Who is TV's biggest Conan O'Brien supporter? Who's the lamest?

“You can do anything you want in life, unless Jay Leno wants to do it, too.” So sayeth Conan O’Brien last night, speaking to his soon-to-be-lost flock.

Conan’s biggest supporter? That would be David Letterman. Letterman showed a segment called “Jay Leno: The Early Years,” with random found-footage of what he claimed was Jay “sabotaging [his] school’s production of Peter Pan.”

Letterman excoriated “the pinheads, the nitwits, the twits, the knuckle-draggers, and the mouth-breathers” who run NBC. And he did a list of the Top Ten messages left on NBC exec Jeff Zucker’s answering machine that included, “Hi, it’s Jay. All in all, I think it’s going pretty well.”

My friend and colleague Mark Harris suggested to me that it was Leno’s joke early in the week that “I didn’t sleep with my staff for nothing” — all the more piercing for being such an off-topic, out-of-left-field, gratuitous gag — that has helped stoke Letterman’s renewed, glowing flame of fury at the late-night situation. That could very well be. But I also think Letterman loves all the behind-the-scenes power moves, he loves dissecting who went wrong when, and how this mess confirms his decades-long belief that people in power tend to be deluded and out-of-touch with reality. (This informs his politcal humor as much as his show-biz philosophy, which puts him squarely in the Johnny Carson tradition.)

But the Conan debacle has brought out a fresh zest in Letterman. He picks his targets precisely. He’s the only host who’s brought up how burned new NBC owners Comcast must be. He’s the only host who’s connected the dots between Conan’s situation and the botch NBC made of the 1992 Tonight Show transition.

And he’s the only host who’d make the joke he uttered last night, saying that Leno had “also taken over the grave of Merv Griffin.” I always like a gasp when I laugh.

Oh: Who’s the lamest Conan supporter? That would be Jimmy Fallon. Last night, the man who follows Conan on NBC, the reason Fallon has a show, finally addressed the issue of Leno versus Conan, and what did he say? That he’s “happy to have a job.” That he’s glad Conan “kicked ass here” in Jimmy’s present time-period. That going forward, he, Jimmy, would “try not to take anything too seriously and have fun.”

I can almost hear Conan’s choked response. Something like: “Wow. Thanks, Jimmy.”

As Craig Ferguson put it so succinctly last night, “I’m lovin’ this s—.”

Did you watch any of these shows last night?

Follow me on Twitter @kentucker

Comments (317 total) Add your comment
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  • kyle

    Jimmy is new to the late night game and he really has no idea what to do in this situation. Who knew Late Night Comedy would look like 10pm Drama’s.

    • Weird Jay Story from Last Night

      Heidi Klum asked Jay how he got married, and Jay told her that bascially he married his wife so they could both have health insurance. He then said he didn’t get her an engagement ring until 17 years later. Kind of sums the guy up in a nutshell.

      • jimbob

        no it really doesn’t sum anything up, they have a mature view of relationships maybe? I guess he isnt a hopeless romantic, but what does that have to do with anything

      • Jeff Little

        YOu forgot the part that hes not funny.

      • Stephanie Tanner

        Jay Leno is an arrogant jerk – Johnny Carson didn’t want him then yet NBC picked him and his boring, non-offensive brand of humor so senior citizens could chuckle while going to sleep. Funniest men on late night are Ferguson, Conan, and Letterman – they all take chances – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but it is better than Leno’s lame material.

      • RCB

        true, jay is not funny at all!

      • elgin

        I wss thinking the same thing…Other than Leno’s “goodbye” episode of “The Tonight Show”, have you ever seen him and his wife together? Anywhere? I get the feeling that they live totally separate lives.

      • junierizzle

        TEAM COCO!

      • Stephen Jones

        Yea, the guy has 18 cars and motorcycles but can’t buy his wife a ring. He’s a punk, did you notice how he kept sitting the same way with his legs open even after she told him it was offensive? She hit the nail on the head. He is not only offensive but obnoxious.

      • Amy

        COCO kicks butt!!

      • Peg

        Can someone please explain why Conan is being referred to as Coco? I don’t get it (and I am seriously asking – I am not trying to stir anything up – I want Conan to stay where he is and hope that Leno takes a hike)

      • The International Nomad

        Tom Hanks was one of Conan’s first guests on the Tonight Show, and he referred to him as “Coco”. From that point on, it stuck.

