When comic and talk-show personality Craig Kilborn left his hosting gig on CBS’ The Late Late Show in 2004, he pursued a life out of the late-night limelight: Developing a sitcom, dabbling in films (Old School, The Benchwarmers) and working on his 1927 Spanish home in the Hollywood Hills. Says the 47-year-old Kilborn, “I’m from the Midwest, and I’m very comfortable with at least one foot outside of the Hollywood industry.” Flash forward to 2010, as Kilborn returns to TV with a new evening talk series, The Kilborn File, which just debuted on FOX in select markets. (It airs on weeknights at 6:30 pm in Los Angeles.) The half-hour program tackles pop culture and current events with celebrity and human-interest guests, interspersed with segments like Kilborn’s trademark “5 Questions.” In his off time, you can find this funnyman relishing a Father’s Office burger or daytripping to Santa
Barbara—but at the end of the day, he’s more likely to be chilling in the Hills in front of a Lakers game or Hitchcock film.
So why did you depart from late night, and what made you want to come back and take on another talk show?
I didn’t leave late night to do something specific. I just left because it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. There is a silliness to the industry. I always would dream about going back to Carmel, California, where I started my broadcasting career, and living up there and doing local radio. But I saw an opportunity for a unique show in the dinner-time hour. I think everyone knows we kind of have more than enough late-night shows. That’s what’s exciting: It’s not part of late night.
Who are you most looking forward to hosting on the show?
Bill Murray is probably my favorite, and I already have people telling me he’ll do it. He’s the funniest man in the world. I like interviewing new people as well. When I did the old show, we would have a lot of the young actors on. I think I did the entire cast of That 70s Show three or four times. It doesn’t really matter who it is, I enjoy interviewing.
You enjoy lounging in your house in the Hollywood Hills. When you can be persuaded to leave, what are your go-to spots?
Well, I love the Chateau Marmont, it’s beautiful. I eat healthy. I’ll go to Poquito Más on occasion when I want to be unhealthy. I drive to Santa Monica to walk, which I think is kind of silly: Drive somewhere to go walk. When I do eat unhealthy, it’s when my brother visits me, and we love to go to Father’s Office on Montana in Santa Monica. We get the sweet potato fries and we get the burger, medium rare.
You hosted ESPN’s SportsCenter and played college basketball. Are you a Lakers fan?
I enjoy watching in my den because I can always turn it off if I don’t like how the game is going. So it’s harder at the
Staples Center: “Why am I leaving at half-time?”
Describe an ideal day off.
I am an early bird. Sometimes on Saturdays, I like to wake up and go driving. I’m a tall man and I have always enjoyed sedans, so I have this sedan—and some of these sedans, they’re damn smooth rides. I’ll go to Peet’s Coffee or something and either drive to Santa Monica or Hancock Park, or Larchmont, and have coffee. I’ll drive up to Santa Barbara and I get lobster tacos at the Santa Barbara Pier. I’ll paint the picture: I’m listening to Antonio Carlos Jobim. Then I come back and I watch Turner Classic Movies. I’m a big, big Hitchcock fan. If I don’t see something in black and white before I go to bed, I don’t dream.
Gotcha. How will you celebrate if your show gets picked up?
Did I mention I eat healthy? But on occasion, it’s time to have a little red meat. I’ll eat at a steakhouse like Taylor’s. I’ll have a martini. And, then, there you go!
Chateau Marmont 8221 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323.656.1010 / Father’s Office 1018 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, 310.736.2224 / Peet’s Coffee & Tea 1401 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, 310.394.8555 / Poquito Más 8555 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.652.7008 / Santa Barbara Pier Cabrillo Boulevard and State Street, Santa Barbara / Staples Center 1111 S. Figueroa St., downtown, 800.745.3000 / Taylor’s 3361 W. 8th St., downtown, 213.382.8449