Well, I guess I have to weigh in on the late night TV battle. It’s frustrating to see a situation where the right thing to do, the financially smart thing to do, and the thing everybody wants are all the same, and yet the opposite of all of them seems inevitable. Television executives have got to be, hands down, the dumbest, most near-sighted, worst taste having morons to walk the planet (or roll around in their Hummers), and yet they have some of the biggest egos and power trips this side of D.C.
The bottom line is this: Conan is funny, Leno is not.
Just because NBC and Leno were so arrogant and stupid as to think his barely retooled show could succeed in prime time doesn’t mean Conan and his staff should now have to suffer. The programming donkeys have blown it again, and now the only original, funny, compelling show on NBC (other than 30 Rock) is the one that gets cut.
Unfortunately, I thought Conan was better in a later slot. He had more leeway and it just seemed a little edgier, more underground. If Conan was going to take over the Tonight Show, they should’ve waited until it was time for Leno to retire (five years ago in my opinion).
Now, this whole debacle may be a Machiavellian scheme to generate buzz and boost plummeting ratings. After all, network television is on the ropes right now. If that is true, then it’s a brilliant ploy, but I don’t think the studio execs are that clever. Did you know that Jeffrey Zucker called the cops on Conan and had him arrested when they were undergrads at Harvard? Conan was the editor of the Harvard Lampoon and Zucker was the editor of The Crimson. As a prank, the Lampoon stole an entire press run of The Crimson, and Zucker freaked out. Conan had also listed Zucker’s dorm phone number in a fake phone sex ad. Hi-larious. Zucker didn’t seem to think so. Not much has changed. Conan continues to be funny and subversive, and little Lord Fauntleroy stomps his feet and takes his ball and goes home. Sounds like he’s still holding a grudge after all these years. No wonder there is a new term in Hollywood. When you make a colossally horrendous decision that royally screws everything, it’s called a “Zuck up.”
Let me conclude by simply presenting some facts. Conan was writing and producing during the Golden Age of the Simpsons. That alone makes him comedy royalty in my book. He also wrote for Saturday Night Live (a rite of passage for any great TV comedy writer), and continued his biting yet self-effacing brand of humor on Late Night. Pimpbot, Clinton with the moving lips, Triumph the insult comic dog, In the Year 2000, If They Mated, Joel the announcer, and the Masturbating Bear. Need I say more? What has Leno done? Made half-ass-kissing jokes in his whiny, high pitched monologues, that he then repeats a couple times as the brain dead, consumer sheep feed bags of an audience laughs away because the sign told them to. His biggest bit is interviewing people who represent everything that is horrible and wrong about uneducated, self centered Americans (or else they’re just pretending to be retarded which is even more offensive). The funniest thing on his show is Headlines, and that’s just him reading stuff that VIEWERS SEND IN! Leno can take his over inflated chin and ego, his lame jokes and lamer interviews, the pathetic cumstain he calls a bandleader, pack it all in one of his precious hot rods, and drive into the fucking San Andreas Fault for all I care.
I’m proud of Conan for sticking to his guns. If there is a rally near you on Monday, I highly recommend attending. It is great to see the outpouring of support for Conan. Funny is funny, and right is right. I’m with Coco.