My hubster and I don’t do TV. We have one but it’s gathering dust in our storage room. We do Hulu because we like having the shows we enjoy lined up and ready for us to watch while we have dinner. One of the shows we never ever miss is The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.
Darn that Jay Leno and the executives of NBC. ESPECIALLY the executives of NBC. What are you guys thinking? Jay Leno’s show didn’t fail because he’s up against primetime drama shows. We’ve watched his show. We gave it a chance. But it really lacked creativity and, if I may say this without sounding corny, JOY. Maybe I demand too much but if I set aside 1 hour of my precious time to watch a show, I’d want the host to be at least HAPPY to be hosting.
Leno’s monologues might have their moments (and credit goes to his writers and not his delivery), but his interviews and segments that demand spontaneity are uninspired and often a real snoozefest.
Leno’s interviewing skills have always bothered me. He asks the appropriate questions (again, writers credit) but doesn’t seem to be IN the moment. It’s like he’s not listening to his guest’s answers even if they’re spewing funny hooks any witty host could latch on for a more lively interview. He always seem to be getting ready to ask his next question. I also found it irritating how sometimes Kevin Eubanks, his band leader and constant live laughtrack, would make a funny comment and get more laughs, and Jay would blatantly ignore him. If he were a gracious and confident in his wit, Jay would easily ride on it or, at least, make a snappy comeback. Instead, he moves on with his monologue as if nothing happened.
This graph tells us that Conan’s show has not been doing well in the ratings game. But when he was just starting out, he had Letterman’s Palin word battle and co-workers affairs controversies to contend with. It was obvious, too, that he was a bit more formal than he had been in Late Night. Probably because he felt he had to live up to Johnny Carson’s legacy and needed to be a bit more palatable to non-geeks who watch the show. But later on, I noticed that he slowly snapped out of that and started shaping the show to fit his witty, geeky, childlike persona. And just because Leno’s show has tanked and he’s been hinting at wanting his old show back, NBC gave Conan the choice to either go on at 12:05 AM or leave. That’s it. After all the work he’s put into his new show and supplanting his family from New York to Los Angeles. What a bunch of douches. Especially you, Zucker. Even Letterman thinks so.
But Conan is a real class act. His letter says it all.
Today, Conan’s people have dropped word that next week will be his final week. I’ll miss his show (with the intelligently funny Andy Richter) and hope he finds his niche somewhere soon. As for Leno, when he returns to host The Tonight Show, I won’t be watching. I’d rather do something worthwhile like scrub the toilet bowl.