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Thursday, 21 of November of 2019

Tag » Conan O’Brien

Conan – “Baa Baa Blackmail”

Welcome to my new show, Conan. People ask me why I named the show Conan. I did it so I’d be harder to replace.”

Photo: T-Bone Sandwich/Flickr

After a concert tour that helped him work through his disappointment (and grow an awesome sorrow beard) here is Conan O’Brien on, as he keeps reminding us, on basic cable, on TBS. Very funny, but much less.  With Conan, I think we have both things, at least for the time being. Read more »


My Night with Conan O’Brien

Since I hit the age that I could watch late-night without worrying about my bedtime, Conan has been my guy. Leno was always too pedestrian, Letterman wasn’t on NBC (I had brand-loyalty from an early age), and Conan spoke to my sense of humor, oddly-shaped as it was by Ren & Stimpy and Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. As his show got glossier, more refined, intelligent even, it almost felt like it grew up with me. Hearing about his getting The Tonight Show was almost like hearing about my own triumph. That’s my guy, the shock of red hair that was on mainstream media yet still kept a low-profile. His success was only exciting to me and maybe a handful of others I knew but it was like a new age was coming and, for kids like me that wanted to be in the content-creation business, his arrival to a flagship program could only be a sign of great things.

Then six years passed and Conan got his show and, for some reason, I fell off. And I wasn’t alone. And NBC hemorrhaged viewers in all facets of the network. And Jay Leno’s 10 o’clock gig failed as miserably as everyone thought it would. And Conan was being pressured to build up the audience it took Jay years to scrounge up. And the network did some things that not only violated the scrap of brand-loyalty I had left but also cast my guy out. My guy! Conan was classy about it, made it about business but also about the tradition and history his silly little show got to be a part of.

This is all stuff you already know. What is important to this story is what happened after and why his eventual national tour (titled as a slap in the face to the network that spurned him) is the way it was. This wasn’t his late-night show taken for a ride. This wasn’t a chance for him to test new material for his new show on TBS. This, instead, was a celebration of years of branding and how Conan’s iconography swelled from being a recognizable figure to a cause. This is also the story of how this tour was not just a celebration of the cult of personality known as Team CoCo but also how this was a chance for us to say goodbye.

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Double Whammy: Conan on TBS and L&O:LA

In light of April being the cruelest month, I’m taking a small, academically mandated vacation for a couple of weeks. Reviews will still be posted by me (Nick will keep chugging along, I’m sure), just less consistently. I guarantee Lost and probably Doctor Who, but anything else will hinge entirely on my schedule and how well the final push of the semester goes. This week, for example, will be a little sparse. (Maybe HIMYM later in the week; I haven’t even watched the episode yet.)

To make up for it though, I’m giving you some brief thoughts on two things near and dear to my heart: Conan O’Brien and Law & Order. Read more »


The Tonight Show – Episode 138

“My name is Conan O’Brien, and I may soon be available for children’s parties.”

Nick and I were drafting a post about Conan’s options. It wasn’t coming together for me, so Nick took a crack at it, and it sat in the drafts folder of the blog for most of the day yesterday. I get back from class, futz around on Twitter, and then I shout at Alisa, “He’s quitting!” (he’s really not (yet)). And the next 30 minutes involve reading reactions and thoughts about what will happen next (making our original post kind of pointless). Conan’s statement is him forcing NBC’s hand, making the issue of his and The Tonight Show‘s future one of semantics (is it still The Tonight Show if it starts tomorrow?), and with rumors about guest hosts circulating, no one could really guess what would happen on last night’s episode.

Conan looked tired. (Well, tireder than usual for a tall albino with that amazing hair.) Which isn’t surprising, considering he was supposedly up until the early morning, drafting his statement. In contrast, Jay Leno looked positively energized on his show tonight. (Yes, I watched it, Sandra Bullock eating BBQ and all.)  And Conan seemed to be expecting, and frankly ready, to go.

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Leno Apparently Wins for Losing While Conan Loses for Losing

We here at Monsters of Television have no love for Jay Leno’s comedy. The only thing staler than the stand-up’s jokes are jokes about the size of his chin, his denim fetish, and the unintelligible squealing people do when they do “impressions” of him. So news that NBC might be cancelling (or scaling back) Leno’s 10pm comedy wasteland, The Jay Leno Show, driven by the network ordering a number of new pilots of scripted programming (none produced by John Wells, to be sure), brought us considerable pleasure.

And then TMZ had to go ruin it: Leno was returning, significantly less than victorious (but having performed up to NBC’s incredibly low expectations and killing news affiliates’ ratings) to his old time slot, leaving Conan out in the cold (we remain convinced that Conan never really wanted the gig anyway, but nervous schoolboy Jimmy Fallon was already promised Conan’s desk).

And then the New York Times had to go and (more or less) confirm it. Read more »