Last night on Chelsea Lately, a first happened. There was no Chelsea (gasp!), thanks to Handler’s commitment to performing for the troops. Instead of showing a rerun or airing another show in its place for the night, E! gave the spotlight to former Tonight Show intern Ross Mathews and boy did he run with it. While I do like Chelsea’s acidic delivery of celebrity putdowns and watch Lately semi-regularly, it was a nice change of pace to see Ross, as bubbly and fun as ever, get a chance to show us what he can do.
It was also confirmation that somebody needs to give Ross his own talk show/entertainment show STAT. The 22 minutes that he gave us were charismatic, energetic, and all done with a bright smile, as the 31 year old gave us his thoughts on fashion, Brett Michaels, and gay mice, among other things. He showed why he’s one of the most popular panelists, a breath of fresh air in an increasingly mean spirited industry. He’s your best friend and your favorite gossip, the type of naturally funny guy who could recite the phone book and have you in stitches. Mathews was simply magnetic last night, whether he was meeting Marcel from Friends or talking about his love for show tunes; he managed to expand upon his role as panel nice guy and prove that he’s ready for his breakthrough to come.
Mathews currently has a pilot in the works at E!, this time with fellow Chelsea panelist and comedian Heather McDonald, that I’m hopeful makes the cut and gets a series order. He works well with Heather and they’re both really good at bringing a different perspective on celebrity gossip (less insult-heavy, more good natured ribbing and impressions), so that could be a welcome addition to E!’s line up. I only hope that the channel gives itself the type of balance that Mathews could provide and lets the guy shine as brightly as he can.
Did you get to see Ross host the show last night? What did you think? When will we get some Ross Lately?!