NBC's Tonight Show debacle review

Seventeen years ago, Johnny Carson was retiring as the most successful host of The Tonight Show. He was such an icon of late night that NBC was in a scramble to fill the void. David Letterman, the host of Late Night was the obvious choice (and Carson's choice) to take the mantle, but NBC decided they would give the gig to a stand up comic, who did doritos commercials, Jay Leno.

I guess time has shown that the Jay Leno choice was smarter. Personally I have never been a fan. His monologues were full of sexual innuendos and his interviewing skills are lacking. You can't beat Headlines and Jaywalking but that's about it. Whereas, David Letterman just rambles and repeats lines like "got any gum?" or sputters lines and waits for Paul Schaffer to laugh. Though I do miss the days of Mujibur and Sarajul.

When Leno announced he was leaving the Tonight Show in 2009 and Conan O'Brien was taking over, I was thrilled. Conan does not seem like your typical late show host but his brand of comedy is clever, and even when it's not clever (i.e. Masturbating Bear, Pimpbot, etc.) it's still very funny. Jay Leno had the opportunity to retire at the peak of his career. His show enjoyed great ratings and it was time to pass the torch. Then NBC announced that Jay would have his own show during prime time. I guess neither Leno nor NBC could let go.

Now, Leno has suffered in the ratings because no one wants to watch mediocre comedy when they could be watching CSI: Wichita. So the brains at NBC refuse to let Leno be cancelled and admit their mistake so they have given him his old time slot, right after the local news.

The proposed new schedule will be Leno show for a half hour at 11:35 Eastern, followed by the Tonight Show, Then Jimmy Fallon, Then Carson "no one watches me" Daly. Give me a break NBC! Cancel Leno and let Conan bloom on the Tonight Show. His ratings will go up when people start realizing that Letterman isn't funny.

The thing that really chaps my hide (who says that?) is that NBC has given Conan an "out" to his contract if he wants it. Messed up. Conan has worked for years to reach his present position and 100% deserves it. He shouldn't be tossed around for some moronic banter between "big chin" and Kevin, the guitar player/courtesy laugher.

The person I'm most disappointed in is Jay Leno. Yes, he probably loves the spotlight but he should have retired at the top of his game. Now he'll just be known as the man who destroyed the Tonight Show. It would be a sad day if Conan went to another network and we witnessed the resurrection of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. No Thanks.

If anyone wants to get Conan's take on the matter you can find it at http://www.aintitcool.com/node/43607. You better believe this situation is far from over.

I will now begin my boycott of GE-owned NBC, now that Heroes sucks, the Office is boring, and I don't like 19 editions of The Biggest Loser. Both Jay Leno and NBC get big fat zeros from me.


Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to agree that NBC sucked it up with Late night tv, and all their tv shows for that matter. But so long as Charlie Sheen can rule the ratings with his disastrous show on CBS I think the "Big Fat Zero" should go to the viewing public that accept and cherish horrid television. So next time Major don't be so specific, just go after America on the whole!


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