A statement about The Late Nite Show ending…

A little bit more than 24 hours ago I announced on social media that after five years The Late Nite Show with Scott Black was going to come to an end. Did I think it was going to get a response? Sure. Did I think it would be that big? Nope. Immediately after that I kinda went into a media blackout. I turned the phone off and just spent a nice evening with my wife and children. I was content. I checked my Twitter and Facebook before going to bed and was actually shocked by the response. It was touching and also a little sad. People are messaging me with a mixture of feelings. Some saddened, some angry, some confused, and some flat out aggressive. But we are used to that. I have compiled a list of the most common here with explanations after. Anything I missed will be commented on this week’s show.

Why?

Damn, I guess we’ll start with the biggest and most asked one. I guess the best answer is “Why not?” I know that sounds like a vague and awfully coyish answer. But so is the question. When I started the show over five years ago, my wife and I were about to have our first child and I thought if I’m ever going to give the Late Night thing I love so much a go I should do it. The plan was laid out. Give it five years and see what happens. If it goes huge, great, ride it. If it fails. Hey, we gave it a go. There have been some thrilling ups and some truly crushing downs. I mean soul destroying. But each week, the jokes were written, the suit doned, and the smile put on. No one ever asked me “Why?” then. I find that interesting. But I did it because I loved it and I loved the fans. Hell, I even loved the trolls. Except the one that threatened my kids. I hope he gets his dick stuck in a toaster and dies. The show gave me great exposure, I met some fantastic people that I would have never gotten to meet otherwise. We truly peaked last year. It was an amazing time and I’ll never forget it. Towards the end of the year, however, things started to dwindle down. We were still trying as hard as ever, but the interaction with the audience dried up. FAST. #LNSLive got quieter and quieter. A few times there wouldn’t be a tweet or a Facebook like for a few shows in a row. Life happens, I get it. So I tried harder. Tried for audience participation, games, giveaways, hashtag games. Nothing. The hardest one personally though was when I put on the two shows LIVE at the Brisbane Fringe Festival. So many people said they were going to come. The first one? NO ONE. Second one? Two people. That cut deep. Considering they were free as well but cost me to put on hurt a little more. The ratings, though I put little stock in them, also showed a steady decline. Some ratings showed no one watch at all. If that’s not a clear message that it’s time for a change. I don’t know what is.

This makes it sound like the audience is to blame for the shows decline. Not entirely. Sure it’s a small part of it. But there are so many smalls bits that just add up. For instance people saying that they would do more to help with the show or contribute and not following through. Writers begging to come on and be welcomed help with the weekly monologue only to disappear after one week. Big Dick being the only regular with his one joke every other week or so. I appreciate them, Big Dick, even if I didn’t use it. Over 558 pages of jokes have been written for the show. That’s not counting the sketches or conversation pieces. That’s just the monologue.

Then there are the guests. That well dried up towards the end of last year. And while we have had some awesome guests on since then. It is harder and harder to get them. Perfect example. Currently we have NO ONE for next weeks show. Fun, huh?

Money and time were also factors. I never wanted the show to be a burden on 31 Digital. So I put a lot of my own cash into it and I just can’t do it anymore. It’s not fair to my family to do that. Sponsors have come and go, but even then whatever money came in went right to the station to help it out. A weekly live show takes a lot of preparation from the crew who are also volunteers. The big moment for me though was before leaving the house for this last show my son said “Stay with me, Daddy.” I said “I’ve gotta go do my show, son.” He said “I want you here more.” He gave me a cuddle and walked away. Floored me. My long suffering wife just smiled gave me a kiss and said “Have a good show.”

Now. Put yourselves in my shoes and add all that up. I’ll wait.

Doesn’t add up well, does it?

Was there pressure to stop?

Nope. Not from 31 Digital, not from the board of 31 Digital, nor from my family. Everyone is supportive of me. This came from me.

Are you leaving 31 Digital?

No. I have not been fired, I have not quit, nor have I been poached by a commercial channel. Not for lack of trying….on any of them.

Is this a stunt?

No. This is for real. This isn’t a teenage cry for attention. This is me wrapping this show up. The way I want to.

Why the long goodbye?

I like the sound of doing 200 episodes. It gives the people that have supported us a chance to say goodbye, it gives me a chance to have some of my favourite guests back on. It gives me a chance to have closure. I think I deserve that much. When I made the decision I looked at how many episodes were done and how long it would take to get to 200. The fact that the 200 was the day before my birthday made me realise that it was supposed to be this way.

Who knew?

Not. One. Person. This one has been heavy. I didn’t even know after last weeks show. I had an “awakening” to it late Friday afternoon. I didn’t tell anyone first. I let everyone, including fans, companions, and crew know at the same time. Was that the right thing to do? Depends on who you talk too. Was probably a slight dick move not to give Flash, Amanda or Kris the heads up before I announced it. The result would have been the same.

Is someone taking over the show?

Hell no. Why would I do that? I built this show from nothing. If someone wants to do a show at 31 Digital they can go through the process like everyone else. No one will host The Late Nite Show but me. I own it. 31 Digital owns the footage shot. But I own the name. Mine, baby. That’s not to stop someone starting a show like it. It just won’t be called The Late Nite Show.

What are we supposed to do on Thursdays now?

Well, that’s easy for the next 18 weeks (14 Live Episodes, 4 Rehashes) you enjoy The Late Nite Show with Scott Black and the madcap adventures we have for you to wrap up.

What are you going to do next?

I have plans. I’m not leaving your screens all together. Not at all. Just evolving. I feel like I’ve been pushing an antiquated program on people to keep it alive. When Late Night TV just isn’t Australia’s thing in the first place. I’ll announce my new projects when the time is right, but for right now I want to focus on the making the remaining shows as fitting a tribute I believe Queensland’s longest running Late Night talk show deserves.

I’m sure there are more questions, a few comments thrown in, but that was the main points. I have loved doing the show, and I’ll love doing the remaining episodes. It’s just time for a change and time to shake things up a bit.

It’s not a time for sadness, but of celebration. Be thankful for what we have and not melancholy for what we might have had.

Love you guys.

~Scott Black

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