There’s been a lot of talk lately about the lack of diversity in late night television, with even broadcast legend David Letterman himself weighing in on the topic. So far, Samantha Bee remains the only female host of a late night comedy series, and her program only airs once a week on basic cable. On the major networks, meanwhile, all the nightly gabfests are hosted by white men, most of whom are named Jimmy. That situation will hopefully change someday.
But there is still one demographic in American society that remains criminally under-represented on the chat show circuit: metalheads. When will America be ready for a late-night program with pentagrams, face paint, and kick-ass guitar solos every few minutes? Jordan Olds and Drew Kaufman, both halves of a creative team called Mrs. Woman Productions, must have gotten tired of waiting, so they created their own called Two Minutes To Late Night. The 22-minute pilot, produced in 2015, is now surfacing on YouTube.
Hosted by the glib, suit-wearing “Gwarscenio Hall” (Olds), Two Minutes has the pacing and structure of a normal talk show, give or take. There are interviews, games, and remote segments, just like on The Tonight Show. The difference is that the host wears spooky, ICP-style makeup and the house band, Nick Cageao & Mutoid Man, produce a sound loud enough to jolt Satan himself from his slumbers. Two honest-to-god celebrity guests show up to sit on Hall’s all-black (what else?) couch. Guitarist Ben Weinman, best known for his work with The Dillinger Escape Plan, talks about his adventures at the Grammys. And singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson talks about the perils and pleasures of being in a romantic relationship with her bass player. Weinman is also shown auditioning for an all-female R&B band, while Stevenson dons full GWAR gear to perform a song with the band, dubbing herself “Chlamydia Newton-John.”
And the fun doesn’t stop there. Throughout the show, a roving reporter keeps viewers apprised of the weather outside Glenn Danzig’s house. (No worries. It’s sunny and 85. But where’s Glenn?) The game of the night, “Squeal Of Fortune,” asks contestants to determine which phrases are bad Google translations and which are the titles of grindcore songs. No one excels at that. Thus far, though it could use some gore effects, Two Minutes To Late Night seems like it has potential to be a true alternative in the often homogeneous late night scene.
Kaufman tells The A.V. Club his motivations were musical: “We want to give exposure to so many bands of all genres. Could you imagine being a young weirdo and watching a show that introduces you to queer and feminist metal bands?” Olds concurs: “What’s really special about metal in particular is just how fun it is. It’s fearless. It isn’t afraid to look stupid or sound like shit.” He adds: “I also hope I’m the last white male talk show host. That’s getting old.”