Saturday, February 21, 2009

Good luck, Conan!

On Friday night, I watched the last episode of Late Night with Conan O' Brien.

Yes, O'Brien took over the Late Night show from David Letterman in 1993 and is scheduled to take over The Tonight Show on May 1 after Jay Leno retires. O'Brien's successor will be Jimmy "About as Funny as Cancer" Fallon.

Now, the 11:30 p.m. time slot on NBC used to be a great thing. Letterman made it a winner and O'Brien continued its success. And, yes, I said 11:30 p.m. because I'm using central time.

With O'Brien heading to the 10:30 p.m. time slot, I can't help but think three things.

1. There isn't a thing worth watching on network television at 11:30 p.m. at night.

2. That's a shame because it will be tough to choose between Letterman and O'Brien at 10:30 p.m.

3. Will Conan get tamed when he takes over The Tonight Show?

Hey, since 1993, fans have delighted as Conan has run around irritating people and making fun of them. He's brought us such fantastic off-color characters as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the Masterbating Bear. He spent the last week of his show, in fact, tearing up pieces of his set with a sledgehammer and and axe and handing the rubble out to audience members as souvenirs.

Will he be able to get away with those kind of antics in front of an audience that used to the tame and predictable Jay Leno? That's a real concern, folks, because I remember when Leno was an edgy young comedian who used to show up and raise hell on the Letterman show. That rebellious streak vanished about the time he took over for Johnny Carson.

So I do hope O'Brien doesn't change that much. Now, here's one of his best bits:
Baseball Sketch


Sherry said...

Funny clip. I enjoyed it! said...

I do not watch much late night television. However, I have wondered myself how well this transition would be.

And not having really kept up much, is Jay Leno easing his way into retirement? I know he is a workaholic and never took breaks from the "Tonight Show", but I am curious about why he is relinquishing the reins of the popular show he has been hosting since 1992?

And will Letterman be able to compete with O'Brien?

It all remains to be seen.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Sherry -- I've been running around watching Conan do stuff just like that for years. I hope he keeps it up!

Paul -- Jay is, evidently, doing just that. He'll host a half-hour (I think) show that comes on before "The Tonight Show."

I think the Letterman/Conan thing will be something to watch, seeing how both of them found fame on a show that Letterman practically invented.

Ought to be fun to watch.