Why Alain Chabat’s “late show” is a real challenge (that he could succeed)

Who else than Alain Chabat to import the “late show” into France, this typically American TV program format? From November 21 and for ten issues, the former Dummies will present a 100% French “late show” from Monday to Friday at 10:55 p.m. on TF1: “Le Late avec Alain Chabat”. In mid-September, the next broadcast of the program was announced on Twitter by a teaser funny:

A parody of Charles III but soon to be the real king of the air, Alain Chabat is an obvious choice to host this new second part of the evening meeting.

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1. A format that Alain Chabat has always dreamed of

The “late show” is a staple of American audiovisual that Alain Chabat has wanted to import to France for a long time, he confided on October 10 in “C à Vous la suite” on France 5:

“We love late shows from Johnny Carson to [Jimmy] Fallon passing by [Jimmy] Kimmel or Conan O’Brienso we’re going to take these codes and try to give people a funny hour.There will be a live musical guest each evening, with real sound and in public. We record the shows before so there won’t be any hot news but so much the better, I can’t take the news anymore! »

We no longer count the number of these shows that have been a hit in the United States. In France, the format is more difficult to defend. The reasons ? A late broadcast schedule which means the absence of advertisements and therefore of return for the channel, and the choice of the presenter, highly sensitive. Creative coupled with a comedian, the “late show” host must be able to provide an hour’s program alone without boring or annoying.

A tour de force thatamusement American-style succeeds without worry, like Jimmy Fallon, more showman as a journalist on his “Tonight Show” (NBC). Combining humor and presentation, insolence and benevolence, this is the challenge that Alain Chabat is about to take up.

2. Why Chabat?

Why would he, better than others, succeed in making the French adhere to this concept which is not familiar to them? The Caesarized director of “Didier” is not without experience. In the 1990s, he animated with his companions “Les Nuls, the show” on Canal+, whose recipe looks just like the one announced for “the Late”: an hour around a guest, punctuated by fake ads, sketches and lives musical. As well driven by the “Burger Quiz” he presented in the early 2000s on Canal+ then in 2018 on TMC, Alain Chabat mastered his subject.

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If, in the United States, Jimmy Fallon can make fun of the teenagers of “Stranger Things” just as much as Barack Obama, it is because the “late shows” allow, with an hour of self-mockery, effective publicity and a renewed sympathy capital. Not sure, in France, that stars of the small screen or political personalities agree to be made fun of in public.

This is where the choice of Alain Chabat takes on its full meaning. With a career spanning forty years, he has a well-filled address book and, above all, he is very popular. Entering the hearts of the French since his success with Les Nuls, he conquered all generations by directing cult films, such as “Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra” in 2002 or “RRRrrrr!!! in 2004. Known and appreciated by those who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s embodying “the Canal spirit”, he has also become the darling of young people today, as evidenced by his visit to “Zevent” This year. An essential reference in cinema and typically French humour, Alain Chabat speaks to all generations, without distinction.

3. A concept that never caught on in France

This is not the first time that a channel has tried to import the concept of the “late show” into France. For many years, the PAF has been the envy of the United States for this particular mix of news and entertainment. Unfortunately, there are countless failures of those who wanted to try their hand at the perilous exercise of the “late show”: Arthur with “l’Emission impossible” in 1992 on TF1; Jean-Pierre Foucault in 2001 in “We will have warned you”, stopped by the front page after four episodes; Cyril Hanouna in 2016 and his “Hanounight Show” on Canal+…

The most enduring will have been Mustapha El Atrassi with “The night belongs to us” on NRJ 12, stopped after three seasons. But none of these presenters will have really succeeded in imposing the American concept.

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4. No live, only 10 episodes: a watered down “late show”?

With these failures in mind, TF1 offers a cleverly framed “late show” that puts itself in little danger: its presenter will not jump without a net. First: no long-term commitment. With ten issues, the program plays on rarity and avoids the episode too much which cost its predecessors their audience. Secondly: these ten numbers of one hour each are pre-recorded, which goes against the American concept, a subtle mix between sketches and rebounds on the news. By avoiding the obligation to follow the news, the program made in France limits the breakage but takes another risk: that of appearing too offbeat.

Despite everything, “the Late with Alain Chabat” remains largely inspired by its American cousins ​​with a myriad of prestigious guests, audience providers. In “C to You the rest”, the former Dummies revealed the names of some of the future guests, such as actor Laurent Lafitte. We can also expect to find the actors Jamel Debbouze and Léa Drucker, who appeared in the teaser of the show. As for the musical artists, the mystery still hovers, but one thing is certain: the show promises its share of surprises, like every time Alain Chabat holds the reins of a project.

Why Alain Chabat’s “late show” is a real challenge (that he could succeed)