Friday, January 22, 2010
I've been watching Conan O'Brien for I don't even know how long. This is not just because I am a night owl, because I have made it a point NOT to watch Leno for at least a decade now. I just don't think he's funny. He makes vanilla seem like an exotic wildberry. And it always seemed like his leap over Letterman to nab the Tonight Show was suspicious, if nothing else.
So it comes with great surprise that I've been seeing people writing that this is not Leno's fault, that it is solely NBC and some faceless execs that can anonymously carry the fan outrage. I beg to differ, for the simple fact that a man like Leno, a man who is worth - what, 800 million? - who has an army of absurd cars, each of which is worth more than my life, CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL HE WANTS. He announced YEARS ago that he would pass the torch to Conan, because it was his choice. And when he realized that his success was not due exclusively to his talent (and I use that term loosely) but also to the power of the Tonight Show timeslot itself, he took it back. Maybe not at first, maybe just by trying to push his weak sauce back to 10:30, but when Conan rightfully said that it would ruin the integrity of the institution...
Well, you know the rest. I'm getting sick of hearing myself. But I just want it to be known, I've been watching Conan in every incarnation, not because of the timeslot or the name of the show, but because I like Conan. And wherever he goes, I hope he lands well and lands soon. And Letterman, you better get funny again, and make Jay Leno EARN something for once. He's just not used to earning anything.