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'Tonight Show' With ... Glickman?

January 21, 2010 By:
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The star wars of Jay and Conan: With one headed back to late night, the other playing foxy, is the real player a rabbi who couldn't keep a secret?

NBC obviously is missing the boat with its Jay-Conan-Jimmy comic drama.

There is a viable, impossibly thrifty alternative to this star-strudded, money-saddled soap opera that would at once save NBC and place God on its side.

All the network has to do is cull its archives for the answer.

Move the rabbi in.

There he is, Rabbi Glickman, the nebbishe, noxious -- veritably meddling -- star of his own late-night cable-TV advice show, in episode 112 of "Seinfeld," which aired on Sept. 28, 1995.

(For nitpickers, Glickman was also known as Kirschbaum; for some reason, both names were used for the same character in the series. Obviously, it all had something to do with the rabbi witness protection program.)

Now here is a host the world could relate to.

Not since Bishop Fulton Sheen and his "Life Is Worth Living," airing opposite Milton Berle in the '50s, has there been a man of the cloth whose ecumenical excellence could pulverize ratings from the proscenium/pulpit.

With his concern for Elaine's welfare and effort to put her at ease ("Can I offer you some kasha varnishkes?") after word gets out -- actually the rebbe is the one who leaked it -- that she was jealous of George getting married, it's easy to see how the affable if ineffectual chatterbox rebbe may just be the one to slip into those 11:35 p.m. slippers that seem suddenly too outsized for others.

Remember how Carson's comments could cause headlines the next day, his "Tonight Show" quips and cracks wickedly funny water-cooler fodder?

Just give Glickman a golf putter and watch him become the nation's new yenta.

H-e-r-e's -- Rebbe!

After all, it was Glickman whose revelation that a certain George engaged to a certain Susan was entertaining certain thoughts of visiting a prostitute provided a bedtime story that Costanza didn't think he'd have to explain while watching the rabbi's show from the discomfort of his bed.

Besides, the "Tonight Show," you know, has never had a Jewish host; well, not a permanent one anyway, if one is including Joan Rivers in the TV legacy link.

So, okay, NBC, here's an opportunity to make history -- a way to shake up those Monday-night headlines without even doing a "Monday Night Headlines" segment.

Throw in a new musical intro, maybe some klezmer -- see if Max Weinberg is still available -- and maybe, just maybe, you'll have a better, cheaper -- and in these times, money means magic -- show.

And it would be less expensive to produce; after all, you'd only have to air it Mondays to Thursdays. 

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