Smile Politely

This week in late night

This week’s late-night lineup is chock full o’ nuts. I recommend you keep the remote close at all times to avoid bad country music and make sure you don’t miss out on the diamonds in the rough.

You’re not going to want to miss The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien on Monday (NBC, 10:35 p.m.), but chances are you’ll want to flip to bad infomercials before the musical guest. Conan’s got Ellen Page, promoting her new film Whip It, as well as funnyman Kevin Nealon of Weeds. But prepare for your laughter to turn into tears if you stick around for Dierks Bentley.

If you’re into bad music, the late-night circuit is your place to be this week. Conan welcomes Anvil, Toby Keith, The Backstreet Boys (who knew they were still around?) and Lady Antebellum, Tuesday through Friday, respectfully. Pretty much the same holds true for most of your musical acts this week, with the few bright spots being They Might Be Giants, Tuesday on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC, 11:35 p.m.), Ben Harper and Jack Black on the Jay Leno Show, Thursday (NBC, 9 p.m.) and Phoenix on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Friday (CBS, 11:35 p.m.) .

There are however, some decent guests throughout the week that you’ll probably want to catch. Here’s the breakdown:

Tuesday: Jay hosts Abigail Breslin and Cindy McCain, while Craig Ferguson has Julie Louis-Dreyfus and The Avett Brothers, and Jimmy Fallon chats it up with Lewis Black.

Wednesday: Wanda Sykes makes an appearance on the Jay Leno Show, and the two stars of the new film Couples Retreat, Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman, appear on Letterman (CBS, 10:35 p.m.) and Conan, respectfully.

Thursday: I suggest you bypass the major networks and head over to FX where you can watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” IMHO the best unnoticed show since “Arrested Development.” A new episode airs at 9 p.m., but you can check out full episodes on demand or at

Friday: Terry Bradshaw stops by the Jay Leno Show, which always turns into two old men attempting to make fun of each other. If you’re up late enough, don’t forget about Phoenix on Ferguson, and Michael Moore promotes his new documentary Capitalism: A Love Story on Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 11:05 p.m.).

Next week should be redeeming for musical guests. Grizzly Bear and The Flaming Lips are among the performances.

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