Senior Vice President, Late Night (West Coast), CBS
You are such a happy, quick-comeback kind of guy; have you done
performing of your own, or do you still, and if so, what exactly? Again, you are very kind! I am not a performer at all and never aspired to be on camera. I liked doing plays and talent shows when I was in high school, but that was mainly because I got to be around my friends.
You also are extremely young looking; how did you manage to scale to
the pinnacle of Senior Vice President of Late Night Programming
Mountain so early in life? People are going to think I paid you to ask me all these nice questions! I've spent most of my life looking way younger than I am. I think I probably look like I'm in my 40's now, right? I've spent 20-plus years working in late-night television, starting as an assistant, and just working my way up. I'm very fortunate that a part of the industry I've always been a fan of is where I've been able to have a career.
What is in store as far as the format of The Late, Late Show - will you
resume having audiences in, or keep it the way it is now, like a casual
hang? That's a great question! We go on summer break soon and James and the producers are still determining what the show will look like when we come back. I think they have great instincts and will find a way to maintain the energy and looseness of the show they've been doing over the last year.
Do you miss audiences? As someone who spent 14 months at home, I will say it's been amazing to see people again in real life!
How would you characterize or define present-day late-night
television shows? There is a great deal of camaraderie amongst the late-night hosts. Many of them worked together before. It feels like everyone has been a guest on everyone else's show. Everyone is doing exceptional work. I'm not sure there is a need to be as competitive as it was when the landscape was dominated by broadcast as the sole place to watch a late-night show.
How do you view late-night in the digital age? In order for shows to break through, they have to establish a relationship with their audience, and one of the ways to do that is to make your content as accessible as possible. It helps to have a motivated and creative department of the show that is specifically focused on digital and social. Those units can help a show create its own voice online, find a way to extend the shows beyond the 30 minutes or one hour that appear on television, and be willing to engage with the online audience and be interactive.
How do you envision the future of late-night television? I think that late-night is often pretty malleable, and often pretty good at changing with the times. I would expect that to be the case going forward. If the hosts of the future have a unique point of view, varied interests, and inherent curiosity, they will have an opportunity to find an audience.
What’s the latest on the cruise ship plan? Will that be happening?
Nothing would be more fun! But the dealmakers are the ones working on that and I will be a messenger about it whenever I'm allowed (and not, as before, when I wasn't really allowed.)
May I suggest that you all come to Europe and do a week of shows,
specifically including a stop in Berlin? Look, I love the idea, but I'm not even allowed to take my mask off inside the studio yet, so I don't know when travel is a possibility.
And last question: How much longer will the hair get? It's pretty fun having long hair! People at the show joke that I've had a breakdown, but I consider it a breakthrough!
Special thanks to Katie Tisherman and Sienna Sanders at CBS for the Nick Bernstein connection
and for supplying great photos! All photos courtesy of Katie Tisherman/With express permission of Viacom/CBS
© 2021 Caroline-up© Created by Caroline Timmerberg and Georgia Lee Timmerberg
Fans of the "The Late, Late Show with James Corden", have been digging the hilarious and caszh banter between James, Reggie Watts and his "Late, Late Show" band, Melissa, plus the studio crew for months now. Just when we thought it couldn't get any more entertaining, we were instantly rocketed to Orc-laugh Eden, when the amiable and quick-on-the-draw, Nick Bernstein, Senior Vice President of Late Night (West Coast) CBS, and owner of the most pleasing personality ever, with his newly grown-out, bitchen tresses, was recently plopped into an insanely high director's chair in front of the "Late,
Late Show" on-set bar...
Please state your official title, and confirm that we have never met.
Nick Bernstein, and my official title, though sometimes mocked, is, indeed, Senior Vice President, Late Night (West Coast) CBS.
And.... we have never met....
Haha, only through LinkedIn!
So, Nick, first things first: Hair! On the show your hair has been compared to Bee Gee hair and Fran Lebowitz, but it's really more like Michael Hutchence. Or Michael di Cesare (Key Stylist for The Late Show with David Letterman!) Is this the first time you've let the locks go free, and how many hair product companies have reached out to you so far? It's never been this long before. Honestly, the only thing I was really hoping was that the haircare industry would've paid attention to how much attention my hair has gotten. I would've used their products!
Who approached you about sitting in that lifeguard chair by the bar on your first week back at the studio? James and Ben and Rob (The EP's) all asked me if I would be okay sitting at the bar. I told them I'd go wherever they wanted me to go. But, I definitely had no idea that this would be an ongoing thing through the summer!
You were such an instantly loveable and hilarious addition to the
mono segment! Will you be a regular part of the opening banter
landscape now? That is very nice of you to say. I have zero expectations for what happens going forward. It's fun being in the studio, but it's also fun being in the control room.
Oh, let's backtrack just for a second: Besides podcast, independent
film roles, and time-share invitations, what other kind of offers have
you been fielding? And where do you draw the line? In other words what will you strictly not do? Haha! Well, I'm trying to say yes to the things that sound fun. I love podcasts and listen to lots of different ones, so that's probably the most exciting for me, being asked to be a guest. Even if I get roasted on-air for it!