By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 3, 2008 4:48PM
After seeing their viewer numbers plummet over the last few weeks, the major networks forced their late night talent back on the air last night. David Letterman took the high road, working out a deal with his writers so they could return with him, but keep in mind that he owns the production company that puts out his program. We suspect neither Conan O'Brien or Jay Leno are too jazzed to return without their writers, but since their shows are owned by the networks, they don't have the same kind of leverage.
But the even bigger news? The beards! Oh sweet Jesus, the beards! In a move sure to set the indie-rock beardo nation a-swoonin', both Letterman and O'Brien returned to the air wearing the big, bushy chin-carpets they had been cultivating while off the air. Honestly, we're torn over which beard we like better. Letterman looks so, um, natural and wise in his, but we have to give O'Brien props, if only because we had no idea he actually had the capacity to grow facial hair.
Who do you favor? We at Chicagoist think it's time for the first beard-off of the year, so cast your votes below! To keep things interesting, we've thrown in a few extra contestants, like Amos the Amish man in front of Zinn's Diner, Grizzly Adams, and, of course, two-thirds of ZZ Top.
Or, feel free to offer write-in candidates in the comments!