      • Leslie

        Peg, Tom Hanks dubbed Conan as Coco as a joke during the first week of the show. It caught on, I guess.

      • Peg

        Thanks you guys!!

      • singlesugardaddies

        Jay is the best

    • thin

      Coincidentally enough, “he really has no idea what to do in this situation,” really kind of nicely sums up Jimmy Fallon completely.

      • junierizzle

        i THINK JImmy Fallon did the right thing. HE said he is friends with both of them. He is the new kid on the block. He said thanks to Coco, and he isn’t gonna join in on the Jay bashing. He’s made some jokes bout it. I think he’s handling just fine.

      • Isembard

        Okay, that’s funny and soo, soo true.

      • Lala

        I think it’s a little refreshing that Jimmy is staying out of it and keeping the references to a minimum. He’s thanking Conan without bashing others (publicly, at least.) He loves what he’s doing and he gets to keep his job at the same timeslot, so I don’t think it’s in his best interest to bash NBC on his show. Thanking Conan and acknowledging the difficult situation is enough.

      • rerun

        We’ll see how Jimmy acts when Jay backstabs him and has a 2 hour “Tonight Show” :)

      • mil8778

        Well, I love Conan. But if you watched the first year of his show you wouldn’t think he was going to make it at all (and I did! Loved Conan, but was pretty convinced he’d be canceled). All I’m saying is give Jimmy a break. He’s too new in this to be picking on yet.

      • MsSuniDaze

        I don’t watch Jimmy but understand totally why he doesn’t say anything. He’s new. It’s like starting a new job and then notice all the office bickering. Keep your mouth shut. He isn’t in a position to burn any bridges. Go Coco!

      • downtown diva

        So people are going to “pile on” Jimmy Fallon now for seemingly not knowing how to handle the “situation”– he’s being smart and classy by (1) crediting both Jay and Conan with being mentors and (2) not taking sides, staying out of the fray as much as he can. That’s not lame in “my book.” I hope his job is secure since NBC is screwing with the nighttime talk shows so much.

    • amadeline

      It’s been like the 10 pm dramas behind the scenes for years. Johnny screwed over Joan Rivers, then network gave what should have been Letterman’s show to Leno, then Leno got screwed over when the network wanted to keep Conan from leaving so they promised him Jay’s show even though Jay was #1 of all the networks. So Jay was dumped and forced to go on at 10 and promised time to develop, as was Conan at 11:35. Now NBC is putting it to all of them! If I was Jay I’d be running out their door with as much cash in hand as possible, and hopefully he will. After all, didn’t he recently state “Fox is beautiful this time of year.” I hope they all come out winners, but I bet right now they’d all like to change networks, and who could blame them. I also hope the NBC executives are soon to be unemployed!

      • Mo

        I agree. NBC is the loser here and the rest are just caught up in the fight. If I were Jay, I’d keep it moving. And if I were Conan, I’d keep it moving and make NBC find someone completely new to screw over.

    • KT

      Everyone needs to stop blaming Leno or Conan or anyone else, it is not their fault, they are the pawns in this “game” the bigwigs are doing. But you have to admit that Leno shouldn’t have been kicked off The Tonight Show, it was rated #1 when he left, now with Conan at the helms it has dropped. Sorry but Conan is NOT funny, Jay is, and Conan should have stayed where he was. He has no “it”, he is so lame and not up to the quality of Leno for TTS. If you can’t see this then sorry. Bye Bye Conan, you will be the reall loser out of all of this.

      • jenn

        I’m glad you were here to tell us Conan fans that we were wrong about how funny he is. I’m sure we all feel like idiots for spending all that time laughing at his jokes now that you’ve pointed it out to us.

      • Linda

        Can you name one funny joke that Jay wrote? Not finding stupid bloopers in the newspaper, or making fun of dumb people on the street (which he stole from Letterman anyway). Yeah, me neither.

        Heck, Conan’s hair is funnier than Jay has ever been. And Conan can write funny off the wall comedy, so that’s a plus.

  • Get Real

    Stoking the fires of silly arguments is lame.

    • Jackie

      Entertainment Weekly is an entertainment magazine. In the entertainment world, this IS a big deal. Bright side, at least it’s not another article about American Idol or Survivor.

      • llevinso

        Yeah, it’s nice to have EW get all hyped up about something that isn’t Twilight or some such.

