Friday, January 15, 2010

Leno & Conan. Conan & Leno.


I don't have a dog in this fight -- never really watched any of 'em; Letterman, Kimmel and Ted Koppel included. In fact, the greatest late-night related show I've ever seen was HBO's balls-out, over-the-top satirical adaptation of Bill Carter's "The Late Shift".

Sure, I suppose it's hard not to be rooting for Conan O'Brien, but I can't be the only one who finds the circling of the wagons by other late night hosts to be nothing short of absurd, right? 20 years after getting hosed -- and making $200 bazillion in the interim -- we're supposed to view Letterman's recent "killing the Indians and taking their land" Leno comparison as anything other than sour grapes? And, did Jimmy Kimmel really play the "we have KIDS we have to support" argument while defending Conan on Leno's show earlier in the week?

Fine. I see that I'm still not getting through to you. Everyone who's been breathlessly following the Leno/Conan proceedings needs to separate themselves from the drama. Try to imagine this whole ridiculous d**k-waving scenario with people you can't relate to or who don't look like you or who you just don't like.

Two celebrities -- both of whom sleep on mattresses full of money, but might have writers or assorted hangers-on who barely scrape by -- in a televised slap fight.





I didn't care then and I don't care now.

And, I'm too damn old to be this far ahead of YOUR pop culture curve, kids.


2 comments:

SHough610 said...

Anyone who's seen or read "The Late Shift" knows what a ruthless, backstabbing little rat f*cker Jay Leno is. You can add hypocrite to the list after this article: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/23/arts/jay-leno-criticizes-nbc-on-tonight-cliffhanger.html?pagewanted=1

Letterman's griping is sour grapes (but I never liked him because he's always seemed like a bitter old man).

Conan's the only late night host I've ever watched and/or cared for. Kimmel's okay in a pinch, and his absolute WRECKING of Leno WAS hilarious, but I agree with you about the "we have kids" line.

The fact is though that this situation was botched about as badly as could be botched. Leno was going out on top but decided he didn't want to go. So NBC gives him a show that's going to absolutely screw Conan because it either A) does really well and people don't give Conan a chance or B) does what it did and fail and give Conan no lead-in. So once Jay fails at 10 NBC decides that they'll just screw themselves again and push Conan back. Of course now that Conan has pushed back NBC is in a no-win situation; if they stick to their guns (and indications are that they will) Conan goes to a new network and has a HUGE amount of sympathy and interest in his new show while Leno loses his blue-collar likability and probably ends up tanking again.

That Bootleg Guy said...

I dunno. I think Conan's settlement with NBC will incl. stringent provisions on what he can/can't say about the network. THAT'S the story casual fans will wanna hear. His diehards will follow him to any network, but I don't see him doing better than he was at 12:30.

And, I thought the Kimmel evisceration of Leno went on way too long. Funny, at first, sure, but he lost the crowd about 1/4 way in and came off as the same self-serving brat in public that Leno's been in private.