Alec Baldwin probably won’t be New York’s next mayor, but he could become its next late-night king.
That’s the word from the New York Times’ resident late-night insider, Bill Carter, who reported on Tuesday that the former “30 Rock” star is said to be in talks with NBC to join its late-night talk show lineup. Citing one executive involved with the network’s program planning, Carter wrote that Baldwin could find his way to the timeslot occupied by “Last Call With Carson Daly,” the half-hour talk show that follows “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” at 1:35 a.m. ET. Daly has hosted “Last Call” since 2002. He's also the host of “The Voice,” NBC’s highest-rated shows and one of its few current hits.
The rumored move is part of a massive late-night shakeup at NBC. Following weeks of speculation, Jay Leno announced last week that he's stepping down as the host of NBC’s the “Tonight Show” in spring 2014. Fallon is taking over the 59-year-old franchise, which will relocate from Los Angeles back to its original home at 30 Rockefeller Center. There's no official word on who will replace Fallon. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Meyers is rumored to be a top contender. Meyers is a head writer on “Saturday Night Live” and has been with the show since 2001.
As for Baldwin, the actor is no stranger to a talk-show job’s main requirement: interviewing celebrities. He hosts a podcast for WNYC called “Here’s the Thing,” for which he’s interviewed the likes of Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham, Chris Rock and even the interview-averse David Letterman. He also knows the 30 Rock terrain better than almost anyone, having starred in Tina Fey’s namesake comedy for seven seasons before the show’s final episode aired in January. Baldwin also holds the record for “Saturday Night Live” hosting gigs, having hosted the sketch-comedy show 16 times.
In the past, Baldwin had flirted with the idea of running for mayor of New York City upon his “30 Rock” retirement, although he’s made no mention of a 2013 bid, despite a tongue-in-cheek “endorsement” from the New York Post in February. For the moment, the Emmy-winning actor is starring on Broadway in Lyle Kessler’s “Orphans,” which is in previews at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.