Seriously -- did you think that I wasn't going to jump on my soap box about this one?
What are you smoking, NBC?!
As I have faithfully maintained in several other posts here on "Out the Other Side", I am definitely on team Conan. Much is being written about the whole Conan/Leno latenight contraversy right now and I can assure you that I believe that NBC is making a heinous mistake.
It's not even just because I happen to be such a big fan of Conan's. As I have stated before, I hold a certain amount of admiration for the man. I not only find his quirky brand quick witted humor incredibly entertaining and funny, but Conan has a work ethic and a dedication to his craft that I have always respected.
However, I believe that regardless of my affinity for the lanky, pompadoured prince of late-night, I believe that NBC is trying to make it's affiliates happy and pander to Jay Leno's selfishness.
Their first mistake is trying to pander to both parties. If you want to appease the affiliates, tell Jay to take a hike!
If he's not funny at 10pm, why on earth is he going to be any funnier at 11:30pm?
I do not think that Jay Leno (as much as he did for the institution of "The Tonight Show") should be catered to by NBC. His show was completely stale and unfunny and besides that, HE made the desision to walk away from his talk show. That was his stupidity. I understand how he must be kicking himself in the ass for walking away from his bread and butter, but don't punish Conan (and NBC viewers , for that matter) just to kiss Jay's ass.
Conan may have had a rocky start with the "Tonight Show", but to jerk him around (as well as the "Tonight Show" institution itself) is just beyond ridiculous. He didn't even get a proper chance to develop his "Tonight Show". He has only been host for 7 months.
Conan O'brien works his ass off and pours his bone marrow and DNA into these shows every night. He was promised "The Tonight Show" gig over 5 years ago, moves his kids and wife out to LA only to have it ripped out from under him. All this just because Jay Leno's stale prime time "experiment" is so painful to watch? Really?
Also, all of this talk of possibly shortening the "Tonight Show" to 30 minutes, or moving the show to a time-slot that's not even technically 'night time' anymore is insulting to the long legacy of the "Tonight Show". This show has been around since the 1954 tenure of Steve Allen and is a cornerstone of American television. To have the show bounced to a crazily late time slot is not only a serious snub to Conan, but it is also a slap in the face for "The Tonight Show" in general.
Johnny Carson must be rolling in his grave by now.
As for my feelings about Conan's possible move to Fox (or some other network), I believe that he will be a big asset whereever he lands. He already has his staff and writers in place and a long history of doing inventive, weird , quirky and highly experimental commedy on his "Late Night" show. He also pulls in a younger demographic than both Jay and Dave and also has a cool, nerdy, and energetic Gen Y appeal.
Above all else, Conan is a class act (unlike Jay, who could have bowed out gracefully to allow Conan a fair chance to host "Tonight Show").
This whole situation is just a very dark chapter of American television history and for "The Tonight Show" legacy. I understand that (like with most things) that business is business and that the almighty dollar is playing a big roll in this whole situation. However, the fact that NBC insists on all but destroying the integrity of "The Tonight Show" franchise is completely disgusting.
Seriously -- somebody at NBC needs to be slapped right about now.
I ultimately wish Conan, his staff, and his family well....where ever they go. I hope that where ever Conan lands that he and his staff get the respect that they deserve and I hope that he gets carte blanche to do what he does best.....write, host and entertain.
One thing is for certain -- whatever channel Conan winds up on, I will definitely follow.
Check out this video of Conan as he ponders his options on Monday night's show:
[Edit] -- Conan just released an official statement regarding this whole mess. The bottom line is that he is not taking NBC's deal to push his "Tonight Show" to a later time.
While this makes me sad....I can't say that I blame him.
You can read the full statement HERE. Truly a class act til the end. As sad this is, the way he is handing it all gives me yet another reason to admire and respect him.
I love you CoCo! :)