Usually at about 10 or 11 p.m., I’ll flip on TV to watch the news; after all, as a PR person I need to be up on current events. But stop, this has become too painful – with side effects of anxiety, feelings of helplessness and insomnia.
And then, an “Aha” moment: Why not use my Direct TV DVR to provide other late night programs that are uproariously fun to watch and offer alternative and arguably credible news perspectives – plus much more. Since viewing these in real time causes zombie-like behavior in the a.m., who cares if it’s last night’s commentary.
So now I record Jay Leno at 10 (can stay up for that but addicted to fast forward at my whim), Conan O’Brian, The Daily Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman (like to scan guests but disenchanted lately with Dave even though my fave in years past) and Comedy Central Stand Up for sure. Throw in a little Desperate Housewives for good measure.
This provides a steady late night cache to sample that enlightens as it entertains – and is much healthier for my psyche. I can shuffle shows or watch a few stacked-up “Jimmy’s” in a row – countless combinations to match my mood.
(Sidebar: I recently joined my son in NYC for a taping of the Jimmy Fallon show at 30 Rock and it was a blast. You simply call the toll free line for free tickets. To my son’s horror, I volunteered to try out for a Halloween séance on stage. “Mom, this is national TV; let’s not do anything we might regret.” Loved the role reversal. Alas, my paranormal skills did not make the on-air finals.)
To sum up, the benefits of a personalized Late Nite Lite program can be rich. You will laugh out loud – guaranteed; and you learn some pretty interesting stuff. I recently listened to the SuperFreakanomics authors on solving global warming; heard Paul Goldberger talk about why architecture matters and how it shapes our lives and values (two of his faves are the Lincoln Memorial and UVA); and learned about Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program. I could go on and on. I’m also a hit at networking functions and cocktail parties.
Moreover, people are impressed when they think you have the intellectual curiosity and stamina to stay up to wee hours of the morning hanging out with Jon Stewart, the Colbert Nation, Craig Ferguson — or not.
Lest you think I’ve turned into a total lightweight, rest assured that I’m still somewhat of a news junkie across multi-media channels – but only before dark…