      • Lili

        Ummm, Ken Tucker doesn’t write about such petty s*hit anyway :]

      • Moxie

        But I DO believe, at one time, Ken Tucker wrote an article daily about the Gosselins. Now THAT’S petty s*hit.

  • Elizabeth

    Well, I’m going to give Jimmy the benefit of the doubt: he’s more effed than Conan is right now. He doesn’t have the pull to say what he probably really feels.

    Being the lowest rung on the ladder doesn’t afford you much in the way of having a voice that will be tolerated and keeping your job.

    • C.E.

      True…But Lorne Michaels runs this show and Fallon is fine and long as Lorne is happy.

      • Elizabeth

        I don’t even Lorne could save Jimmy at this point. If Lorne had that kind of pull, you don’t think he’d do Conan a solid?

    • orville

      But not as truly effed as Carson Daly is. The guy really has nothing to lose, so I’m surprised that we haven’t heard from him yet.

      • rerun

        That’s because no one watches his show. He might actually be saying a lot.

      • MsSuniDaze

        I didn’t even realize he was still on the air until all this happened.

      • jenn

        At least Carson isn’t trying to tell jokes anymore. I couldn’t stand his show when it started, and I don’t watch it now, but I caught show a couple months ago and the format has completely changed into something tolerable if you want to see a specific guest or something.

    • RocknRolla

      Aside from the obvious ratings boost all of this will give late night TV in general, Fallon is the biggest winner out of this situation. He is getting all of the perks and none of the hassles. So maybe he goes to 1:05am-big whoopity do. He has a solid gig and can only benefit from here on out. And more importantly his delivery has gotten much, much better.

  • max

    Jimmy Fallon needs to grow a pair. It was like he just wants a job and didn’t want to take sides. And Conan last night was hilarious. I’ve always watched him, but right now this is definitely must see tv. The flood gates are open and NBC deserves whatever Conan’s throws at it.

    • Melissa

      It wasn’t like that… it’s exactly that. Jimmy is new to the game, he’s not in CA (i think) and he said Leno and Conan were both really nice to him.

      • ShellyWasThere

        That’s what I think and heard him say last night, I guess it does not pay to try to stay civil to two persons the man considers to be his friends, I guess some people want other people all vicious all the time.

    • dave

      “It was like he just wants a job and didn’t want to take sides.” – How dare he care more about himself than Jay or Conan!

    • Lala

      Conan has just been awesome throughout this whole thing. I don’t mind that Jimmy didn’t jump on the ‘bash Jay’ bandwagon…it doesn’t matter at this point. There is nothing to be gained from Jimmy doing that. He’s thanking Conan and he seems to be relieved he doesn’t have to be in the center of this fight. I’m sure he’d be MUCH more amused if this wasn’t his network and his mentors. Letterman and Ferguson are having a giddy field day bashing NBC.

    • i’m a lady

      He can’t say anything. Depending on what happens in the negotiations, he has to follow either Leno or Conan, and he can’t afford to piss either of them off.

    • Vakada

      I’m excited to find iotmrnafion on this that’s not dull. Your presentation, writing style and points are well-done and interesting. You have done a great job with writing this article aimed at readers like me.

  • Shel

    I watched everyone but Leno (just lost track of time earlier in the evening), so I do wish you had mentioned what if anything he had to say about the Evil Jay stuff from the last two nights. Letterman was awesome & I appreciated that he at least characterized it correctly that NBC took The Tonight Show away from Jay first. About Jimmy Fallon, I thought it was interesting that you chose not to mention he thanked both men and obviously feels caught between a rock & a hard place. Also, as the youngest, newest entry into this late night arena, he probably figures (rightly) that he may not have the clout or longevity to skewer his new bosses too much. He probably want to p*ss off whoever does end up airing before him either. BTW, the person having the most fun with this might just be Ricky Gervais, on with Conan last night.

    • Shel

      sorry, that should be: “He probably DOESN’T want to p*ss off…”

    • Gina

      Poor Jimmy…he’s like the kid stuck in the middle between a nasty divorce.

      • Morgan

        By “took away” do you mean have him sign a contract years ago that was supposed to make a smooth transition and would have if Jay hadn’t got big bitchy cold feet at the moment of truth?

      • Shel

        By “took away” I mean asking someone to decide when he wanted to retire six years ahead of time just so they wouldn’t lose the guy threatening to walk (Conan). Do you mean by “big bitchy cold feet” taking advantage of the fact that he was #1 in the ratings, still a viable force and was free & clear to entertain other job offers? Seriously, the cold feet belonged to the NBC executives who found themselves in the same exact place: risking losing someone who could have ended up being a lethal competitor.

