Here's one sign that the late-night TV wars are heating up in anticipation of Jimmy Fallon's promotion to Tonight Show host: Conan O'Brien and Chelsea Handler stripped naked for an attention-grabbing skit on Handler's Chelsea Lately show. The video clip, with tasteful blurring of body parts — "This is very safe for work," says The Hollywood Reporter; "Probably NSFW!" says Kelly West at Cinema Blend — pits the two rival late-night shows against each other in a fight over parking spaces, water pressure, and stealing things. If you're not offended by partial nudity and anatomical language, watch the video (and the blooper reel) below.
Pretty much every late-night host had their own reaction to Fallon's new gig — Conan included — but this "nude cat-fight in the shower has got to be one of the weirdest things we've seen on the late night circuit in a while," says Max Kessler at Paper. It really isn't anything too out of the ordinary for Handler, who's "known for her raunchy deadpan," says Nardine Saad at The Los Angeles Times. She even filmed a similar shower fight with Sandra Bullock last October. But "it's fun to see O'Brien, who gets really goofy around pretty girls, stand his ground."
"You have to figure that it's probably a challenge to stand naked in a room with someone (in front of cameras) and not either blush furiously or laugh hysterically," says Cinema Blend's West. But with Fallon getting all the buzz, "these two cable stars had to find their own way to spark some new late night drama." The other way of looking at this eye-catching stunt, says The Los Angeles Times' Saad, is that "as the late-night wars rage on, two of cable's relatively new late-night fixtures — Handler and O'Brien — seem to be disregarding the big networks" and doing their own thing.
They get in some good jabs at Joan Rivers, and of course each other, says Jessica P. Ogilvie at LAist. But let's face it, "at the end of the day, nothing is funnier than naked people slapping each other." So whatever the motivation, "we'd like to thank Conan O'Brien and Chelsea Handler for today's nude slap fest." Their juvenile antics are not unappreciated.
So who's next in Chelsea's shower? says Donna Kaufman at iVillage. Mad Men's Jon Hamm would be great, as would Oprah. But in the spirit of the heating-up nocturnal-TV battle, it "might be fun if Chelsea continued to face off with her fellow late-night hosts in the shower." Honestly, "our major takeaway" from this video was "Conan has abs" — seriously, "who knew he was hiding that banging body under those boxy suits?" — but Jimmy Fallon, and maybe Stephen Colbert, would be great, too — "if you're reading, Chelsea."