Somewhat Of A Misnomer
Ever wonder how late-night talk shows continue to survive in today’s modern world? Hillery Alley over at Cracked.com thinks she’s figured it out as part of her article “The 5 PR Tricks Famous People Use in a Public Apology“:
#2. Going on a Late Night Show Tricks People into Forgiving You Faster
Perhaps one of the best and most efficient ways to ensure that your public apology goes off without a hitch is to issue it on a late night talk show — in fact, that’s probably the only reason those things still exist. Hugh Grant knew this all the way back in ’95 and apologized on Jay Leno’s show for being caught with a prostitute and cheating on his wife. Jonah Hill went on Jimmy Fallon’s show to issue yet another top-notch apology, and Gary Oldman followed suit by appearing on Jimmy Kimmel to issue his second (and better received) apology.
Meanwhile, Letterman was able to skip the middleman and go straight to the “making fun of the scandal” phase. But why does this work so well? Basically, because laughter lulls our feeble brains into a false sense of security. The sooner we laugh after their apology, the quicker we are to forget their bad actions and feel like it’s OK to be their fan again. If they let weeks go by without a lighthearted late show appearance, that leaves us too much time to actually think about how awful they are.
And even if you don’t watch the show, you bet your ass every site will be talking about the apology the next day and reposting the funniest clips, thus helping bury the awfulness. You’d have to try really hard to screw that up …
What Not to Do: Go on a Late Show to Apologize, Not Apologize
Kanye West also tried to the Leno route when he Kanye’d all over Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs, but ultimately ended up admitting he had “no regrets” over the situation, proving exactly how honest he was being.