Friday, January 8, 2010

Conan vs Leno

Hey NBC, you suck!

Well the rumors started to swirl yesterday, but most of it was coming from TMZ, so I hoped it was wrong. Today the word became official. NBC is cancelling Leno’s 10 p.m. show and moving him back to 11:35! This means Conan and Fallon get pushed back one hour.

Whose idea is this? I’m convinced that Leno has some very incriminating information on someone. Why else would they keep trying to please this old-hat, over-stayed his welcome, unfunny guy?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m old. I grew up watching Carson and I still remember when NBC screwed Letterman. It’s horrible that they are doing this all over again with the likable, hysterical Conan. Conan O’Brien just moved his show, crew and family all the way across the country; they sort of have him by the balls. When Leno took over the Tonight Show, I had already made the switch to Letterman. The handful of times I watched Leno – mostly because the guest was Harrison Ford – I didn’t care for his style of humor. He falls in the America’s Funniest Home Video category of simple, non-offensive humor. People can watch that if that is what floats their boats, but it’s not for me.

Over the last few years, I stopped watching the network’s late night shows altogether. I made the switch to The Daily Show/Colbert Report combo, and would usually fall asleep before Colbert brought out his guest.

When I heard about Conan finally taking over the coveted time slot, I was interested. Then I found out Max and La Bamba were on board, and Andy Richter was back…I jumped in with both feet. I watch Conan every night and laugh my butt off. My teenage daughter also finds the show funny. So I would have to wonder, if NBC spent their promotional budget on Conan instead of Leno, would the ratings be so low?

Also, NBC has been lagging behind as a network for quite some time now. What has worked recently is comedy. The Office and 30 Rock have led the way for great new shows like Community and Parks and Recreation. Here’s the thing: Conan’s humor and wit matches those shows, while Leno’s doesn’t.

Although I do not like Leno’s humor, he seemed like a nice guy. That opinion has changed. I now see Leno has a greedy attention seeker, who doesn’t care who he hurts as long as the spotlight is on him. Even if he is a workaholic, couldn’t he perform stand-up 365 days a year in Vegas or something? Dude, your day in the sun is over! Step aside and let others have their turn. You’re tainting everything. And don’t use the excuse of money or shiny network promises; you don’t have to let them lure you in. Chappelle taught us that you can walk away.

Sadly, I don’t think Conan has a choice here. I’d like to tell him that he should tell NBC to shove it, but he probably has to sit tight and ride it out. I remember when the unknown Conan first took over the vacated burned Letterman spot. That was back when Arsenio Hall shared a large chunk of the late night pie. I said that Arsenio was too trendy and would fall out of favor soon. I also believed that if NBC left Conan alone, he’d have time to slowly hone his craft and grow his own following. Conan has worked hard for the network and I can only hope this new move is some type of inside, covert operation to make Leno quit of his own free will.

My advice to Jimmy Fallon, “Don’t believe anything they tell ya kid; it’s all lies!”

No comments: