Skip to comments.NBC Will Regret Appeasing Leno: Conan was Czechoslovakia of late night TV
Posted on 01/24/2010 11:41:44 PM PST by iowamark
Cultural historians are desperately seeking a precedent to the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien fiasco. They are looking in the wrong places. True, Pat Sajak, Chevy Chase and Joan Rivers all got axed from late-night talk shows after shockingly brief stints at the helm, but none of them got $32.5 million to take a hike. And none of them got replaced by the person they had replaced. And none of them pouted about getting canned for general incompetence while millions of their countrymenwho had not actually failed at their jobswere unable to find work.
No, the most appropriate parallel to the debacle that has humiliated NBC took place in central Europe in the late 1930s. It happened at Munich.
Jay Leno, much like Adolf Hitler, is a master of making secret demands for foreign territory and then acting like the wronged party...
Here's where the parallels become even more eerie. In acquiescing to Mr. Leno's sotto voce demands to annex one-half of "The Tonight Show," NBC thought it could put the whole ugly controversy to rest. Wrong. Interpreting generosity as weakness, Mr. Leno began to maneuver for complete control of "The Tonight Show." Here he was again taking his cue from der Fuhrer, manipulating his outgunned adversary into a position so humiliating he literally had no choice but to surrender.
Just as Hitler sought to return Germany to its prewar stature by acquiring Austria and the Sudetenland, Mr. Leno will seek to restore "The Tonight Show" to the mythical stature it enjoyed under his predecessor. Hitler wanted to be thought of as the second coming of Frederick Barbarossa. Mr. Leno wants to be thought of as the second coming of Johnny Carson. Joey Bishop might be more appropriate...
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
“OBrien Undone by His Media-Hopping Fans”
“Falling late-night ad prices will shape Conan’s and Leno’s futures”
Conan was great. He was funny and not mean spirited like Letterman.
NBC made a grave error in pushing Conan out.
If Conan is wise, he’d work for Fox for $1, so NBC will have to fork over the whole kitten-kaboodle.
He also was screwing with NBC at the end, the song he had Tom Hanks walk out to on his last night was the Beatles song “Lovely Rita” in honor of Tom’s wife Rita Wilson. Cute gesture that cost NBC half a million dollars.
And it also cost them alot of cash when he played the Rolling Stones on another night.
Replace Wanda Sykes, Conan!
Leno already was the second coming of Carson. He projected the same sort shtick, with some small allowance for changing taste, for example, JAY WALKING as replacement for Carson’s goofball skits. It was really as nearly perfect as anyone could hope for, and NBC ruined everything by replacing Leno with Conan. Of course, you can’t go back, even though they’re trying to.
I’ve always been a Conan fan, BTW, and FWIW, but he just fit better with the conventions of the LATE LATE SHOW concept. LATE vs. LATE LATE sets up some very specific requirements. Whatever the reason may be, they are easily discernible.
The fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance of these cosmic decisions about whats his name and the other guy.
How many lives must be shattered before...ahhh....what was the question again?...
I thought Jimmy Kimmel was on ABC. Maybe this guy means Jimmy Fallon. But if he gets that wrong multiple times in his rant, it’s not a typo and that pretty much shoots down any arguments or conclusions he makes if he doesn’t know that difference.
Not that it makes any real difference, as I wouldn’t watch any of them. Who gives a flying F*** about them?
Conan was definitely 20 times better than Jimmy Fallon.
NBC pushed off the rebroadcast of Fallon and put in Conan.
No doubt his numbers were very low. Leno will give him a boost for awhile, though.
You are correct. Kimmel is on ABC. The writer made a major goof.
It would have been funnier if he claimed Leno would jump networks and do takeovers at ABC.
I still don’t get it, to me, Conan is many things but funny isn’t one of them. Ridiculous is more like it!
The only thing that strikes me about all of this is how little I care about any of the late-nite bozos.......
Joking about Hitler is not my cup of tea. This column is trash.
Conan is boring, not funny, and nearly unwatchable. Always has been.
Re: “I still dont get it, to me, Conan is many things but funny isnt one of them. Ridiculous is more like it!”
Agree — and I hear his “target audience” is 14 - 34. Makes sense since the only people I know who like his show are around 30.
Now I can watch the Tonight Show again — totally quit while the ultra silly, but not funny, Conan was on....
Re: “Conan is boring, not funny, and nearly unwatchable. Always has been.”
Agree — If I had to pick from all the hosts, Conan would be last on the list; in fact, I would not even turn on the TV if he were the only one on the air...
BTW, I don't think I have ever watched Conan once. I stopped when Carson left. I have never watched Leno or Letterman either. At least not on purpose.
How is that woman considered “funny”? I still haven’t figured that one out.
What I don’t understand is why Obama isn’t outraged about all the money NBC is throwing around at so few people. Didn’t NBC benefit from the TARP money GE received back when they were bailed out?
Really? I think Conan is hilarious. It's the only late night guy I'd ever bothered to watch.
She’s not. She just bashes Republicans. Maybe Obama watches.
They should just take a cue from the Coca-Cola Company and call it, "Tonight Show Classic."
Conan had a brief flirt with being amusing back in the early 90s.... and quickly faded. The only younger guy out there that would bring in crowds would be Stewart but A) you’d have to lure him away from CC, and B) He’d have to transition to making interviews about the interviewee, not so much the sarcastic jab.
I don’t know if he could do B, but if he could, he definitely could take over late night.
That had more to do with Andy Richter, than anything.