Friday, January 15, 2010

Leno vs. O'Brien

Neither Jay Leno nor Conan O'Brien are happy campers right now. Conan wasn't given a chance to find his way as host of "The Tonight Show", while local affiliates were screaming for Leno's head because his show gave their newscasts poor lead in ratings. So now Leno is getting "The Tonight Show" back and who knows what is next for O'Brien.

It has been fun watching all the other hosts (Jimmy Kimmel this week was amazing) make fun of the debacle at NBC. They seem to really be ripping on Leno and I don't know enough of the details to know if they are justified or not in blaming a lot of this "Tonight Show" drama on him.

As a big fan of Conan over the years, I find myself taking his side. However, these guys are making tens of millions of dollars. What the hell are they crying about? OK, Conan says he has always dreamed of hosting what has been the most prestigious show on network television for generations and only got seven months to make his mark. I understand some of that angst.

But it's just a show. And how surprised could he really be changes were demanded so quickly? The way our society works today is we want results now. If you don't provide those desired results quickly, a change is going to happen or people are going to turn on you quickly. Look at the sports world every year. It's not uncommon for a first-year coach to be canned if his first season is a disaster.

With that being said. I wish Conan got a longer run as "The Tonight Show" host. The old stare downs with Andy Richter are still some of the funniest moments I've seen on TV. I don't laugh at Leno jokes. The punchlines are predictable and safe. Conan is out there with his jokes. Some are utter flops because no one gets it or it's just too weird, but more often than not they're hilarious.

I also think it's kinda sad that they are still getting similar coverage to the quake in Haiti. Both of them could buy Haiti. Maybe they should pull together on television tonight, put their differences aside for a night, and pledge a couple million dollars to go toward relief. With all the attention they are getting, they should use it to be productive and helpful, rather than just cry about being wrong by NBC.

The Pixies - Dig for Fire

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