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Ricky Gervais as late-night host?

You know that someone, somewhere, at a major network or even not a major network said either Sunday night or in the bleary light of the following morning: "Ricky Gervais would be a great late-night TV host!"

In fact, I can almost guarantee that the idea's come up before and Sunday's performance simply solidified the idea. Also, in fact, that was my primary criticism of his performance - it was late night shtick that was superficially "dangerous" but profoundly "safe." A surprise he didn't make a few pops at the GOP candidates.

Kardashian and Bieber jokes? They didn't even belong in his rift, so obvious and broad these targets are, and so often cannon fodder for Letterman/Leno/Fallon/Kimmel/Ferguson.

What made Gervais's performance so successful the second time around, last year, was that it was actually pointed at the people in the Beverly Hills Hilton ballroom; some of the jokes he landed this past Sunday were aimed at that great and easy target known as American popular culture and the icons and wannabe icons that represent it. That's what made it so bland and milquetoasty.

And so, for that reason, a lightbulb went off somewhere."Why not Ricky Gervais at 11:35 every night?!"

I think he'd be a great late-night host. Jay will be leaving one of these years, although I would imagine "one of these decades" might be his time frame. Dave is about to sign a new two-year deal. The two Jimmy's — Fallon and Kimmel — are the future there. So they're not going anywhere. That leaves . . . you see maybe where I'm going . . .Gervais as host of "The Late Late Show" on CBS, if Craig doesn't re-up, which at this point is a distinct possibility.

"The Late Late Show with Ricky Gervais." Someone, somewhere, likes the sound of this.

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