    • Magnet Girl

      I agree, Jimmy looked like a deer caught in the headlights last night. Also, he tried the American Idol/NBC joke earlier and got no response from the audience, I think that made him feel even more iffy about saying anything (wrong).

      Also agree that Ricky Gervais (who I LOVE) had the best time. He couldn’t contain himself.

  • KFed

    I thought Dave actually came across bitter and mean. It was like watching Dave 10 years ago or more. And here I was thinking he was over the Jay thing. Laying into executives for being out-of-touch when you frequently appear out-of-touch yourself doesn’t really work for me.

    • Eric

      Shut-up dum dum

    • K

      Out of touch… coming from KFed? Oooh, the irony is delicious.

      • Salman

        @iwantorlando05 Brad Pitt’s big break was the topless guy from themla and louise. Remember that film that Matt Damon starred in as a conjoined twin? That was a stinker. Both of those actors have since redeemed themselves, give Rob a chance. Not every actor has a credible debut.

    • Red

      “Bitter and mean” is what Dave does best, though I did think it was funny.

      • Coyote

        Red is absolutely right. He was deliciously mean last night. I gasped a couple of times at what Dave was saying, but it was so, so funny!

    • Jeremy

      Well, it was Jay’s own fault there, he opened up the flood gates when he made a the joke about having his show canceled and not sleeping with his staff for nothing. Besides, ultimately Letterman had worked hard for the Tonight Show to have somebody who had done nothing to earn it, swoop it out from under him. He may be hard on Jay, but I think he’s really angry with NBC more than anything, because ultimately they’re the ones who screwed him over.

    • Coyote

      Dave was laying into NBC and GE wayyyy before the whole Tonight Show debacle. That’s one of the reasons the affiliates didn’t want Letterman. Now Leno and Conan are doing it too. Delicious!

    • Parth

      Comcast is all about the Google, and the web two-point-oh buzz. They even have a that’s regularly uatdped.If you hadn’t heard about it, had a run-in with Comcast on Twitter and has some interesting observations.

  • Mr. Naughton

    I’ve been watching all of these shows lately and enjoying all the drama. In fact, I hope NBC never fixes this!

    No one is better than Letterman when he’s at the top of his game, and this Conan-Leno thing is perfect grist for his mill. I think he’s the best late night talk show host ever, including Carson. Think about it, Letterman made the 12:30 spot viable and gave CBS a late night presence (I think CBS ran Wiseguy reruns before Dave came along). Carson was great, but he simply took over the Tonight Show brand when there was no competition.

    But I also think Conan is very funny, and I will continue to watch him wherever he is. I’m weary about all the technology that’s around these days, but I love my DVR! Leno is awful, Fallon is OK but there’s no edge to him (I get it, Jimmy, The Roots are the best band on TV) and I’ve never gotten the whole Ferguson thing, except for those puppets.

    • RCB

      I like Jimmy Kimmel the best, then Craig, then Conan. Thanks DVR!

      • RR3

        RCB..Kimmel is the worst!!!
        Leno is going to ABC, once the dust settles and he gets an extremely generous settlement with NBC and a multi-million offer from ABC…
        Rt now Leno at 11:30 TTS with Conan out, because of him, the rating will tank, due to the flee of millions of angry fans…
        Leno has no choice, but to save face and go to ABC…
        Craig Ferguson is by far the best late night TV host…
        @ 11:30 PM weeknights -Leno vs Conan vs Letterman…let the ratings war begin !!!!

    • fox fox

      To say that Letterman is better than Carson (Mr. Naughton) is just moronic. Letterman is a bitter prick who bangs his staff.

      • Pabst4ever

        You`re just bitter because he didn`t bang you.

    • Isembard

      Sorry, but you lost any credibility with me when you declared the the king of phoning it in better than Carson. Carson was a master. You might dig up some vids and learn why the man was great – topical, witty, funny, and always ENJOYING what he was doing, not bored and puzzlingly smug like Letterman.

  • Mia

    Letterman is just bashing his old nemesis. I don’t believe he really cares much for Conan.

    And why are you knocking Jimmy? He’s a sweet newbie. I’d be surprised if he starts to bash Leno like everybody else.

