January 13, 2010

Late Night Shenanigans

Conan O'Brien
Originally uploaded by Domain Barnyard
By now, everyone's heard about the whole Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien shifting around.

(And BTW, I'll gladly return to my own tomfoolery tomorrow, but this was too good to pass up).

First, if I have to take sides - and I will - I'll side with Conan. He only had less than a year, he's being put in an awkward situation, but on the plus side, he's probably written one of most direct, honest, and witty statements I have read in awhile.

More importantly, however, this is one of those situations that often reflects the short-sightedness of major networks. After all, as many writers and commentators noted, this was similar to the early 1990s debacle about who would replace Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. In all honesty, I've felt that Leno was moving a little more towards the "safer" end of comedy.

(I mean, a man who shows up on Dave Letterman - while taping in Chicago - with a bag full of Italian beef sandwiches? Classic).

O'Brien, however, is much smarter, literate, and more out-and-out silly than any other host. He's pretty much earned his seat at the table (even if only because he was a writer on The Simpsons, as well as his hard work on Late Night). And of course, because the network did not succeed in one endeavor - and wants to keep everyone happy - they are advocating a really bad idea.

However, one great thing about this - it makes for great drama.

Insert "that's what NBC needs right now" joke here, and cue rimshot.


Roger Owen Green said...

Gordon, you are a winner.

Sea-of-Green said...

This whole scenario is yet more evidence of the slow, painful death commercial television has been undergoing. It needs to reinvent itself if it wants to survive -- and SOON.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

I'm with you. Conan is funnier. Leno is a nice guy. I like him, but Conan deserves the spot. I think he's quite brilliant. Over at CBS, Letterman is a mean-spirited ---- and not very funny.