In The Year 2010

NBC made the most dunderheaded move it has made since 1979. This week, it was confirmed that Jay Leno was rewarded for having a snoozefest of a show at 10pm by putting him back in the 11:35pm 'Tonight Show' slot.

I was the kid who was a night owl and would sneak to watch Carson's monologue far too many nights to count. I loved the rapport of Johnny and Ed, the Amazing Kreskin routines and Carson garbed in a plaid flannel jacket and Elmer Fudd jacket. As I got older, I'd watch the whole show.

Back then, it was assumed that David Letterman would be passed the baton when Johnny took his final bow. Instead, Jay Leno came in-and Letterman jumped over to CBS. Who could blame the man?

When Game Teen was born, the child's sleep schedule mirrored his Mom and Dad's nicely. My retail hours, and Ed's second shift mainframe job in downtown DC meant we liked to stay up until 1:30 or 2am. Somehow, we got hooked on the Late Show with Conan O'Brien.

It's been said here many times over the years, I'm not a big network television watcher. From time to time, there would be ONE show that I'd watch (Law and Order, the guilty pleasure 90210 and for several years, ER). My sense of humor may be warped, because we LOVED this guy from the beginning. He was sarcastic, smart, irreverent and had us laughing consistently. Andy Richter was Conan's very own Ed McMahon.

Eventually, our work schedules didn't allow us to stay up as late, and we had to give up our Conan habit. Here and there, we'd watch when we didn't have to be up early the next morning. We were sleep deprived the last week Andy was with late night. We'd randomly sing the "In the year 2000" song.

In 2002, when the announcement was made that Conan would succeed Jay Leno as host of the Tonight Show in 2009, Ed and I started counting down. Heck, we could hang in there until 12:30 to watch. Unfortunately, we were not in the habit of tuning in to the news or Leno, so we were slow to pick up on "Hey, Conan's on!" Well, we'd get used to it eventually.

How wrong we were.

Once again, Leno will take over a slot in the NBC lineup that had been given to someone else. Conan wrote a classy letter and commented that pushing the 'Tonight Show' to 12:05 will ruin the legacy of the show. Besides, wouldn't that be the first hour of the "Today" snow?

I'm hoping Conan ends up in that 11:35 slot somewhere else.


Somehow, I'll bet Brandon Tartikoff is out there in the great beyond, hoping that maybe, just maybe, this debacle will make us all forget that he was the one who gave the green light for Supertrain.

Comments

I'm a Leno fan, I stopped watching the tonight Show when he left, I've been watching Letterman. I don't care for Conan, but I agree, this whole thing has been a debacle and Conan is the victim of his network's ineptitude. talk is that he's going to wind up on Fox at 11.

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