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Smackdown: Late-Night TV Bands

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

First, NBC’s The Tonight Show juggled hosts. Next, it switched bandleaders.

Eric Deggans, TV/media critic of the St. Petersburg Times, joins us to look back at late-show music history -- and at Rickey Minor, the former American Idol bandleader tapped to replace longtime Tonight maestro Kevin Eubanks. Then, blogger and New York Observer contributor Christopher Rosen and Emily Rems of Bust magazine debate which outfit has the sharper musical (and comedic) chops: The Roots (Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) or Paul Shaffer & the CBS Orchestra (The Late Show With David Letterman).

Guests:

Eric Deggans, Emily Rems and Christopher Rosen

Comments [25]

ileen from uws

Paul Shaffer's best contribution to the show is the play on music for the guests. It's always related to the person somehow, be it a play on their name, a character they've played or a project they've done. Then sometimes he elevates it to an art form, like when Hugh Grant made his first post-scandal appearance and the band played Blowin' in the Wind.

Jun. 15 2010 07:12 PM
Detroit Jazz Saxophonist Jeff Newton from Detroit Michigan

David Sanborn "sat in" every Thursday with Paul Schaeffer's band for a very good reason. They were, and are, unbelievable musicians. I'd love to have that gig! I suggest that each band play "Cherokee" at 384 bpm (REALLY fast!) and let Soundcheck listeners declare a winner!

Jun. 09 2010 10:57 PM
j

I like them both.

Both bands are great improvisers.

I've seen both bands back people up and do a great job. The Roots do it a little more Roots-a-fied and CBS Orchestra blends in seamlessly.

When The Roots "Slow Jam the News" it's always great. The CBS orchestra also comes up with songs on the spot when audience members name a song and the band says "Oh, yeah, we know that one" and they improvise something and it's always funny.

I like the way The Roots have retained their own identity as a band. It's cool that they are being themselves.

CBS Orchestra is a group of studio musicians who are great. Paul's signature is his keyboard style. But, they are not really a band who plays outside of the show.

The original band was World's Most Dangerous Band (no The). Paul made a point of that.

Jun. 08 2010 02:52 PM
Jim from Poughkeepsie

Letterman doesn't integrate Schaffer in the show like Conan did Max Weinberg and the 7 or like Jimmy Fallon does the Roots, it comes off as awkward[maybe that's the shtick], definitely funny at times and Paul's band is awesome, maybe Schaffer is too big a personality now, he seems distant and detached from the rest of his mates.

Jun. 08 2010 02:40 PM
KATE from nj

You all are young! Paul Shaffer WAS the original Saturday Night Live Band....

Jun. 08 2010 02:39 PM
Cynthia from long island

Freshness? Have you checked the expiration on someof these Smackdown ideas.... just saying.

Jun. 08 2010 02:36 PM
Alison from New Jersey

Have to say Paul Schaffer when he was heading the World's Most Dangerous Band was far superior to what he has going on now over at CBS...the musicians in his bands are top notch. The NBS years though were a special moment, kinda like SNL in the 70's and mid-90's.

The Roots are fabulous live-and I really think it was a coup for Jimmy Fallon to get them. I think they are the best part of Fallon's show quite honestly.

Love Max Weinberg's from Conan-will he be with Conan on TBS?

Jun. 08 2010 02:36 PM
Alison from New Jersey

Have to say Paul Schaffer when he was heading the World's Most Dangerous Band was far superior to what he has going on now over at CBS...the musicians in his bands are top notch. The NBS years though were a special moment, kinda like SNL in the 70's and mid-90's.

The Roots are fabulous live-and I really think it was a coup for Jimmy Fallon to get them. I think they are the best part of Fallon's show quite honestly.

Love Max Weinberg's from Conan-will he be with Conan on TBS?