    • Dusty

      I agree with this whole comment. Letterman doesn’t give a damn about Conan in all of this.

      • Growler

        uh I had to break in here to respond to “Letterman doesn’t give a damn about Conan in all of this”
        NOTHING could be further from the truth! In fact, not only did Dave appear on Late Night — Conan also appeared on Dave’s CBS show in the first year and Dave was nothing but gracious and wished Conan success and said he hoped Conan would come back and visit. And if you’ve watched Dave for years — you know when he means it, and he did. There is mutual respect, there.

    • Aida

      Ditto. Letterman has more to lose being in the same time slot as Leno, than with Conan. As for Conan’s remark, he’s just being jealous taking a problem created by NBC out on Leno. Leno’s not at fault just because he hasn’t chosen to be a martyr like Conan. Conan’s head’s gotten to big: he should have simply accepted the later time NBC offered and kept all his staff employed.

      • cjsamms

        Actually, Dave has always been gracious with Conan. And Conan has always been reverent towards Dave. Dave even appeared on Late Night when Conan first took over.

        So, I think you need to go back and read the news articles from 1992 to get a better idea of their relationship.

      • GoddessLu

        Are you kidding? If Leno had any self-respect, he would take his lumps and just go away once his show is cancelled. He has no integrity in allowing NBC to push Conan and the Tonight Show back just to appease his need to return to his old time slot, which he announced 5 years ago he was retiring from. Conan has been majorly shafted by both Leno and NBC and has every right to be p-o’d and I hope he does leave NBC and get his contract paid out and take a nice vacation in Hawaii and then do his own fabulous show on another network that values its contracts and its players.

      • K

        I couldn’t disagree more. Leno is acting like an infant. How does Conan, who has been hosting the Tonight show for 7 months, care more about the fate of the franchise than the guy who hosted for over 2 decades? Leno is completely at fault because he made an agreement, he signed a contract agreeing to leave and pass the reins to Conan. If he got cold feet, he should have found another avenue rather than reneging on the agreement and screwing the people who legitimately have taken over the late night programming. NBC is mostly at fault, but to say Leno is innocent is to ignore the details. He’s greedily clinging to relevance (seeing that he tried his hand at another show, and no one was watching), and doesn’t care who or what gets hurt in the process.

      • hmm

        Not only has Conan’s head gotten big but his hair is way funky and misproportioned. Dude needs to tone that down all I can see is the bounce of his top notch when he moves his head. It is very distracting.

      • John O.

        Totally agree with GoddessLu. It’s nice to know SOMEONE at this message board knows what they’re talking about. Leno is an arrogant jerk and deserves everything that he’s getting–including getting canceled prime ime.

      • PJM

        GoddessLu is right. Leno and NBC are the bad guys here. Not Conan and not Letterman. Conan’s only mistake is not signing a more ironclad contract in 2004. NBC was idiotic in not making sure they kept Leno off the air once he was supposed to retire, and Jay never should have gone back on his word and screw so many people over in the process.

        Jay was one Hugh Grant interview away from heading back to the stand-up circuit. He has his monologue, and that’s it. Dave’s the better interviewer and Conan is far more personable.

      • lisa

        GoddessLu is right on the money. Jay knew several years ago that The Tonight Show would be turned over to Conan in 2009. This was the agreement, and it was public knowledge (go back and read the media reporting for confirmation). NBC got greedy when it realized that Conan would probably not have Jay’s numbers right out of the gate. They axed some strong 10 p.m. performers and gave the slot to Jay to appease his ego and maximize their profit. Let’s face it, both NBC and Jay regretted the agreement that was made several years ago. Fine, but a contract is a contract. NBC showed Carson the door to bring in Jay, and Jay had the same thing done to him 17 years later. Now everyone wants to undo the agreement. Jay could have avoided this whole mess by accepting his cancellation and quietly stepping aside, rather than jeopardizing both Conan and Jimmy’s shows. He is rich enough, and he has plenty of other options available to him. Pushing back Conan and Jimmy 1/2 hour will lose them even more audience numbers at that hour of the *morning*. And everyone, including Jay and NBC, seem to forget that Jay’s numbers weren’t anything great for a while after he took over TTS. It wasn’t until he had Hugh Grant on right after the hooker debacle that he took the late-night lead away from Dave. Conan deserves at least as much consideration to get his footing, and 7 months isn’t enough time for a verdict. And for the record, I don’t even watch these guys…I’m a Craig Ferguson fan all the way. Jay could walk away from NBC (it’s his show that’s been canceled) and move on. It’s really rather sad that he’s demonstrating so little class.

