You can’t blame CBS for being skittish about its late-night programming after the colossal floperoo of The Pat Sajak Show. Still, it doesn’t say much for CBS’ confidence in The Midnight Hour that the network has decided to switch hosts every week until it finds someone viewers like, and has scheduled the show at its affiliates’ discretion, any time after the local news and exciting programming like reruns of Stingray. ”In some places around the country, we’re on at 3 a.m.,” said comedian Joy Behar, the first week’s host, on opening night. ”We’re like the warm-up for the CBS morning show.”
Behar proved to be terrific — funny yet tough. Perhaps because she knew she was there for just five nights, she didn’t bother cozying up to her guests in the way that Rick ”Is There Flopsweat on My Teeth?” Dees is already famous for doing.
So far, only two things distinguish Midnight Hour from its competition: The obligatory wacky bandleader is a woman (singer-musician Patrice Rushen, who’s not all that wacky), and the host-of-the-week takes live phone calls from viewers who dial in on an 800 number.
This week’s cohosts are Chicago deejays Garry Meier and Steve Dahl. Dahl, you’ll remember, is the guy who burned a pile of disco records in the centerfield of Comiskey Park in 1979 before the start of a White Sox-Tigers doubleheader. If you want a record-burner as your new late-night pal, tune in. B-