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Thursday, January 14, 2010


I've been so upset over this whole Conan/Leno fiasco. It's just so unfair and wrong... Conan is such a classy guy, he's put in 17 years of hard work to get to this opportunity, he pushes his comedy and his medium forward instead of playing it and safe and stagnant and he finally got his dream job 7 months ago. He is young, hip, and funny, with a loyal, young audience who would of grown with him for a generation.
And now he's getting kicked to the curb by the worst, most mediocre piece of crap... Jay Leno. A guy who had the job for almost two decades, didn't do anything important or meaningful with it, has more money than he could possible spend and cares more about his car collection than his "artform". A guy who knew this day was coming 5 YEARS AGO and had to weasel his way into doing his crap show for old middle-Americans at 10 pm but then sucked so bad that NBC was "forced" to give him back his old position to appease the local affiliates... all while pushing Conan around like a red-headed stepchild (pun intended). This just isn't fair.
I really liked Patton Oswalt's take on it. Check it out:

I just feel so bad for Conan in all of this. Seriously, I've gotten a little teary-eyed reading his statement and watching his monologues on TV this week... I know, it's cheesy but it's true. He is a good, hard-working guy who really pushes himself, his staff and his crew to create meaningful, funny material. His life goal was to do the Tonight Show... he moved his family and his staff out to L.A. only to be pushed out 7 months later. He has handled this whole thing with class. Here's his statement he posted the other day:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I've been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky. That said, I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn't the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.



Just watch this video from his monologue last night... you just can't help but feel bad for him, but also admire him for the strength and public restraint he is showing through all of this. If you can't tell already, I really admire the guy. Check the Kenneth the Page cameo too!:

And Leno... Leno, Leno Leno. Always hated the guy. He pulled this same crap with David Letterman (the proto-Conan) 20 years ago. He is painfully unfunny. Painfully mediocre. He is a complete egomaniac, a man who feels self-worth and validation by shaking hands and "conversing" with Will Smith and Tom Cruise when they're out promoting their movies. He is a giant douche with a giant chin. I wish he'd just get in a car accident in one of his beloved automobiles. He is everything that is wrong with giant corporations, with the media... with America in general. And it REALLY INFURIATES me that he's trying to play the victim in all of this. If he had AN OUNCE of class he would realize he's had a good run, realize his time was up, realize he agreed to leave the Tonight Show five years ago and he would step down. He would retire to his car collection and his crappy stand-up shows to wealthy yuppies in Las Vegas. HE'S THE WORST.
I love how other comedians are jumping on Leno... I could see this turning into a MAJOR backlash against him and NBC in general, one that could last a generation. Jimmy Kimmel did a whole show dressed up as Leno, making fun of him the whole time. :

And here's Letterman taking shots at his old network and his old nemesis:

I know it seems silly to get upset about this. It's just a couple millionaires fighting over a television show after all. Conan will probably leave NBC and start his own show on Fox or something. But I think it means more than that. It's about right and wrong. It's about not letting the bad guys, the bullies, the mediocre win. It's about loyalty and honor. And it's about the good, hard-working, talented people getting to accomplish their dreams and succeed in life. Isn't that what we're taught and socialized to believe in when we were children? That a form of meritocracy still exists in America?
Conan said it best in his monologue tonight:

"And I just want to say to the kids out there watching: You can do anything you want in life... unless Jay Leno wants to do it, too."

NBC needs to make this right before it's too late and they lose a whole generation of comedy fans...
(wish they didn't have 30 Rock, The Office and Friday Night Lights so I could boycott them completely)

And if this whole post doesn't make any sense and you don't even know what I'm talking about... read here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Adam, I think you let these things get to you too much. It's not like Conan is going anywhere, he'll just be on a different channel at a different time. It's just TV. Right, wrong, whatever. NBC can do what they want, they own the programming. Like you said, you like 30 Rock, The Office, and Friday Night Lights, so what if you have to flip the channel to see Conan.

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