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Is Jay Leno really this much of an asshole?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by carpenter, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. carpenter

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    As everyone has undoubtedly heard, there's a little bit of fuckery going on at NBC.
    The wonderful media in America has collectively thrown Jay's ass under the bus. I can't help but think that Leno is kind of a dick.
    He always struck me as a genuinely nice guy.
    On the flipside, is Conan being a whiny little bitch? 30-40 Million dollars to not work.
    Again. To not work.


    I have a hope that when Jay Leno takes the Tonight Show back, on his "opening" night monologue he apologizes to Conan and all the people watching. Then he rips NBC's nuts off. Swearing and throwing shit around the studio. He quits the show after lighting a mid-stage fire and walks out as the building collapses.


    FOCUS: Discuss the shit-storm that is the Tonight Show negotiations.

    ALT-FOCUS: Discuss late night talk shows in general. Who's your favourite? What are some of your favourite late-night moments? Who SHOULD (or not) have a late-night show?
     
  2. Nettdata

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    I don't get the Leno Hate.

    It's business, and is 95% NBC's fault... they're putting on a clinic on how NOT to conduct management negotiations.

    And it's 5% Conan's fault.


    Basically, 5 years ago Conan was promised something by NBC as terms of his employment; give me the Tonight Show. Leno agreed, as he thought he'd be done by then anyway.

    Well, it's 5 years later, and Conan gets the gig.

    Then a couple of things happen. Leno is offered a new gig at an earlier time, and he says, "sure".

    Conan fails to deliver the ratings. A number of things are blamed for this, and Conan says that he wasn't given a proper lead-up, but the fact of the matter is that NBC spent an unprecedented $15 million on the marketing to ensure Conan had the viewers.

    After all, within the first week, he had tons of viewers, and failed to hold them. I mean, who DIDN'T know that he was taking over from Leno? Everyone (who gave a shit) was watching.

    So Conan fails to retain the numbers, and NBC then offers the spot back to Leno, who says, "sure". This is after a negotiation failed to get Leno at 11 and Conan at midnight (Conan saying "no").

    Conan is now being "fired" and gets a payout of some sort.


    So yeah, it's only business, and people that can't see that need to give their head a shake. Good business on Leno's behalf, bad on NBC's, and lucky on Conan's part.
     
  3. thevoice

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    Before I share my answer, I'll preface it by admitting that I hardly (if ever) watch late-night TV. The main extent of my TV-watching consists of sports, Simpson's re-runs, and movies. Any prolonged viewing of late-night tv is either a result of the girlfriend, or I'll notice something catchy as I'm flipping through the channels.

    I have a great deal of respect for both Leno and Letterman for longevity purposes and Kimmel gets props for his cameo on Entourage but my personal favourite late-show host is Craig Ferguson.

    My reasons:

    - He doesn't take himself too seriously.
    - His show appears to have ZERO budget compared to the others, yet he still brings it every night.
    - His sketches are blindingly funny. His impressions of Prince Charles and Kim Catrell in particular are brilliant.


    Personally I've never been much of a fan of Conan. I appreciate the fact that he wrote several episodes of the Simpson's, but aside from that, he's always come off as kind of pompus, and whiny. Bare in mind I don't have a ton of evidence to support my dislike for O'Brien, but 'you like who you like," and I don't 'like' Conan.

    Jimmy Fallon is another host I could do without. I've never really understood the appeal of Fallon. His SNL skits were okay, but the fucking guy couldn't keep a straight face ever. And sorry Red Sox fan, but the movie Fever Pitch was a god damned disgrace.
     
  4. Gator

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    It's sort of a chicken vs. egg issue too:

    Is Leno's show in prime too doing shitty because the Tonight Show is shitty and therefore doesn't pull in an audience that will stay on the same channel so that is why Conan's ratings suck.

    OR

    Is the Tonight Show so shitty it can't carry any lead-in programming like the local news and the 10pm show on the same channel so that is why Leno's 10pm shows' ratings suck?