Jun. 08 2010 02:35 PM
Pablo Alto from Da' Bronx

The fact of the matter is Paul Schaeffer and this band are very serious professionals. The have played the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Awards and many other venues. Felicia Collins (the guitarist) is one of the funkiest player out there, and toured with Al Jarreau, the Thompson Twins, and played LIVE AID too. The Roots are a great band, but Letterman's crew is tops.

Jun. 08 2010 02:35 PM
Pablo Alto from Da' Bronx

The fact of the matter is Paul Schaeffer and this band are very serious professionals. The have played the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Awards and many other venues. Felicia Collins (the guitarist) is one of the funkiest player out there, and toured with Al Jarreau, the Thompson Twins, and played LIVE AID too. The Roots are a great band, but Letterman's crew is tops.

Jun. 08 2010 02:34 PM

The Roots are so blaaaaaa, our musical palette has decreased to such a point that of all bands the Roots are popular.....bor me a river Jimmy Fallingoff.....

I'm 33 too, music needs a bit more class.....and yeah I dig the Beasties and their album the in sounds from way out but hey these roots are just boring boring boring, just like Fallon.

Jun. 08 2010 02:34 PM
DK from BK from Brokklyn

Hey what about Cleto and the Cletones from Jimmy Kimmel Live? A father and son dual sax fronting the band is way different then any other late night band. Plus they are a stop on a dime, tight as hell band. They are a really top notch and under rated band in my opinion.

Jun. 08 2010 02:34 PM
Ben from Brooklyn

Paul Shaffer is cooler than people give him credit for, based on sheer accomplishment alone. His career is crazy! He's played with everyone.

The Roots are a better band than they are getting credit for on the show, and can fit into that "old showbiz" paradigm of Late Night bands. They do it every night on the show... and are not just "hip hop-izing" everything they play.

Jun. 08 2010 02:34 PM
jon from West Village

Your female guest just 'knows' the Roots.

If she 'knew' the CV's of the members of Paul's band, her head would spin. Those guys are THE go-to studio musicians for no-joke, 100's of artists.

Jun. 08 2010 02:34 PM
brian from nyc

i like when paul shaffer's band plays in and out of commercials. their covers are so good.

Jun. 08 2010 02:33 PM
Ryan from Brooklyn

the roots.. can't stop won't stop.

Jun. 08 2010 02:31 PM
nate

Shaffer & Co can back up anyone as they are way more flexible , and his comedy stuff is more improvisational. I think "Slow Jammin' the news" is a kind of one trick pony joke, great at first, but gets old quick.

Jun. 08 2010 02:31 PM
Fernando from Sweden

Shaffer is the funkier and is more involved interactively/improvises more so than any other late night tv band. Ask the musicians! BTW, Paul did a great job in backing the Beasties!

Jun. 08 2010 02:29 PM
Heather from New Jersey

I have been unpleasantly disappointed with Jimmy Fallon's late night show so I have stopped watching him all together... but I love the Roots! I just might watch the Jimmy Fallon show specifically to see the Roots!

Jun. 08 2010 02:27 PM
VANESSA from BK

Hey, did we forget The Max Weinberg 7 on Conan's former show? I'd like to get the guest's take on them.

Jun. 08 2010 02:16 PM
Cynthia from long island

Christine Ohlman the singer from Saturday Night Live band is really great.

Jun. 08 2010 02:16 PM
Siouxie921 from Bronx

What about the old Saturday Night Live band w/ G.E. Smith? Just now mentioned, OK. But still, smoking!

Jun. 08 2010 02:15 PM
cynthia from long island

I didn't even know there were five late night shows with bands. I am not sure I knew there were five late night shows.

Jun. 08 2010 02:10 PM
John from Manhattan

Oh C'mon now. There is no comparison. In every way The Late Show's band is superior. And I can't believe Fallon's producers had to reach down into the bowels of Philly to get a band. Our own Dap Kings would've been a much better choice.

Jun. 08 2010 02:04 PM
pordy from Florham Park

I've never liked Paul Shaffer

Jun. 08 2010 02:01 PM

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