This is a discussion on Talk Show wars have been Godwinned! By WSJ! within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; NBC Will Regret Appeasing Leno - WSJ.com This is beyond silly. Yes, I realize that it's satire. It's just not funny. Joe...
NBC Will Regret Appeasing Leno - WSJ.com
This is beyond silly. Yes, I realize that it's satire. It's just not funny.
You know, while I'm not really a fan of either, I think Conan has shown himself to be a class act.
I watched his final broadcast and he made a speech that hit home. He praised NBC for allowing him to do what he did for as long as he did, praised his staff and crew, thanked the fans and enjoined them not to waste one bit of sympathy on his behalf and closed by speaking out against cynicism. And, looking back at what I've seen of his work, I find that his comedy is much more celebratory and good hearted than his contemporaries.
Contrary to popular wisdom, I find myself getting far less cynical as I get older. I used to think it was cool to be so much smarter and hipper than everyone else - now I realize we are all just fools. Feeling superior to everyone may be one way to find happiness, but it's always at the expense of another - at least in your own respect for them. Now, if you can see what a true idiot you really are - and laugh at yourself anyway... well. I find that I'm much happier that way.
Compare Conan to his peers - Dave Letterman specifically. Years ago, I enjoyed his show. Found him to be hip and edgy. He just comes across to me now as a bitter, hateful old man.
Even though Leno comes across as much more accessible and friendly - his humor is still very much rooted in schadenfreude.
Now, go back and look at Johnny Carson. Still funny to this day, but always first to put himself in the path of a punchline.
It's all part and parcel of a culture's mores and morale. I think though, that sometimes the tail wags the dog and celebratory humorists can effect as much positive change as scathing satirists think they do.
I liked the Tongiht show with Leno, it was always intresting to watch but Conan was a better show mainly because he didnt mind getting the punchline and it was entertaining and educational. Plus his "Year 2000 Skit" was funny. :D
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I used to watch Leno on the Tonight Show, not religiously, but often. True he's no Carson but who is? My favorite parts were the monologue, Headlines and Jaywalking. I still have trouble believing there are that many people who are that clueless; it has to be acting. Whatever. When he switched to prime time something just seemed to have been lost. Either they changed the show too much or not enough. I lost interest. Hopefully he can salvage some of the old magic.
On Conan, I had high hopes when he was first hired by NBC, being a Harvard grad I thought maybe we'll get another smart comedian the likes of Dennis Miller. Not so. His antics started off in Kindergarten and in the proceeding years he has failed to graduate out of elementary school. I was shocked when he got bumped into the Tonight Show. Now I'm shocked that he has been shown the door.
Was this a grand scheme by NBC to boot Conan and stir up a little publicity?
So now Leno is back home, I think he should be satisfied since he mentioned that prime time was a gamble. He should be thankful he has a job. Conan will turn up somewhere; I doubt he will be the next Arsenio Hall disappearing act. Maybe he can be a judge on X Factor.
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Both have behaved with class, neither publicly disrespecting the other. I believe that the culprit is NBC, as they reneged on the agreement with both parties, dropping the shows sooner than Leno and Obrien were promised, not allowing either to build an audience. When Leno took over the Tonight Show, his ratings were as low or lower than his current show at the same point in time. But being allowed to take enough time to grow, he became the new King of Late Night. I feel that one problem with Leno’s current show is that prime time is a tough place for a talk show, especially since he’s followed 30 minutes later by a flood of talk shows. I think that if he had concentrated on just comedy, and maybe a singer to broaden things a bit, he would have done much better.
As far as comedy is concerned, I really enjoy Leno, both on TV, and his stand up act (we caught his show at the Mirage last year),. Conan, on the other hand, I’ve never cared for, as his comedy tends to be rather juvenile. The “Masturbating Bear”: is an example. Since we never watched his show at 12}30, we didn’t watch him an hour earlier. But we catch Leno every night, and there’s a Tivo season pass in effect in case we aren’t here, or go to bed early. I’m looking forward to his return to the “Tonight Show”. Too bad we have to put up with the Olympics to get there.
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