Entertainment ‘The Not Too Late Show With Elmo’ on HBO Max: TV Review
WarnerMedia Sets Late May HBO Max Launch
The streaming service is set to debut amid the shutdown brought about by the novel coronavirus outbreaking, bringing with it 10,000 hours of library programming from across the WarnerMedia catalog.The streaming service is set to debut amid the shutdown brought about by the novel coronavirus outbreaking, bringing with it 10,000 hours of library programming from across the WarnerMedia portfolio. The $15-per-month offering will serve up the entire HBO experience supplemented with movies and TV shows from the Warner Bros. library and a handful of new original series.
The most cynical read of “The Not Too Late Show With Elmo,” one of the few original series launching, is that it’s a canny way to capitalize on new streaming service’s deep IP pockets for one of their biggest target demos while roping buzzy stars into the kind of silliness that they might otherwise do on, say, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” And all of that is true! But the new series is also, as it turns out in the first three episodes, an extremely delightful way to thread that needle. Plus, with quarantine remaining a nationwide concern, “The Not Too Late Show’s” attempt to fill the early evening gap for kids entertainment by emphasizing the importance of nighttime routines for children (plus their exhausted parents) should make it even more relevant than it might have been otherwise.
James Corden Taking Time Off From ‘Late Late Show’ After Surgery: “Doing Well And Recovering”
James Corden has been hosting The Late Late Show from his garage for the past couple of weeks, but the CBS late-night host is taking some time off. Corden said today that had “minor eye surgery” Tuesday and “won’t be able to film new episodes for a few nights.” He didn’t elaborate on the procedure but thanked folks for watching his remote show and added: “I am doing well and recovering. … I’ll be back soon.” Here is his tweet: Hey all. I had to have minor surgery on my eye yesterday. I am doing well and recovering, but won’t be able to film new episodes for a few nights. Thank you to everyone who has been watching the Late Late Shows from my garage.
“The Not Too Late Show” opens every episode with Elmo asking his parents if he may “be excused to go do Elmo’s talk show.” This, as with just about everything Elmo’s done since his debut, is entirely too cute, but somehow still lands thanks to Elmo’s guileless affect of innocence personified. He then welcomes guests — including, as was inevitable, a grinning Fallon himself — who help Elmo host and play games. Elmo, sidekick Cookie Monster, and variousfriends do their best to jazz up every interview, but as is the case for every talk show, there’s only so much you can do if the guest doesn’t click into the show’s particular rhythms. (Unsurprisingly, an example of a guest who immediately gets it is John Mulaney, fresh off his own deeply earnest and whimsical children’s special for Netflix.)
James Corden Covers Furloughed Staff’s Wages On ‘The Late Late Show’
The Late Late Show host James Corden is personally picking up the tab for a number of furloughed employees of the late night CBS talkshow. The British presenter is to pay the salaries of around 60 staff that have been sidelined as a result of the COVID-19 production shutdown. CBS covered eight weeks of salary for production staff when the show, which is produced by CBS TV Studios and Fulwell 73, the production company co-run by Corden and Late Late Show exec producer Ben Winston, was shutdown on March 15. A number of employees are set to be furloughed from May 4 and Corden will now cover these salaries.
Rounding out the 15 minute episode (a correct and blessedly brief runtime) is a musical performance of an existing Sesame Street song, but by musicians who give it their own flavor. Some are, of course, more successful than others. Kacey Musgraves and Lil Nas X’s spins on “Rubber Ducky” and “Elmo’s Song,” respectively, are perfectly fun and adorable; the Jonas Brothers’ half-sexy jam about brushing your teeth, less so.
If Elmo and his benevolently gormless brand isn’t your thing, his “not too late show” might not be, either. But if you’re in need of a quick distraction while wrestling your kid in and out of the bath, you could do a lot worse than letting Elmo take the reins for a minute.
“The Not Too Late Show with Elmo” premieres May 27 on HBO Max.
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Watch Lil Nas X Take on ‘Elmo’s Song’ on ‘The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo’ .
Lil Nas X stopped by Sesame Street on Thursday (May 28) to be a guest on The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo. During the show — a new Sesame Street spin-off for HBO Max — the rapper teamed up with Elmo for an Auto-Tuned rendition of “Elmo’s Song,” the classic theme song sung by the iconic red Muppet for the past 25 years. “I like to rap, sing and write all kinds of music, but there’s one song I’ve always wanted to sing,” Lil Nas X told Elmo before kicking off the number.