Monday, April 30, 2012
Whitney Cummings Gets the Late-Night E! Talk Show of Your Nightmares
By Alex Pappademas
So, wait: Lena Dunham neglects to give her fictional alter ego a sassy black friend, and the Internet is all "#burnthewitch," but meanwhile TV history's most terrible lady-monster, Whitney Cummings, continues doing everything short of building her own orc army and everybody yawns? Priorities, people. Dunham gets knocked for being an exemplar of privilege, but you know what "privilege" is? Privilege is getting another chance to build a TV show around a "sensibility" the viewing public just finished gagging on when it was served to them in multicamera-sitcom form.
And, sure, even Louis CK needed more than one bite at the apple before we got Louie, but the concept here doesn't exactly read "explosion of pent-up creativity" to us. On Love You, Mean It with Whitney Cummings, set to air weekly on E! later this year, Cummings and a sidekick will riff on "the biggest pop culture and celebrity happenings life, relationships, sex, and more." If it reminds you of Chelsea Lately, that's probably intentional; Chelsea Handler, who used to have Cummings on that show as a panelist all the time, is executive producing, because presumably it was either that or pitch E! a snow-level-Inception-dream mockumentary about the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that go into making the behind-the-scenes-shenanigans mockumentary series After Lately.
Foregoing the elaborate pyrotechnic effects employed by most of today's talk-show hosts, Cummings will do LYMI "[e]quipped with only a microphone and her laptop." Only a microphone and a laptop! Like a modern-day Woody Guthrie with nothing but a can of beans and some BJ jokes and a gee-tar, hitchin' a ride to the next migrant-worker camp on the back of a dirt truck. Plus she's saying things like, "I’m really excited to be able to say (almost) whatever I’d like on TV again," which suggests that — in between the finest Lookit What The Famous Persons Have Done Now OMG Right commentary a weekly 20-minute skim of the nip-slip blogosphere can spark — we can expect the occasional oh-snap line about how it was the meddling of clueless NBC suits that kept Whitney from being better than, like, I, Claudius and Seinfeld combined. Later this year can't come soon enough!