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Chickenman

Coco Vs. Leno

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Chickenman

I know you've all been waiting with bated breath to hear your resident comedian's take on this Tonight Show controversy. Well, bate your breath no longer.

I've always been a diehard Conan fan and always will be, and see this as an absolute insult to a hard-working and talented man. The man paid his dues for nearly two decades at late night before achieving his absolute dream of hosting Late Night. The man is a terribly kind, a friend to animals and reads to sick children (Probably). The way he's been treated is an insult to the highest degree. Even giving Leno a primetime show in the first place was a bit of an insult to him. They made the man the host of The Tonight Show, but told him he'd always have to follow Leno. I always knew the Leno show was going to tank, but I'd hoped it would go away. In the executives' attempt to keep both talents, they've scorned one of them.

Now to the other side. I don't blame Leno for this, although he is the public hugely-chinned face of this debacle. The real villains here are the executives, and you have to keep that in perspective. I truly respect the man's work ethic. In 17 years, he did every all 3775 shows of his program, only using a guest host once (and even then, as a publicity stunt, not as a break or an illness. While Katie Couric hosted his show, he co-hosted the Today show, and so was still working.) He only ever cancelled two shows, both in a row, and both because he had succumbed to exhaustion. He regularly performed his monologues in comedy clubs to gauge how well they'd do on air, and even when the show was on break, he'd do a stand-up tour of the country. The man absolutely and truly loves his craft. My problem with him is his complacency. Where as Conan isn't afraid to go for the more absurdist material that not everyone's going to go for, he knows that the people who do are the ones who will keep tuning in for it. Similarly, Letterman isn't afraid to step on toes. Leno, on the other hand, tries to please all of the people all of the time, which is something you can't do. As such, he goes for the lowest common denominator humor, the stuff that isn't original, isn't surprising, has been done a million times before, and is just bland. The 00s were the decade that alternative comedy broke, and that's where the art of comedy is headed. Leno is stuck in the past while Conan counts himself among today's generation of comedians that are trying to reinvent the medium and take it places it hasn't been before. Leno should have stepped aside when he retired from the Tonight Show, but you can't blame him for taking the opportunity to do what he loves more than anything in the world (yes, even his cars) when NBC gave it to him.

So what's next? Fox has expressed interest in Conan, and Conan has expressed refusal to host the Tonight Show in the morning. What should he do? ewok if I know. I'm a dweeby sophomore college student with no ties to the industry and fewer than a dozen stand-up appearances under his belt. If Conan's looking to this post for answers he's in trouble. But if you are there, Coco, let's talk writing gigs.

I hate Fox. I loathe and despise that organization. And not just for its status as a conservative propaganda machine. But because it's broken my heart more times than any girl every could. Firefly. Arrested Development. The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Fox doesn't give great shows a chance and axes them when they get too nervous about the ratings, even when the whole reason the ratings suck is because of insanely retarded executive meddling. But the fact is, they're the most willing network to try something new. They get cold feet about it immediately, and end up destroying the show in question in its infancy, but they're willing to experiment and you have to give them credit for that. I'm a fan of NBC, I truly am. I think their Thursday night of comedy is the best programming block on television right now. But Fox offers Conan a chance to take the risks he used to back at Late Night. In one of the last episodes of Late Night, The Masturbating Bear was frozen in carbonite for the future to enjoy. We've seen a slightly neautered Triumph the Insult Comic Dog since the move. Perhaps Fox is the best way to go after all.

I'd hate to see Conan lose the Tonight Show and Leno fall back into it again. And moving to Fox means constantly having your head on the chopping block. But it might be the way to go. And besides, NBC has proven it doesn't deserve Conan.

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Uncle Du

I think this whole mess is just ridiculous. It's the networks bid at trying to make more money. Greed has done this.

I had that Leno actually feels really bad about the way things went down, and that now he doesn't even want to do it any more. So now the idiot execs may have lost them both. I just think it would be great to see Conan go to any other network, just to spite them.

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Chickenman

Oh yeah, Leno feels terrible about it, no question. And I do truly feel bad for him in this situation, maybe worse than Conan, depending on how the situation plays out.

It appears that Conan is being paid a tidy sum for the trouble, and has more or less been released from his contract so that h can sign on with another network. However, it'll take long months before any new show hits the air. It's a sithtastic end to the story, but what are you gonna do?

And I hope it's not just Conan getting the money. The writers and crew better be getting reimbursed too.

At any rate, the next couple of weeks are going to be great. Conan's been pretty vicious all week in his monologues, and I can only imagine he's going to go the way of the viking funeral to cap it off.

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Ender

I've always loved Conan, but I love Craig Ferguson even more. He put this whole thing into the proper perspective:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27LDh7BBK_4

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Mara

Craig is the best late night host, bar none.