    From what I understand, a lot of programming from 10pm on has to do with people picking a channel and then sticking with it until they fall asleep. Show then News then Late Night show. They all feed off one another.

    That being said, I like Letterman because of his quick wit. Outside all the scripted/pre-written material (of which, Conan's is probably the best) I think Letterman has the best off the cuff responses during his sitdown interviews. Craig Ferguson is pretty good too. I am not a Leno fan.
     
  5. redbullgreygoose

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    I barely watch any of those late night shows and when I do, I watch Kimmel. But I watched Conan for the first time last night just to see how he was going to go out. Plus Adam Sandler was on. It was a pretty interesting show but I could care less about any of this drama.
     
  6. RCGT

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    I think you'll find that both of those things are the same thing.

    I'm a fan of both Conan and Craig Ferguson, who is criminally underrated. I feel like you have to have a real appreciation for drunkenness to fully enjoy Craig's ex-alcoholic style of banter. Conan is fucking hilarious as well, though. Jay's a hack.

    I agree with a lot of this essay.
     
  7. Gator

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    You are correct. Sorry about that. I got mixed up in my wording.

    Is Leno's shows' rating low because the Tonight Show sucks or is the Tonight Show's ratings low because Leno's prime time show sucks? Or is it one big vicious circle?
     
  8. Currer Bell

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    I think the only thing I've ever liked about Leno was his laugh. He has an infectious laugh, so whenever he's reacting to other funny stuff - Headlines, or people's answers to his questions - it adds to the funny. Otherwise, meh.

    I love both Letterman and Conan, but I suppose if I had to I'd choose Conan. His brand of humor appeals to me a lot, but I kind of get that it isn't everyone's cup of tea. I could easily see that the type of people that watched Leno regularly might be put off by Conan's shtick.

    But as others have noted, I don't really watch late night shows on the regular. So as much as it makes me sad to think of Conan not being on anymore, it doesn't really affect my life one way or another.
     
  9. Frebis

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    Jimmy Kimmel wins the late night battle for me hands down.

    Conan is not funny. He has had two funny gags (masturbating bear, walker texas ranger lever). Other than that it is jokes about how floppy his hair is, and how red it is. We get it. You are Irish, find something else to joke about. Fuck, the idiot side kick drummer doesn't even stick around for the show. When given the chance he goes on tour with Springsteen. I'm really not sure what would be worse, working for Conan or working for a washed up Vietnam protester.
     
  10. Beefy Phil

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    You're honestly the first person I've heard, besides Dick Ebersol, who actually blames Conan for this bullshit.

    The way I understand it, the only show NBC cancelled was Leno's. Because it completely tanked. Because he's a hack. His hackery provided a weak lead-in to Conan's show, rendered him redundant (you can only joke about the same current events so many times in 2.5 hours) and dented Conan's ratings significantly. So we don't really know for sure if Conan was the reason for the Tonight Show's weak start, do we? Not to mention, Conan has only been doing this for 7 months. If you recall, his Late Night show was panned for 2 to 3 years before it was accepted as part of the mainstream late night culture.

    Leno, instead of accepting that he is fast becoming irrelevant with modern television viewers, has opted not to bow out gracefully and (easily) find another job, but would rather throw a wrench into the career of a guy who quite evidently has the support of America's late night audience. He didn't have to take the 11 o'clock time slot. He could have said, "No, let's work something else out", knowing full well that his return to that slot would have meant impinging on O'Brien and Fallon. He calls himself a stand-up comedian, so he should know better. You don't fuck with another comic's career. You don't push other comics around because you can't get the job done. And when you do, you get what you deserve. Leno is getting what he deserves. He's a fucking primadonna who panders to the lowest common denominator in American T.V. viewership and is unjustly rewarded for serving up bland, unintelligent, easy-to-swallow garbage.

