The Late Shift

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R| 1 hr. 35 min.

Plot Summary
David Letterman (John Michael Higgins) vies with Jay Leno (Daniel Roebuck) and his manager (Kathy Bates) to succeed Johnny Carson, retiring from "The Tonight Show."

Cast: , , , , , , ,

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Genres: Drama

The Late Shift (1996)

Release Date: January 1st, 1996|1 hr. 35 min.

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  • October 13, 2014 aldoussnowlive
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    This is an incredibly entertaining HBO movie about the battle between Letterman and Leno to succeed Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show in the early 90s. Both John Michael Higgins and Daniel Roebuck are outstanding as Letterman and Leno, respectively. Not so great is Rich Little as Rich Little doing his decades old Johnny Carson impersonation. Other characters were well cast, with a most notable choice of Treat Williams as Mike Ovitz -- although Treat Williams was the Hollywood fantasy version of Ovitz. Its been said that David Letterman was none too pleased with John Michael Higgins' portrayal of him. Personally, I can't imagine why not. Not only does JMH look like Letterman, but his voice and mannerisms are spot on. Seems Letterman must be something of a diva, and I never would have guessed it. Daniel Roebuck with a chin prosthesis is great as Leno, and apparently Jay Leno was quite pleased with his performance. I highly recommend this one to any fan of Letterman and/or Leno. Today there are so many more contenders on late night networks. With Leno and Letterman retiring out of the business. this film is such a good and nostalgic representation of the way it was back in the day. Enjoy.

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