Best of 2013: ‘Colbert Report,’ ‘@Midnight,’ ‘Saturday Night Live’ score Late-Night Escape nods

Late-Night EscapeIn our first edition of the Best of 2013 nominations, we’re focusing on what comes on after some of your favorite shows: The Best Late-Night Escape Category. There are some great programs in here that have probably become a viewing obsession for you at some point and even if you don’t watch them regularly you may still see a few clips of them online whenever you’re bored and want to check out something different.

Voting for the award will be open until Friday, December 20 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, when the winner will be named along with all of the other categories. You can read more on the awards, and find out when other categories will be posted, just by visiting the link here.

“@Midnight” (Comedy Central) – Late-night is not an easy place to launch a new show, mostly because it feels like there are already too many options for viewers who are still up after 11:00 p.m. Eastern. But what makes this wacky, weird “game show with comedians” work is the different array of funny people nightly, Chris Hardwick’s +10 hosting skills, and the sole fact that no other show is as current or as hip into the internet generation. Plus, it’s hilarious.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (ABC) – Out of the three late-night comics airing on major networks after the local news, Kimmel is the only one that feels like he is still active in every little aspect of it. You can see shades of David Letterman in almost everything that he does, but mostly the early Letterman back when he was hosting “Late Night” for NBC. He gives fun interviews, does brilliant parodies, and pushes the envelope as much as you can for a show owned by Disney.

“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (NBC) – The other Jimmy is soon to be a rival of Kimmel’s, and the two bring very different things to television. For one, Fallon is less of a comic and more of a performer, and his best moments come when he is playing games with his guests, doing musical numbers, or performing in pre-taped bits like his “Game of Thrones” parody. Over the course of the past year, we’ve written about Fallon skits more than any other show. That’s a testament to his skill.

“Saturday Night Live” (NBC) – Complain all you want about how X or Y is no longer a part of the cast, but they still come out and deliver funny sketches nearly four decades in. It doesn’t always work, but there is probably no other late-night show that gets us as excited to watch, since you know it could be going completely off the rails at any moment or delivering a big celebrity cameo. It’s still the show that celebrities desperately want to be on.

“The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central) – This was Stephen Colbert’s year more so than it was Jon Stewart’s. Stephen won the Emmy over his former mentor, and that is really just one of his many accomplishments on what was a very funny year for his show. Personally, our top moment still has to be his music video for Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” that he created after the duo was unable to appear on his show earlier this summer.

“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (CBS) – Nobody seems to revel in having a tiny budget more than Craig, who spends almost every night dancing with two people in a horse costume while also communicating with a robot wearing a “Price Is Right” name-tag. While “@Midnight” may be the geekiest show overall of this bunch, Craig (a devoted “Doctor Who” fan and sci-fi junkie) may be the biggest geek out of all the late-night hosts on TV. Given that we identify with that, it’s not hard to figure out why he is nominated here.

“Watch What Happens Live!” (Bravo) – Andy Cohen is a programming genius, and he’s established himself an aftershow empire. While AMC may have “Talking Dead,” Andy has found a way to basically turn his show into an aftershow for almost anything that comes before it on the network. His pop-culture savvy, willingness to ask hard questions, and understanding of his audience helps to further explain just why he has made it to the top.

Be sure to vote below for your favorite to win the award this year for Best Late-Night Escape and stay tuned for more categories.


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