The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien lasted 7 strong months, and the series finale was last night. I can safely say with Jay hosting the Tonight Show I will be getting more sleep, since I won’t be staying up to watch late night TV! It’s truly sad to see my favorite late night host get ousted the way he did, but I guess that was NBC’s mistake to make. His multi-million dollar settlement makes me not feel extremely bad for him, since he won’t really need to look for work for the rest of his life, but the way it went down should have gone differently. I hope he does get back in the TV talk show game, after it’s all said and done. I’d love to see him jump over to Fox, Comedy Central, or any other station for that matter. I’d probably even watch Conando on the Telemundo channel if that’s what ended up happening to him. I’m still not 100% clear on what happened, but it sounds like Conan wasn’t getting the ratings that NBC wanted from the show. They decided to bump him time slots, and well, we know the rest of the story. Who knows, maybe that was just a cover up for the real story or my conspiracy theory, which is that NBC’s medical staff thought the concussion he suffered was just too much for him to come back from, so they gave him the Stephon Marbury treatment benching him indefinitely and paying him. There’s probably a lot of people like my grandma that think Jay is better, but speaking for my generation, Conan is the pasty white Jordan of late night talk shows. I’m REALLY glad I made the trip to Universal lot to see at least one of his shows being taped while it was around.
NBC gave Johnny Carson the hosting gig for 30 years, and Leno got a 17 year run (plus whatever he adds on in his second term). Conan bizarrely only got 7 months to prove himself, and build a fan base. Most of my generation doesn’t really remember Carson, and pretty much only saw Leno at the helm of the Tonight Show. I feel like Conan’s comedy is geared much more towards my generation, and if NBC gave him adequate time, he would have gained enough of a following to satisfy the execs as we got older.
MCeezy had a good analogy of why our generation isn’t all that into Leno saying “Jay is more like the drunk Uncle that keeps telling jokes, and you laugh because they’re mildly funny, but it’s still older people humor.”
NBC went for the quick fix reacting hastily to Conan’s less than impressive ratings, and that reaction was bringing Leno back to his old throne that he seemed to desperately miss. Leno returning to the Tonight Show might raise NBC’s ratings, but at what cost? They no longer have a clear successor once Jay ultimately is too old to do the job. Noway Jimmy Fallon gets the gig, he’s just not the right personality or all that funny in general. Do people really buy Jay’s nice guy image anymore? I for one, won’t watch his show out of spite. I don’t buy that he didn’t have anything to do with pushing Conan off the air either. Back in 1992, you might remember when Conan started his run with NBC, Jay forced another Late Night talk show host out, David Letterman. Dave seems to have done pretty well for himself as he moved to CBS, but in these past few weeks we’ve seen that Dave is indeed still bitter about his ending with NBC. So Coco don’t be discouraged, Jay has taken away more than one job in his rein in late night TV, and it seems to have worked itself out pretty well. Let’s just hope it’s the last one! It’s good he got to throw one hell of an after party last night, I would love to toss a few Jameson’s back with him!