Following in the six-decade tradition of late-night TV talk shows, yet another professional comedian — sigh — has been picked to succeed an exiting host: Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman, retiring next year after an historic 33 years on late-night television.
Not so fast. In its haste, CBS has overlooked an inordinately fertile field for Dave’s “Late Show” successor: Financial gurus. Indeed, there is a host of prominent personalities in this arena who are far more qualified than conservative-pundit satirist Colbert.
Financial gurus have no shortage of smarts and charisma. What’s more, they know how to succeed in funniness without really trying.
Here, then, is ThinkAdvisor’s “Top 10 Financial Gurus Better Than Colbert to Replace Letterman”:
10. Who: Michael Lewis – Ex-Salomon Bros. bond salesman; bestselling author of “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt,” “Moneyball,” “Liar’s Poker”.
Why: Because even though his muckraking tell-all on high-frequency trading is stirring up things, he retains an impish, boyish charm that could appeal to middle America.
In his own words: “I enjoy watching [the market] go boom and crash.”
9. Who: Bill Gross, PIMCO co-founder; manager, Total Return Fund.
Why: Because the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund likes to pour out his heart. That’s how Jack Paar became – I kid you not – a “Tonight Show” phenom.
In his own words: “I’m so sick of Mohamed El-Erian trying to undermine me!”
8. Who: Suze Orman, ex-FA; bestselling how-to financial author and TV show host.
Why: Because she strongly avows getting out of debt and getting into “When Harry Met Sally.” And has a way with pithy statements perfectly suited to promote the show on social media — and she’s already a TV host.
In her own words: “Women fake orgasms, and men fake finances.”
7. Who: Jeremy Grantham, co-founder, chief investment strategist of Grantham, Mayo, van Otterloo (GMO).
Why: Because he’s a hedge fund manager who predicts market bubbles spot-on and is downright, curmudgeonly amusing. However, during his monologue he might have to tone down his penchant for delivering gloomy, apocalyptic predictions about the global economy.
In his own words: “We’ve gotten ourselves into a bit of a rat hole [national debt], and we should be careful getting out of it.”
6. Who: Abby Joseph Cohen, senior investment strategist, Goldman Sachs; president, The Global Markets Institute.
Why: Because she bullishly tuned out the financial crisis credit bubble but handled the fall-out like a real trooper–a show-biz trait you’ve got to have in spades if you want to get through the first difficult months of hosting.
In her own words: “I try not to take myself too seriously. It’s important to keep a sense of humor.”