Last Call with Carson Daly

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Last Call with Carson Daly TV Poster Image
Edgy docuseries offers MTV-style late-night entertainment.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Unlike many other late-night options, this series is less about snarky, topical humor than it is about providing up and coming performers with a showcase for their art.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Performers talk a little about how they built their careers; their success could help encourage kids to pursue artistic interests.


Some performers discuss living in violent neighborhoods or using their music, art, etc. to address how violence has touched their lives.


Some guests wear revealing outfits. Some comedians tell jokes with strong sexual innuendo.


Words like “piss," “hell," and “ass” are audible. Curse words like “s--t” are fully bleeped.


Musicians, comedians, and other performers promote their latest music, tours, and merchandise. Labels like West Coast Choppers and D&C sneakers are featured.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol and drugs are occasionally discussed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this late-night show -- which features documentary-style interviews and recorded performances of musicians, actors and comedians -- is less comedy-oriented than other talk shows. But it's still on the edgy side: Conversations sometimes contain strong sexual innuendo and references to violence; words like “piss," “hell,” and “ass” are audible, while stronger curse words are bleeped. Guests use the show as a promotional vehicle for their music, tours, and merchandise; music clubs and other venues from around the country are also featured. Note: Most teens who watch late-night shows like this check them out on a "time-shift" basis via DVR or online clips, rather than at the original 11:30 p.m.-or-later air time -- which is better for their sleep habits!

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What's the story?

LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY presents talk show-style interviews in a documentary-like format, creating a unique late-night experience. Former TRL host Carson Daly takes his show on the road to a variety of music venues and trendy hot spots around the country, where he checks in with a variety of well-known musicians and comedians, as well as up-and-coming performers. Prerecorded performances and in-studio interviews are also featured, and Daly highlights interesting places, stories, and merchandise that he comes across during his travels.

Is it any good?

Last Call began its run with a format that was more akin to other late-night options; its change to a more documentary-style format offers an MTV-style alternative to the traditional late-night talk/comedy show. But while Last Call may seem edgier than its after-hours counterparts, its content really isn’t that different. Guests are still using the show to promote their latest records, tours, and products, and Daly is still offering his take on the world.

Some viewers will like the fact that the show has exchanged monologues, in-house bands, and silly gags for interviews filmed in black and white or from interesting camera angles. But the show’s slower pace may actually leave viewers feeling sleepy rather than entertained.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how lesser-known artists are “discovered." Do you think online sources like YouTube help bring attention to performers who aren’t featured in mainstream media outlets?

  • How does this show compare to other late-night options? Is it as influential as similar shows?

  • How does a TV show change its format and stay successful? Is it possible to do this with any show? Can you think of any shows that have changed their format over the years and is still popular?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 1, 2002
  • Cast: Carson Daly
  • Network: NBC
  • Genre: Variety Show
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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