    Further, he's decided to side with a network guilty of gross incompetence and willful ignorance of it's audience's tastes, and he's doing it with a big, smug, shit-eating grin on his face. He's a company man, through and through. To pity Leno is to pity the conglomerate of suited douchebags who have never done a creative thing in their fucking lives, and who have inexplicably been tasked with controlling the future of those who have. It's another example of a common sentiment in this country these days: the people in charge are fucking idiots, and they are going to ruin everything good about America.

    You want to call it business? Call it business. I'm going to call Leno a greedy, attention-seeking hack who doesn't know when to quit.
     
  11. effinshenanigans

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    I blame it on Green Car.

    It sounds like something that Banya from Seinfeld would come up with ("Green Car?! That's gold!")

    Focus: Leno isn't funny to me. His chin is pretentious and his head bobs around more than Michael J. Fox with a caffeine addiction. I think that he should've bowed out gracefully after his horrible failure at 10:00 and let NBC move forward with something that would actually produce positive ratings to lead into local news. His show seriously butt fucked NBC's affiliates.

    But he's only a small percentage of the problem because it was NBC's idea to create his shit storm of a show in the first place. I'm not saying that they could've ever predicted it would pull less ratings than CSI reruns on Spike, but once they realized that it was that bad, their solution was even worse. Indian giving The Tonight Show to Conan is a terrible snub and it makes them look like a bunch of retarded monkeys. Yeah, Conan's going to get a shit-ton of money to leave, but that's not what he wanted. He worked his ass off for the opportunity and they gave him less than a year to show what he had. He was just getting into his groove in his time slot. And then, to top it off, not only are they getting rid of someone who actually has potential, they plan to give The Tonight Show back to a guy who produced the crap that got them here in the first place.

    Personally, I feel bad for Conan and I think he deserved a lot better. I hope he goes to another network at the same time and destroys.

    Sidenote: I also think it's funny that NBC expects to lose a ton of money as they exclusively air the Olympics. How does that work, exactly?
     
  12. taikaviitta

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    Alt-focus: Morgan Freeman announces the news

     
    #12 taikaviitta, Jan 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  13. Guy Fawkes

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    I can see the argument from both sides but regardless, NBC fucked up.

    This whole mess came from a series of business decisions meant to head this off before it became an issue.

    In 2004 Conan approached NBC and let them know he had offers for a show at 11:30 from other networks. Given that Conan had a following that NBC didn't want to lose to the competition they pacified him with an offer of taking over the Tonight Show in five years time if he stayed on. Apparently they did this without consulting Jay Leno.

    NBC then went to Leno when his contract was up and informed him that they would resign him for another 5 years but that after that Conan would be taking over the show. Leno agreed.

    Leno's new show at 10 has utterly failed with ratings getting progressively worse. Conan also hasn't been pulling the same ratings that Leno had on the Tonight Show so NBC brainfarted and decided to just put things back the way they were.

    Conan gets screwed through no fault of his own (a few months isn't a big enough sampling to say whether or not he would be better or worse than Leno who had the show for 12 years) and he had a shitty lead in with Leno's crap show.

    Leno never wanted to give up the show in the first place as he's a fucking workaholic. Even though I personally prefer Letterman to him he was #1 and not fading at all.

    Could Leno have handled things differently? Yes. He could have had some balls and refused to give up the show in the first place. Should Conan be pissed about getting paid $40M for being fired? I wouldn't be, but as an entertainer I can see the stigma of a "failed" show being attached to you as something that is undesirable (even though I think the other networks will look past it entirely).

    Ultimately NBC looks like a bunch of confused wishy-washy failures in all of this. Tweaking things that didn't need to be tweaked and making a mess out of it. With that said the ratings for ALL the late night shows are up because of this. People love watching a train wreck.
     
