Why isn’t Manny Pacquiao on Late Night American TV?

Posted on December 18, 2010 by


Manny Pacquiao, the pride of the Phillippines, and 6th richest athlete in the world according to Forbes.

His boxing bouts are usually big events, known to attract a group of celebrities.  He has been talked about by everyone from Donald Trump and Mike Tyson to Justin Bieber to Paris Hilton, Alyssa Milano, and Will Smith to Justin Timberlake, you know all the kind of Americans who do get bountiful attention from late night TV and celeb outlets.

Growing up as a kid and never seeing a Filipino ever on national TV or some kind of national conversation as an object of curiosity unless he was committing a crime (sup Andrew Cunanan), this is officially beyond my wildest and craziest dreams.

American Late Night TV, domain of cultural commentary on news, celebrity life, and whatever else.

I always saw late night TV as kind of a barometer for success for a celebrity.  If they were on late night on shows as first or 2nd guests, I thought they were usually pretty big cultural figures or had accomplished something interesting at a certain moment in time.

Been a fan of late night TV since I was a procrastinating high schooler.

Jay and Conan accompanied me through the nights for four very awkward years at an all-boys private high school.  Leno’s headlines were actually the highlight of my Mondays.  Right after him, Conan was/is so blatantly obviously much more hilarious because of his mezcla of postmodernist reflexive (read self-deprecating) humor.

Didn’t know or care what Letterman or whoever else had to offer, but I just knew that it wasn’t funny.

Catching late night TV hasn’t been as relevant as a procrastinating grad student in the age of hyper-social networking and hyper-information overload.  But,  thanks to the inter-tubez utilizing everything from twitter to youtube, I’ve been able to catch a few clips from late night TV to feel like I have a grasp on noteable events in late night.

Nowadays, it’s watching clips from Colbert, Conan, George Lopez.

Jimmy Kimmel, I always didn’t like though.

Why?  Something of a politically conservative/apathetic streak I detected in his humor.  Maybe it was because of his association with FOX, Football, and Adam Carolla that made me categorically dismiss his ass.

Despite those bad vibes, there is one redeeming quality of Jimmy Kimmel:  his featuring and more importantly willingness to engage  the current Pride of the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao into his late night TV program.

This, in stark contrast to the Conans, the Colberts, the Jon Stewarts, the Lenos.

Lopez doesn’t count cause he’s a minority.  Kidding.  He’s acknowledged Pac plenty becuase he “knows”, meaning he’s a person of color in the US, and yes, we Filipinos and Latinos  share that experience of not seeing our kinds in the media and influencing de American people.

But anyway, it is pretty curious why Kimmel can get one of the boxing legends on TV.

He even got Manny and Will Ferrell to collaborate on a duet.

Heh, Will Ferrell, another comedian I don’t really care too much about.

But the Conans, Colberts, Stewarts, Fallons, Lenos  don’t have Pacquiao on their shows.

What is it?  Language barrier?  Liberal elitism?  Filipinos and Filipino-Americans not a large enough demographic to carry TV ratings?  Manny’s handlers being assholes?  What is it, seriously?

Keep in mind that I’m more of a less a fan of Conan, Colbert, Stewart, and maybe a hint of Leno.  I also am pretty OK with liberal politics.  And most imporantly, I don’t think any of them are racist.  Indeed, I would probably categorically dismiss them if I thought they were the KKK types.

However, it is a legit curiosity as to why Manny is a pretty big news item and is still out of this cultural institution.  I’d like to see the answers.