      • Kackie

        Goddesslu, i too have to commend you on your post. My blood boils when i even think about Leno and his selfish disregard for anyone other than himself, and I am baffled as to why he feels he is so important and entitled. I have always found Leno to be creepy, degrading, obnoxious, self-approving, egotistic, and pompous. He seems uninterested and distracted in his interviews, always cutting his guests off with some stuttering b.s. that isn’t even funny. I can honestly say I have NEVER laughed watching Leno, and quite frankly I am typically just uncomfortable with his awkward and cringe-worthy attempts at hitting on his women guests. Why in god’s name he is the reason behind the potential end of excellent TV (Conan) so he can have a job when HIS show is the one that is being cancelled is beyond me. He should be fired and Conan should be king. Conan is simply amazing, and his show is one of few that can honestly make me laugh out loud, even when I am by myself. LOVE YOU CONAN!

      • Shel

        Just want to add to the Goddesslu responses by saying I think she is delusional and so are the rest of you who agree with her. The idea that you think Jay has EQUAL POWER with the NBC executives is just fairytale land. He is under contract too. All your posts are full of personal vitriol and attacks on Jay as a person – who has done NOTHING to you and who you do not know personally. Seriously, its alternating hysterical and incredibly scaring/sad reading you.

    • Isembard

      I think Conan and Letterman have a tighter bond than you think; remember Conan’s farewell speach on his old show. He focused on the generosity and support Letterman had provided him. Sure, Letterman is undoubtedly still bitter over losing the Tonight Show, and he’d be odd not to be enjoying the drama in which he plays no part. None of that really diminishes his support for Conan though which I do believe is genuine.

    • TruthMachine

      So, Mia, you tune in for a late night comedy show because the host is “sweet”? Excuse me while I vomit. Late night talk show hosts are supposed to be funny. The criteria isn’t “they should be sweet and attractive.” And Jimmy Fallon is not funny. Watching Jimmy Fallon instead of watching Conan, Letterman and Ferguson, is like watching Step By Step, instead of The Office/30 Rock/Arrested Development.

      • Mia

        Oh, no, pls save your vomit for something else. This doesn’t worth it. Truth be told, Conan is the only talk show I watch these days. You may hate Jimmy, but there are youngsters like my niece really adore him. And he seems like a nice kid. In a business like this, a good personality may carry a long way.

  • April

    great blog.

  • Chris

    Leno needs to just bow out.
    It’s over already.

    • James

      second that

    • Tim

      I also second that. He’s so boring….hmmm would I rather see headlines for the 1200th time or would I rather see Conan shoot wax dummies out of a canon?

  • Al

    Or maybe Letterman just likes being number one in late night and knows that will end if Leno returns.

    • Eric

      or maybe its because he feels leno is bad at his job.

    • Lala

      While there is obviously some competition, Letterman genuinely likes Conan and genuinely dislikes Jay Leno.

      • Shindu

        Colonel,Interesting blog you’ve got there. I’ve spent a lot of time in The People’s Republic (China, not California), and you’re correct about their knglewdoe of history. In fact, those who are curious enjoy quizzing visitors about Chinese history. Amazing. Yet another experiment in socialist totalitarianism gone horribly, terribly wrong. It’s a belief that can only survive in a state of enforced ignorance.

    • Dan

      Dave better get all the punches in now, he won’t be getting them in when Leno returns.

    • betty woj

      I’ll take Leno over Letterman any night–Dave still is bitter NBC picked Leno over him after Carson left and they were right. His ratings were higher than Dave’s on CBS. Go Jay, go!

  • John

    jay’s had his time. it is completely unfair for conan, but where can he move? nbc and cbs are the only established late night stations. just think, 5 years ago, jay threatened to leave if he didn’ get payed.

    • Dave

      Are you 5 years old? “Not fair” ??? grow up. It’s business, it’s not kids playing in the playground. Jay had a better pull than Conan on the Tonight Show. Both men draw audience and thus will have a job where ever they end up.

      • Melissa K D

        Last time I looked, fairness has no age requirement. We expect judges & lots of decision-makers to be fair… and yes, that includes bosses.

