10 Possible Replacements for Letterman (Hint: They’re All Women)

by Mary Rockcastle

Get ready for it; we’re about to see a bunch of white males scrambling for the Late Show spot now that David Letterman has announced his retirement. The current top contenders include Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, and Conan O’Brien. *yawn*

Men have traditionally hosted late night television because of the outdated gendered blocking of Television viewing times. Daytime television has no shortage of female hosts because daytime TV’s assumed audience is housewives, while primetime and late night shows are reserved for the men assumed the be out of the house all day bringing home the bacon. While we know this logic is totally bogus because a) not every woman is a mother b) many mothers work and c) women work, duh — this discourse undeniably lingers, and men are still favored as late night hosts for this, and a variety of other reasons. Standby for the arguments that women just aren’t that funny, which is actually the most boring thing anyone can say right now. I mean, have you watched SNL lately? 

We at BUST would obviously like to see a funny lady take the stage and prove to everyone that a woman can hold a late night spot. Here are some of our top picks for the Late Show position:

1) Tina Fey

When anyone starts talking to me about “the Queen” my first thought is Tina Fey, not British monarchy. If I could see one woman take the late night throne behind a desk, I’d love for it to be Tina.


2) Amy Poehler

Another famous SNL “Weekend Update” lady, who knows how to handle a desk, Amy Poehler is our second pick. Her web series “Smart Girls at the Party” also shows off her hosting skills (and how infinitely awesome she is). I’d love to see “Smart Girls” blossom into a talk show that continues to focus on cool, smart ladies. A girl can dream.


3) Mindy Kaling

We get it Mindy, your book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is doing fantastic and you’re pretty busy creating and starring in your own show, The Mindy Project, but come on! We just want to see you interview guests and sip out of a mug every night. 


4) Ellen DeGeneres

After dominating as this years Oscars host, DeGeneres can do no wrong at the moment. It’s logical that eventually she’ll leave daytime, possibly for a nighttime spot? Working moms, rejoice!


5) Kristen Wiig

After Bridesmaids, who doesn’t adore Kristen Wiig? Adorable and laugh-out-loud funny, Wiig has the perfect material for late night.


6) Maya Rudolph

Known best for her seven year stint on SNL, Rudolph’s rosy smile and undeniably strange characters were unforgettable, and I’d love to see that strange humor on my TV every night.


7) Margaret Cho

Known for her quick dirty wit, Margaret Cho might be pushing the boundaries for CBS. But hey, why not? We need more dirty girls smashing walls on TV!


8) Tig Notaro

Perhaps the dark horse in the race, Tig Notaro is one funny lady I can’t leave off this list. Tig’s made a career as a stand up comic, writer, and radio contributor, and now might be the time to watch her pick up the Late Night host title as well.


9) Chelsea Handler

After her recent announcement that she’ll be leaving her E! show Chelsea Lately, lets hope Handler is searching for bigger and better things. I’m not sure if CBS is ready for Handler’s notorious potty mouth, but I’d love to see them try.


10) Wanda Sykes

After her own late night talk show The Wanda Sykes Show was cancelled after one season, we’ve been waiting for a Wanda comeback. She’s got all the criteria, and the experience so Wanda is a sure-fire bet for the job. 

Who would you add to the list? Let us know below!

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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