Saturday, January 23, 2010

NBC: The End of a Short-Lived Era

Wow, last night’s episode of The Tonight Show, which was Conan O’Brien’s last night hosting, was absolutely brilliant and moving. Hearing how he talked about NBC being a home for him for over 20 years just goes to show that things were obviously pretty much fine until recently. And all the jabs made at the current network heads were well deserved. I’ve never seen so much support for a host, and there’s also the fact that his ratings went up at least 50% in the end. There were also plenty of celebrities supporting him. For example it’s pretty safe to say that after seeing Robin Williams’ Irish jig Thursday night, he is in strong support of Mr. O'Brien. Knowing that they’re willing to let Conan leave and Jay come back after all that as well as considering how NBC is in a hole right now in most other spots leaves me to believe Jeff Zucker and Co. are simply not too bright. “Morons! Incompetent morons!” indeed.

And I know Conan isn’t into cynicism, but I’m sorry, I can’t help but not like Jay after all this. I don’t wish the man death or anything, but it’s becoming much clearer that all he had to do was just bow out, or if he wanted another show so badly he could have easily gone to another network or try first-run syndication and Conan would still be hosting Tonight. Considering how he managed to push Johnny Carson into early retirement and screw David Letterman out of the job, I’m more than convinced he is not an innocent victim at all in this late night situation. This stuff and knowing that he’s stolen bits from Letterman and Howard Stern pretty much leave a bad taste in my mouth as far as his professionalism, or lack thereof is concerned.

I’m predominately a Letterman watcher, but I watched a few times for a couple celebrity interviews before, and with those, and as well as in seeing the show more recently, I’ve laughed with Conan’s short-lived era of The Tonight Show much more in this short span than I ever have when Jay hosted it. It’s really too bad that Conan was not given a proper chance to grow and find a good audience with Tonight. I'm glad that it seems Conan will have the last laugh though... all the way to the bank.

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