Anyway, I do feel for Conan on this, but I am slightly confused as to why it matters so much if the Tonight Show airs a half hour later.

Also.. if Conan does refuse the switch, does that mean Jay gets the Tonight Show back? Or will they both skip on it, and they NBC is host-less?

For their sake, I hope no one takes it, so that (despite its long history) the Tonight Show dies and NBC gets a piece of their own medicine.

And, I hope this isn't all because of Comcast's recent purchase of NBC and wanting to make changes.

Comcast is good for nothing.

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Uncle Du

The whole idea behind the Tonight Show is you pay your dues by coming up and through the "ranks" if you will by being on a later spot. NBC promised Conan that spot when Jay retired, and now they've reneged on it. They basically lied to him. It wasn't even about ratings, it was more about favoritism. And, Leno has re-signed, so he obviously doesn't feel that bad about it.

And yea, I think Craig is the sith.

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Chickenman

Well, I wouldn't say that's the whole idea behind the Tonight Show progression. Letterman hosted Late Night, expected to get The Tonight Show, was supported by Carson to be his successor, and got shafted.

And Mara, a half hour earlier means that it's starting literally the next morning, and not the Tonight[/] Show. I mean, that's the easy answer. More than that is that throughout the decades of history of the Tonight Show, it's been the premiere show of it's kind. In fact, even though it's not necessarily true anymore with the invention of cable, in te stand-up community a performance on The Tonight Show is a sign that you've "made it." Now it's being supplanted by another, inferior show, damaging it's prestige.

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Chickenman

I've never been amazed with Jimmy Kimmel (Massive props for I'm F**king Matt Damon and Ben Affleck though) but I was astounded when he was able to top his Leno impression episode. Absolutely destroyed Leno on his own show.

"Every order something off television?"

"You mean like NBC ordered your show off television?"

Genius. :lol:

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Master Hayes

Chickenman you're right on when you say this whole thing is about TV executives, just not at NBC. It's all the local NBC affiliates across the country complaining about rating for their local 10PM news. The NBC sation here is KARE-11. Local sports anchor from KARE-11, Randy Shaver, who appears on a local radio morning show, talked about that very thing. All these places across the country are pissed that the rating for their news is down. However, Shaver did mention that KARE-11 ratings are actualy HIGHER than that of Leno's show, meaning that at 10PM locally the ratings jump.

Now I'm a huge fan of stand-up comedy, but I've never been one for Leno. I've never really thought he's that funny anyway.

I'm glad someone pointed out how Letterman got hosed by NBC. I was going to bring that up otherwise. ;)

I hope Conan ends up somewhere, and that he has the freedom to do the things he did before getting the host gig for "The Tonight Show".

Edited by Master Hayes

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Chickenman

It's not the affiliate's fault. They were losing the crucial lead-in to their news, which is why they wanted Leno out of the timeslot. Jeff Zucker is the idiot who moved it back to 11:30 instead of cancelling it outright.

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Mara

It's just a huge mess. One that started when NBC wouldn't renew Jay's contract, because they wanted to put in Conan earlier. Though the ratings on the Tonight Show were way up there.

I feel really bad for Conan, though. And I hope he screws NBC out of as much money as possible.

I think it's time for me to officially boycott NBC (I basically was anyway, 'cept for watching Conan). I don't think I'll even watch the Olympics.

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k.a.mara

That's the start....people should boycott NBC over this. They should also send them tons of emails telling them what a bunch of jerks they've been.

But still that probably won't do much. Only way to get even with them is to have sponsors drop 'um.

I like Leno, but it's time he moved on. His show didn't work in that time frame (if it could work in any at all!) and you shouldn't take it out on the new guy. I hope Conan takes the money and walks away to a better channel.

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Mara

That's the start....people should boycott NBC over this. They should also send them tons of emails telling them what a bunch of jerks they've been.

But still that probably won't do much. Only way to get even with them is to have sponsors drop 'um.

I like Leno, but it's time he moved on. His show didn't work in that time frame (if it could work in any at all!) and you shouldn't take it out on the new guy. I hope Conan takes the money and walks away to a better channel.

I'd like to boycott the whole company, Universal, but I loves me some USA shows. That's where all of NBC's quality shows are, haha.

So I'll have to start small and just boycott NBC after Conan leaves. Even though I like Jay and did watch him on the Tonight show... I honestly mostly watched him because I can't stand Letterman.

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Uncle Du

http://www.wwtdd.com/2010/01/conan-just-got-paid/

Conan got paid.

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Drake

Conan has accepted a deal to move to TBS in November!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100412/ap_on_en_tv/us_tv_conan_o_brien

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/12/how-the-conan-obrien-tbs-deal-happened/?src=busln

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