      • Dave

        Melissa …. you probably never spoke to a judge or a lawyer. They’ll tell you that LAW does NOT equal “fair”. I still think that Conan pressured NBC to move him to the Tonight Show and so they had to accomodae Leno with a 10pm spot. I don’t know the details, BUT I would not be surprised.

      • I’mjustsayin’

        And how was Jay’s “pull” in 1992? THe show was a mess! It wasn’t until July 1995 that Leno took hold. And that was with high ratings lead in’s like ER and Law and Order. Jay was given years to get his firm grip in late night history while Conan O’Brien was given “I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here ” and The debacle known as The Jay Leno Show as lead in’s and only 7 months. Completely unfair. Jay is 60 in April. It’s time for him to open up a casino in Vegas and do his monologue every night for middle America to hear. But the sad fact is, Variety is reporting that NBC has now promised Jay 11:35 no matter what. Great! More lame, stale and forced comedy.

      • Lala

        It’s unfair that everyone’s contracts were breached because of Zucker’s pigheadedness to save costs over quality of programming. Yes, it is a business, and yes, businesses make stupid mistakes sometimes, but I don’t think Conan and his staff (who don’t have the same resources as him,) deserve the treatment they’re being received.

  • Ryan

    Instead of shoving around Conan and Jimmy why not keep Jay where he is ONE night a week?

    Also, I don’t blame Jimmy for not wanting to get too involved. Who knows which way this will all blow and he’ll still be around

    • G.R.

      100% agreed! If Jay really wants to stay on television, I think it would be better for NBC to give him just a weekly variety show than to screw up their whole late-night schedule.

      • Sally

        I agree completely. Even before Jay’s primetime show started I thought it should air one night a week. However Jay doesn’t want that – he wants a weekly show. And NBC wants to keep Jay happy.

    • Adam

      This souns naive but I like the idea. Why can’t they share the Tonight Show? Jay would get T-TH and a ground breaking Sunday. Conan Gets M-W-F. if anyone does know why it wouldn’t work (besides egos), I would like to hear it.

  • Justin Case

    Jay should man up and back out of it all and move onto something else.

    • imo

      I think what will happen is Leno will leave NBC, Conan will stay and Leno may pop up again sometime in the future on another network but I think Leno is done with NBC and has probably told them to take a flying leap. I hate to see Leno go but that’s my prediction for the outcome of this whole mess. I think he ultimately feels bad for Conan and will take the walk of shame for him and in the end wish Conan luck again as he did during his last Tonigh Show.

    • Brian

      Exactly. Jay agreed to this deal six years ago. Whether Conan can or will ever pull bigger audiences 11:35 than Jay did is, in principle, irrelevant. A deal’s a deal, and Jay’s backtracking is poor gamesmanship. Sadly, principle and gamesmanship seem not to have a place in the cutthroat TV world. Oh well! I can only hope this means bigger and better for Conan.

    • Christina

      uNKqzi With the bases loaded you struck us out with that answer!

  • Chris

    I’m looking forward to Howard Stern guesting on Conan next week to tear Jay a new @$$hole.

    • Dusty

      Is he really? In my experience, Howard does a lot of talking but never actually goes through with these threats.

      • Chris

        He spoke about it this morning. He hates to fly but he doesn’t want to miss this opportunity.

      • yogi

        Howard has been known to lay into Jay when he’s on with Letterman, so if he’s going on Conan, he’ll let it fly.

    • Friggin Tommy Noble

      “W-EEEEENNNN-BC?” Oh, Stern’s gonna destroy him. Can’t wait.

      • dt

        Classic.
        I think NBC really screwed the pooch when they decided to give Leno a daily show at 10PM. I’m biased because I’m a HUGE ‘Southland’ fan and thought they did themselves a tremendous disservice by letting that show go to TNT. Especially when you consider it was their best police drama since (dare I say) ‘Hill St. Blues.’ An earlier post mentioned Leno on ONE night a week. That’s exactly my thought on it. Give him Sunday nights! Why not? He’s family oriented, can come on at 9 – go up against Family Guy and whatever’s on CBS/ABC.
        They never gave Conan a fair chance. Who wants to watch what basically equates to TWO late shows? I’d rather see Conan interview the Cos. Maybe there’s a new perspective? Way to go NBC.

      • John O.

        To dt: The reason NBC didn’t offer Sunday nite to Leno is probably because his ego is too big to go from 5 nights a week prime time to just one night, and NBC knew that. It’s a good idea though. Too bad it wouldn’t work on full-of-himself Leno.

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