It’s hard to imagine how NBC could have bungled its late-night lineup any worse.Actually, for this erstwhile (I regularly watched Johnny Carson) viewer, it’s been comedy gold. Jay Leno and Conan O’ Brien have never been funnier this week, lamenting their uncertain futures and mocking the suits at NBC.
The network painted itself into a corner when it swapped out Jay Leno for Conan O’Brien as The Tonight Show host last year.
Now, the peacocks have come home to roost at NBC following Leno’s disastrous 10 p.m. show. The network plans to put Leno back in his old 11:35 p.m. slot, shift O’Brien back to 12:05 a.m. and, well, few folks are paying attention to how it all affects Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, apparently.
While Conan takes a few shots at Jay in each show, those have been mild compared to David Letterman’s nightly pox-on-all-their-houses monologue on CBS' The Late Show. Letterman plays off his resentment at Leno’s inheritance of Carson’s mantle, but that occurred in 1992, and no human being could have stayed mad for 18 years and been successful, much less remained upright.
It’s all material to these professionals, and they’re mining it for all it’s worth. Here are Conan’s list of changes that NBC executives are making to improve the Winter Olympics (in a bow to Letterman’s Top-Ten routine, except the items aren’t numbered).
Move the Winter Olympics to summer, but still call them The Winter Olympics.I've set the DVR to record these shows for viewing at a more civilized hour. The comedic kerfuffle will only last a few weeks, and, as one of them said, these shows might be collector's items.
Replace the Olympic theme with Subway’s “5 Dollar Footlong” song.
Have all event judging done by Paul Abdul, David Hasselhoff and for some reason, Flavor Flav.
Attempt to boost ratings with new event featuring obese people on sleds called “The Biggest Luger.”
Replace the flags on the giant slalom course with breached NBC contracts.
Reserve the right to cancel ski jumps mid-jump.
Move the Bronze up to Gold’s place, Silver stays where it is, and add a new medal for fourth place called the “NBC.”