Tuesday, January 12, 2010

UPDATED: The Battle for 11:35 Continues...In 3D!!!

Not really, but I figured this was a way to be trendy and get some more hits to the site. Tonight Conan went on the attack with NBC in his monologue and he didn't pull any punches. Here is a list of some of tonight's jokes, courtesy of Gawker:

  • "Ladies and gentlemen, please! You keep that up and this monologue won't start until 12:05."
  • "Good evening, everybody. I'm Conan O'Brien, the new host of Last Call with Carson Daly."
  • "This weekend, a 6.5 earthquake hit California... the earthquake was so powerful, it knocked Jay Leno's show from 10:00 to 11:35." [Then mocks Leno's voice.]
  • "Everybody now wants to know what my plans are... all I can say is I plan to continue putting on a great show night after night, while stealing as many office supplies as humanly possible. I'm gonna rob this place blind."
  • "NBC announced they plan to lose $200 million on the Winter Olympics next month. Folks, is it just me, or is that story hilarious?"
He then went on to usual state of the world jokes, but then came back to the topic at hand.

This is a brilliant piece of comedy. There are many who would either shy away or totally show their anger. Conan and his writing team have done a brilliant job of tackling this head on and delivering some of the best material. (I can guarantee that within a few hours these jokes and videos will have gone viral.) I've already heard some you say that Conan is whining, and that he stole The Tonight Show from Leno. Look, here's the deal. Leno announced Conan as the new host of the show in 2004. He came on the air, announced that he would be retiring in 2009 and because he didn't want to what happened with him and Dave to happen again.

"So there. Conan O'Brien will be the new host of The Tonight Show when I retire in 2009!"

Then 2009 came around and he decided, well now I don't know if I want to leave. Jay threatened to go to another network and since NBC was getting ratings raped every night, in a desperate attempt to pretend that he knew what he was doing, Zucker announced this wonderful Leno at 10:00 pm idea. Thus, Leno helped create this mess but will in no way accept responsibility for sucking. Much as Jeff Zucker will not admit that he is finding new ways of failing that most television executives have never dreamed of. Leno and Zucker are both slapping Conan in the face and trying to make him accept it. Even if Conan has the title of Tonight Show Host, we all know that being on at 11:30 (35) is what helps make it The Tonight Show. Pushing it to the 12:05 slot just puts him where he was before. If Leno were truly as much of the thoughtful and caring person that he claims to be, and wants the best for everyone involved, he'll step down. There are plenty of other networks that are ready to snatch him up to bring a new late night show to their networks. ABC was ready to shoot Nightline in the head last year to get Jay, I'm sure they'll have no problem taking it to puppy lake if he shows interest again.

Many of you are probably wondering why so passionate against NBC, Jay and Zucker. It's not a hate by any means. I'm just insulted. They have failed miserably, but figure that we will watch anything because they tell us it's good. Guess what..you have seen now that you are wrong. But it's also dis-heartening to see powerful people play with a person's emotions like this just because they can. Famous or not, Conan is a person and because certain people are in the boss position they are pushing him around. That's why I'm so passionate about this.

In this age of Tweets, Walls and blogs..a Facebook group has started called "STEP DOWN Jay Leno!" The description of the group says:

A group for those of you that understand how much of a plague to late night Jay Leno is and always has been. Every Tonight Show host has stepped aside valiantly to make way for the next generation of viewers but in this recent case, Jay has taken the low road. Join the group if you support voicing your opinion that the time has come for Jay Leno and his bad jokes/terrible interview abilities to STEP DOWN! Be classy Jay Leno...walk away!
They're right. Just walk away, Jay. It just might be the thing that makes some of us respect you...sort of.

POPping Late Night - Jungle Jesse

    Be sure to visit The Tonight Show's official site for the full monologue tomorrow.

Earlier today a statment from Conan came out letting NBC know that if Leno does come back to 11:35, he will not move his show to 12:05. Here is the full statement:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.



I think that this letter says enough and doesn't need my attempt at wit. I was planning on only posting the letter when I received some of Conan's jokes from tonight's monologue. Once again he has come out swinging and is making it known that NBC can suck it:

Hello, my name is Conan O’Brien, and I may soon be available for children’s parties.

Welcome to NBC. Where our new slogan is, “No longer just screwing up prime-time.”

When I was a little boy, I remember watching “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and thinking “Someday, I’m going to host that show for 7 months.”

NBC says they’re planning to have the late night situation worked out before the Winter Olympics start. And trust me, when NBC says something – you can take that to the bank!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is still under fire for remarks he made about President Obama’s “blackness.” Sources say Reid could face Congressional censure, or even worse, be promised the “The Tonight Show” at 11:30.


  1. Wow, my third comment in as many days!

    It's surprised me how many people claimed that Conan only got the spot for threatening to leave. The truth is that NBC recognized that they were losing their key demographic with their shows. While they were winning late night with Leno, it was mostly older people... who let's face it, aren't the demo that advertisers are looking for.

    So they made their decision, and Leno pulled a Brett Farve. And where Green Bay let Farve go to another team, standing by the change they'd made, NBC caved and tried to "comprimise".

    Their big problem was promising something new and revolutionary from a host who is incapable of doing that. I never watched the Tonight Show- I found Leno's comedy bits to be much of the same. Monologue, newspaper clippings, Jaywalking, then interviews. While most shows follow a format, Leno's just felt like you could simply run a clip show of past years and nobody would be aware.

    And his new show was a condensed Tonight Show with a new set.

    At this point, I'm almost hoping that Conan gets a good offer from someone else. Because if nothing else, he deserves a network who's willing to change- and willing to stand by those changes.

  2. Once again Miss Whitney, well said.