The Late Late Show


Years ago, when cable in every home in America was just a gleam in Bill Nye the Science Guy's eye, networks had a soft spot in their schedule. After The Tonight Show (and its competing late night programming) went to bed, but before The Today Show (and its competing morning programming) went on the air, there was roughly four hours to play with. Some networks went dark entirely (usually by playing the national anthem with a picture of the American flag on the screen), but most of them played the Late Late Show, which was usually a movie old enough to be out of the theaters (but good enough to watch again) or a movie so horrible that it probably wouldn't have ever or shouldn't have ever seen the light of day.

But that didn't stop anyone from watching (if they could stay up that late). The Late Late Show was the movie nerd's outlet, before arthouse went mainstream. It almost always exposed you to something that you would have never seen otherwise: 1950s-era horror movies, Peter Sellers films, 1970s-era TV movies (complete with stereotypical characters, such as OverprotectiveMom™, MolestingRelative™, and BadSchoolmate™).

it was almost better if the movie was bad, because you could sit around and just go to town on it with your friends. It's Mystery Science Theater 3000, except you're the snarky commentator! But no matter how good or bad the movie was, it was so much better than the alternative: bedtime.

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jennythenipper Author Profile Page said:

Remember before CBS got Letterman, when he was on NBC and he ran opposite the CBS Late Night "Movie" which was almost always an old Columbo or Rembington Steele. Though I confess I enjoyed watching those old reruns before they were syndicated elsewhere, calling it a "movie" was a joke. I loved the Late Late Show. I remember seeing the 1960s Teen flick "Kitten with a Whip" when I was around 9 or 10. I think it warped my entire idea of what my teen years were going to be like. Later seeing the movie on MST3K, I realized how stupid it really was.

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