In my lifetime full of watching talk shows, I thought I had watched them all. I’d seen the Donahues and the Dennis Millers and the Allen Haveys and the Bobby Heenans, and they’ve all been great, because they’ve all talked. None of them were in the river though, which means, at the end of the day, they pretty much sucked, and weren’t actually great after all. Sorry, Johnny Carson and Martha Stewart and Magic Johnson: I might’ve watched every single episode, and liked them at the time, but they weren’t in the river, so just shut up already. Even Ricki Lake, who came so close with her name, didn’t go far enough.
Thankfully Conner O’Malley has given the world what it needs: the first talk show in the river. Late River with River Guy reduces the hoary, overly familiar talk show formula down to its most crucial essence: one man, one suit, and one river, all wrapped around each other like Russian nesting dolls. It’s all you need for an amazing talk show, and O’Malley’s commitment to simplicity and elegance and getting wet is truly inspirational. Watch the talk show of the year below, and let’s hope there’s more river where this gem came from.