This week the biggest news is the launch tonight (Monday) of The Nightly Show on Comedy Central. Hosted by comedy writer and long-time Daily Show correspondent Larry Wilmore, the only guest listings available are for tonight’s program. It’s early to know exactly what the show will be like, much less how it will engage with science and technology. Following the loose template of its predecessor The Colbert Report and its lead-in The Daily Show, expect the program to parody a particular kind of show – at least at first. That would be Sunday news panel shows. But much like early episodes of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report are different than later episodes, I expect this show to evolve over time. I will watch, and if its content and/or guests prompt inclusion here, you will see it.
On to the rest of the programming. While The Late Show is off this week, the Tuesday repeat is from Julianne Moore’s appearance from earlier this month (which I missed the first time around). She plays a woman who discovers she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in her new film Still Alice. Another repeat of note is Carson Daly’s program from late September. You can catch Neil Harbisson’s segment really late on Friday. He’s a cyborg artist.
Bill Gates will visit The Tonight Show on Wednesday. Given the proclivities of the host, I would be surprised if Gates’ recent test of a water filtration system didn’t come up. On Thursday morning you can see Simon Helberg, who plays an engineer on The Big Bang Theory, on with Kelly and Michael.
While this week doesn’t have much (at least in new content), there are recent items worth seeking out. President Carter’s appearance on The Daily Show last week (January 12) discussed his foundation’s efforts to help eradicate the guinea worm. Last Thursday, the 15th, two shows piled on government figures and their relationship to science and technology. Jimmy Fallon noted that Senator Ted Cruz will chair the Senate subcommittee for Space, Science and Competitiveness. He then mocked the Senator for his command of scientific knowledge (skip to 2:00 in the linked video). That same night, Chris Hardwick opened his @midnight program (NSFW for language and suggestive material) by mocking intelligence and national security agencies for their shenanigans on social media. (Unfortunately, this segment is not available separately on the Comedy Central website, so the link may disappear in a week or two.)