The NBC peacock walked into a KFC and surrendered…

20 01 2010

I’m a firm believer that much like they say you either like the Beatles or Elvis but not both, you either like Letterman or Leno, not both.  Me, I’m a Letterman fan.  My grandma was a Carson fan and when he left, she switched to Letterman and as the only time I was ever permitted to stay up late enough to watch late night TV was at my grandmother’s, I pretty much followed her lead.

I tested the waters later on in my adult years, but the only thing I liked with Leno was his street bits where he would ask the most basic questions and the stupidity of our citizens shown like halogen high beams on a car at the hour before dawn.  Other than that, I didn’t like him.  I actually will go so far as to stay I couldn’t stand him.  His guffaw was irritating, his voice was irritating and his jokes were irritating.  He was irritating.

Then entered Conan O’Brien and I like the guy.  Not to the point of making the switch for good, but he was tolerable when Letterman has on stupid pet tricks or crappy guests.  Conan could poke fun at himself on that thin balance beam that left you wondering if he really was that idiotic or was he just doing it for the laughs.  And how can you not laugh at a transplanted Californian with a complexion to rival Dracula and hair the colour of baby carrots?

For weeks NBC riddled the airwaves with highlight reels of Jay’s new show, which seemed almost like the flop variety show that Rosie tried so hard to push – again NBC?  And like Rosie’s show, it did flop.  So NBC wanted to push Conan’s show back a bit and put Leno back into his old time slot and you would think there would be a contract somewhere to say they couldn’t.  But somehow when the four year contract was signed they never included the time slot, they being NBC and Conan and his attorneys never noticed it.

So now as they, being NBC, decide to put Leno in his time slot, they seem shocked and angry that Conan isn’t eager to walk away or accept a later time slot.  He is contractually bound to stick around and do their bidding, or face losing not only the income but also the right to do any work for the rest of the term of his contract.  Or he can let them buy him out, which seems to be the path he’s chosen.  And shame and dismay on him, he has asked that they, being NBC, pay for not only his buyout, but the cost of his staff that relocated to California to work with him!

So it seems that in the next few weeks Leno will be back, Conan will disappear into some unknown realm of comedy until Fox picks him up and NBC will continue to flounder under the guidance of Zucker, and I’ll return faithfully once more to Letterman.

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