsey Buckingham

4. Wanda Sykes

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Yes, she’s already had a late night talk show on Fox that lasted just one season, but The Wanda Sykes Show only aired on Saturday nights, and do you recall seeing any promotion for it anywhere? Didn’t think so. If NBC got behind Late Night with Wanda Sykes, she could finally have the broader audience her quick wit and no b.s. style have deserved for years.

Best first guest: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

5. Aziz Ansari

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It could be tricky for him to split his late night duties with his supporting role on NBC’s ongoing Parks and Recreation. (In fact, that’s why Amy Poehler — a producer, writer, and director on the show as well as its star — isn’t on this list.) But those young, hip kids sure seem to love him, and NBC sure seems to want more young, hip kids watching its network.

Best first guest: Amy Poehler

6. Chelsea Handler

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Currently the only person who isn’t a white man with a presence in late night TV, Handler could easily export her brand of sozzled snark to NBC from corporate cousin E! Of all the people on this list, she’s paid her dues for the job and then some.

Best first guest: Sandra Bullock

7. George Lopez

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After two seasons on TBS, Lopez Tonight was canceled less than a year after the basic cable network bumped it to midnight to make room for Conan O’Brien at 11 p.m. Moving to NBC would be some nice poetic justice, not to mention that Lopez’s “block party” vibe on his TBS series demonstrated a refreshing willingness to shake up the staid talk show format.

Best first guest: Sandra Bullock

8. Kumail Nanjiani

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This up-and-coming stand-up comic is pop-culture savvy and speaks geek. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of him; no one had heard of Conan “That Guy With The Weird Name” O’Brien either when he first landed Late Night.

Best first guest: Ice Cube

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