Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal.
With this week's debut of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, there's been a lot of talk about the new late-night landscape. So, it was only a matter of time before the genre's guru, Bill Carter weighed in.
In a piece for The New York Times, Carter addressed the after-hours race to attract a younger audience by writing: "Even with potent competition for younger viewers all over cable, from the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central and Mr. O’Brien on TBS, the host NBC is clearly most concerned about is Mr. Kimmel, who is 46. (The only female host in late-night is Chelsea Handler, 38, on E!)"
Well, it looks like Chelsea Handler didn't take too kindly to being relegated to a mere parenthetical mention among her male counterparts and addressed the slight in a Huffington Post op-ed piece. "I wanted to confirm what a parenthetical suggests, so I looked up the definition," Handler wrote. "The first few definitions that came up were: incidental, subordinate in significance, minor or casual.”
It's not hard to see what Handler is getting at here. The world of late-night talk shows has long been male dominated, and Handler is the first woman to make serious inroads into the boys club. That Carter decided to make a distinction between Handler and her rivals based only on her gender only strengthens the fact that an "old dog" mentality still exists there. As Handler points out, the only reason she should be singled out is for having the youngest average viewership of the bunch, along with Stewart, Colbert, and O'Brien. "From a purely statistical standpoint how, in this paragraph, could I only be mentioned as an aside?” she asks.