Shut up!! Stacy London, frank-talking, fab-dressing co-host of What Not to Wear, has a new talk show called, appropriately enough, Shut Up! It's Stacy London. (Will the creative naming never end?) Which news caused me first to think about this particular show and then about the larger celebrity talk show craze generally.
As far as London's offering, it could be good, could be horrible. I like London a lot, actually, but what I like even more is London with her co-host, dapper and dry Clinton Kelly. Their repartee, the combination of the two and their commentary, is what makes the show so watchable. Even as sometimes they reduce participants to tears, their united front of fashion sense makes you feel like they are doing so for a higher cause (and darned if every single participant doesn't look 200 hundred times better when they leave New York), and they are both very sweet and affirming at the end as they congratulate their new prodigies. So I think London is an interesting person with interesting things to say. However, I worry that A, she won't have enough to say on her own sans Kelly; B, she won't have enough to say period about anything else; or C, worst of all, she will give in to her cattier demons and become less affirming and more just plain sarcastic, which would be bad bad bad. So we shall see.
But seriously, what is the obsession with these shows? For every Rosie or Ellen or even Tyra (Talk Soup's endless mockery of her show notwithstanding), there are 10 Megan Mullallys or Sharon Osbornes, women (and some men) who tried and failed oh-so-publicly and cring-inducingly in the talk show arena, whose one season (if that) gab-fests were short on both gab and fest and long on inane pseudo-conversation and oddly designed sets and unsuccessful gimmicks. Let's just think about some of the more spectacular failures, shall we? Remember The Ru Paul Show? Cause you really, really should! Or bet you never saw Talk with Jordan Knight. Did anyone? And The Tony Danza Show was so bad its host got a concussion during an ill-advised go-kart race. What were these people thinking?
So I say, though it's clearly too late, be cautious, Stacy London. When it comes right down to it, do you really want to be on a list that includes the likes of John McEnroe, Carnie Wilson, Gabrielle Carteris (of 90210 "fame"), and Richard Simmons, all of whom had short-lived and truly awful talk show endeavors. Be afraid. Be very afraid!