This show lived up to its name, airing locally on
KNBC (Channel 4), weekdays at 1:35 AM, following both "The
Tonight Show" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."
And ticket were available to its tapings.
the show premiered in 1988, it was hosted by sportscaster Bob
Costas. His first weeks' guests included singer Cris
Isaak, Presidential son Ron Reagan,
and actors Emilio Estevez, Tom Arnold,
and Charleton Heston. Bob left
the show in 1994.
The next host was Greg Kinnear,
when the show became known as "LATER with Greg Kinnear."
But the format stayed the same: one-on-one interviews with actors, authors,
comedians, film-makers, musicians, athletes, and other talk show hosts.
The stars really shone during Greg's years on the show, with the guests
including: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Martin
Short, Phil Hartman,
George Carlin, Marilu Henner,
Roseanne, Kevin Spacey,
Peter Frampton, Ron Reagan,
Ellen Degeneres, Tom Arnold,
Lou Gossett, Jr., Robert
Wagner, Jacqueline Bisset,
Clint Black, Dick
Clark, Tom Snyder, Kelsey
Grammer, James Brown, Dennis Rodman,
Kirk Douglas, Jay
Leno, Melissa Etheridge,
Randy Travis, Courteney Cox,
Rosie O'Donnell, Teri Hatcher,
Jennifer Tilly, George
Clooney, Melissa Gilbert,
Pauly Shore, Willie
Nelson, Henry Winkler, John Laroquette.
Sid Caesar, Wayne Gretzky,
George Wendt, Wayne Newton,
Brett Butler, John
Lithgow, Leslie Nielsen,
Duran Duran, Kathy Ireland,
Little Richard, John Tesh,
Danny Glover, Paula Abdul,
Matt LeBlanc, Boy George,
Tori Spelling, Jonathan
Silverman and William Shatner.
But in late 1996, Greg Kinnear moved on to try his
hand as a movie actor, co-starring with Harrison
Ford in "Sabrina," and with Meg
Ryan & Tom Hanks
in "You've Got Mail."
Greg left, the show never really recovered. For a while, they haad been
juggling a number of different hosts, often celebrities interviewing celebrities,
such as when supermodel Cindy Crawford
spent a week interviewing the likes of comedian Howie Mandel,
actor Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie
Howser M.D."), and actor Robert Pastorelli
("Murphy Brown"). In a way, NBC had been using the
show as a way to audition new celebrity hosts. Other guest hosts have included
Jon Stewart, Alexandra
Wentworth, Jay Thomas,
David Alan Grier, Jeff Cesario,
George Wallace, Geraldo Rivera,
Marc Maron, Carol Leifer,
Al Roker, Tommy Davidson,
Ahmad Rashad and Dave Chappelle.
Alas, the quality of the guests seemed to slip as the years went by, but
they had managed to book such big-name celebs as Will
Smith, Bill Pullman,
Winningham, Dennis Franz,
Martin Mull, Jon Lovitz,
Jerry Seinfeld, David
Schwimmer, Edward James Olmos,
Milton Berle, Ice-T,
Larry Miller, Jane
Curtin, David Hyde-Pierce
and Garry Marshall.
Right now, in early 2001, it looks like NBC has
abandoned "Later" altogether. They are currently showing
reruns of the old "SCTV" comedy show in the time slot, with the
header "Later presents SCTV"... Which probably means that
the show is permanently on its way out, and they are just juggling reruns
temporarily until they find a replacement.
(But a new show, "Late
Friday," has surfaced in the 1:35 AM time slot on Fridays, and
tickets are now available to the tapings of that new show at NBC.)
(For ticket information and directions, see the
article on tapings at NBC.)
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