With real life news reading funnier than made-up comedy bits, the Late Night kings are loving every minute of it.
"Late Night" with Conan O'Brien
In his "In the Year 2000" skit, O'Brien predicted the future with Elvis Costello. (Sept. 24)
O'Brien: "Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will get 280 hits in a single season, beating George Sisler's record for the St. Louis Browns, and Bobby Brown's record with Whitney Houston."
Costello: "CBS will face its biggest embarrassment yet when Dan Rather ships out his Johnson during the Super Bowl halftime show."
"Late Show" with David Letterman"
Page 3's top shelf team (OK, it's one dude out on the west coast, but he's still top shelf) compiled the best sports comedy riffs from the past week.
"All Britney Spears fans there's a special announcement: there will be no wedding on Saturday. It's a bye week." (Sept. 24)
"Tomorrow night is a special made-for-TV movie on ESPN about Pete Rose called 'Hustle.' What the film does is it dramatizes the adrenaline rush you get from betting on a Mariners-Indians game." (Sept. 24)
Among the "Top 10 Things I Hope To Accomplish As Miss America," as read by Miss America Deidre Downs was, No. 4 "Actually, I plan to spend the year on my couch eating Pringles and watching NASCAR." (Sept. 24)
"These are dark days here at CBS. You got CBS making up stories on the 'Evening News' and earlier in the week, CBS was fined for the Janet Jackson Super Bowl thing. CBS now says that they were duped by a fake breast." (Sept. 23)
Guest John Kerry read the Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals. Here's No. 5: "Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa." (Sept. 20)
"The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno"
"CBS has now been fined $550,000 by the FCC for airing Janet Jackson showing her breast during the Super Bowl. How ironic is that? All the trouble CBS got in for fake documents, the one thing they show that's real they get into trouble for." (Sept. 24)
The first baseball game has just been played in Iraq. But you know, I don't think they quite understand the concept. Like a guy stole second and they cut his feet off." (Sept. 24)
"Former NBA star Jayson Williams may come out of retirement and play again. He'd be perfect for the Lakers. Well, they need a good outside shooter." (Sept. 24)
"Saddam Hussein is now reportedly depressed and begging for mercy. I didn't even know he was a Mets fan." (Sept. 22)
"For the first time ever, an organized baseball game was played in Iraq today and I'm glad there wasn't a chair throwing incident like what happened in San Francisco (actually Oakland), because the last thing you want to see is the Shiite hit the fan." (Sept. 22)
"One hundred and 40 thousand pairs of Allen Iverson shoes for toddlers are being recalled because they may pose a choking hazard. Do you know when you're most likely to choke when wearing Allen Iverson shoes? At the Olympics." (Sept. 21)
"ABC and ESPN, which are both owned by Disney, are combining forces to start a new reality show called 'Extreme Makeover at the Ballpark.' You go to baseball game, you sit next to the Texas Rangers bullpen, and they give you a nose job with a folding chair." (Sept. 17)
"After 25 years Barbara Walters is retiring from '20/20.' And even more surprising, do you know why she's retiring? So she can smoke weed with Ricky Williams." (Sept. 17)
Comedian Wanda Sykes was a guest and said, "I'm not doing 'Inside the NFL' this year. I didn't pass my drug test. Bob Costas has rules now." (Sept. 16)
"The Late Late Show" with guest host D.L. Hughley"
"Now, we're one week into the National Hockey League lockout and talks have stalled between ... I don't give a damn about hockey. I'm black. I don't care. I don't care. I don't. ... I was gonna work up some passion about it, but ... cold and black people just ... no ..." (Sept.24)
"CBS was fined $550,000 for airing Janet Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl. Damn, for that kinda money we shoulda seen 'em both." (Sept. 22)
"Now, Michael Jackson said, 'Damn, $550,000, that's a bargain. I paid $10 million and didn't see one naked little boy." (Sept. 22)
"You know the Janet Jackson thing is so hypocritical. This country is obsessed with sex. We've got three drugs just for erectile dysfunction. We've got Levitra, we've got Viagra, we've got Cialis. I mean Cialis lasts 36 hours. I don't know what the hell is fun for 36 hours." (Sept. 22)
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
"Several newspapers in Florida say that Michael Jordan is working out with the Miami Heat, and he might want to come out of retirement to play with Shaquille O'Neal, which would be something. Jordan retired from basketball in 1993 and then he retired from baseball in '94, retired from basketball again in '99, and he retired again in 2003. So one more and he topples Cher as No. 1 on the most retired list, and that's something to speak of." (Sept. 23)
"The thing I like most about fall is the sports. Football is starting; baseball (is) getting down to the wire and of course the big thing, WNBA playoffs. On my DirecTV they've been running commercials for the playoff package. I don't know how you can resist buying this.
(Shows clip of missed shots and turnovers in WNBA games with a voiceover saying, 'Catch all the excitement. The only thing easier than watching the WNBA playoffs on DirecTV is getting a ticket to the game,' and the tagline on the screen stating 'DirecTV sports; WNBA playoffs 2004; We're talking to you Rosie!') I get the chills just thinking about it." (Sept. 22)
"After all the talk and the complaints and the letters to Congress, today was the day the FCC finally fined CBS for the Janet Jackson thing at the Super Bowl. Eight months after she showed the world her boob, the bill came in for $550,000. Not that I think they shouldn't be fined at all but it doesn't seem like much does it? Right? After all that.
During the Super Bowl, DBS charged two and a quarter million dollars for a 30-second spot. So this way their punishment was exactly 7 seconds of ad revenue for this. (Shows clips of what breast shots can and cannot be aired.) You understand that it's not OK for Janet Jackson to show her breast but it is OK for John Madden to show his." (Sept. 22)
"The season premiere of 'The Bachelor' tonight. This time around the girls got to pick between two bachelors. They had to choose between a real estate agent and a professional bass fisherman. They picked the bass fisherman, his name's Byron. Nothing gets the ladies hotter than the smell of bait, guys. I tell ya." (Sept. 22)
"You know these 'Monday Night Football' games really go so late now, they're 'Tuesday Night Football' games now. And I appreciate it if you're able to stay awake this late." (Sept. 20)
"A milestone moment in baseball Friday night. Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants joined Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron as the only players in major league history to hit 700 home runs. Barry Bonds (is) one of, if not, the best to even play the game. But he's not that popular for such a great player. If you remember Mark McGwire when he was on that home run hitting streak how crazy everybody (went). Take a look at this clip and keep in mind he hits No. 700 in front of his hometown fans. (Shows altered clip of the home run with bored reaction from fans.) In fairness to Barry it was Vicodin night at Pac Bell Ballpark." (Sept. 20)
"(The moment we've been waiting for) ... I'm talking about football, professional football tonight, Thursday night football, the Patriots and the Colts, which means tonight on this evening for the first time since January there are people watching ABC." (Sept. 9)