  14. Crown Royal

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    Leno just plain should not have talk show anymore. Nothing against them man himself because I admire him greatly as an extremely hard working entertainer (and I got a "Headline" on his show once so there's personal history for me too), but he put his time in and Conan cut his teeth in later hours since I was a kid. Personally I think Conan is bizarre, funny, and quick (though he dabbles in unecessary weirdness too often). Why NBC feels THEY ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE LENO IN THE HELM AT ALL COSTS NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE THINK is beyond me. They aren't even giving O'Brien's run a fair chance yet. When Leno first replaced Carson, the entire USA lost their collective shit at the thought an annoying stand-up comedian would replace the multi-multi-talented legend. Sure enough, Letterman crushed Leno the first couple of years. The Hugh Grant scandal changed that, and Leno climbed his way to the top. I thought I would never say this (ever), but it seems that the Fox network even has more sense than NBC right now.

    This IS NBC's fault. Not Leno, Not Conan, the network. That's not an opinion, but fact.
     
  15. travis

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    I have been a huge Conan fan since I got to college (about 5 years ago). I loved Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and was really happy that he was moving to The Tonight Show.

    That said, I feel like he watered down a lot of his humor for the earlier time slot. He got rid of the masturbating bear, and many other things that I loved when he was on Late Night. After the first two months or so, I had pretty much stopped watching, except for the occasional episode. As much as I love Conan, I think that had as much to do with the low ratings as the lower ratings of shows coming on before him.

    Now, since NBC decided to put Leno back at 11:35, Conan really seemed to turn back into his old self. He has just been ripping into NBC every night, and all his jokes in general have been more biting. He seems like the guy he used to be at Late Night again.

    So I feel bad for him, and it does feel like he got screwed, getting moved after just 7 months on The Tonight Show, but hopefully now he will go somewhere else where he can be himself. If he brings back the masturbating bear, I know I'll be watching.
     
  16. JGold

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    I never really got into the late night talk shows because, frankly, I don't give a shit about celebrities. Except for Vinnie Chase, of course. I can think of a million other things I'd rather be doing at midnight than listening to Matthew McConaughey promote his new(est) romantic comedy. I can see the appeal from a humor/current events side of things, but it's just not for me. I prefer to get my laughs elsewhere.

    Alt. Focus: That being said, I would watch the hell of a late night talk show hosted by Sir Charles Barkley.
     
  17. Blue Dog

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    He came back last night, if only for a little while (second video down)

    While I never stay up to watch these shows (or anything on TV at all, really), when I do happen to catch one, I personally think Conan is hilarious and that Leno is a hack who could only solicit a laugh from me if a dog shit on his face. Fuck NBC.
     
  18. Vanilla

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    Here's my view on the situation. I don't know if any of you saw Leno's show the other night when he explained his side of the story. It seems kind of legit to me. His show is flopping because the shows he goes up against at 10 on other networks eat into his viewership. Having a nightly show in primetime is difficult because you're going up against the people who watch their Monday @ 10 show, Thursday @ 10 show, etc. Talk shows tend to garner a daily viewership vs the weekly one of traditional primetime. Nobody could have kept a talk show afloat at 10. Though Jay's headlines usually end up having a few gems. NBC forcing Jay out when he was still #1 was their mistake. Through and through this is NBCs fault. Even if you like Jay or you like Conan, I'm sick of this he said she said bullshit.

    To call Leno a hack because his show at 10 was a flop is a far cry from fair. In my eyes it was out of his hands to begin with. I occasionally watched the Tonight Show when Leno hosted, though not every night. I have yet to see a full Conan show. [Rant] I've watched his garbage enough to know that his punchline half the time is wobbling his lanky ass on the stage back and forth or doing that goddamn tie adjusting thing he does. Without fail. This is his punchline. Every. Single. Time I've watched clips from his show. It's not funny. If your jokes are shit, you adjusting your goddamn tie that's strung around your Goofy ass Ginger head isn't gonna make me laugh, or tune in. [/Rant]

    So to sum it up, I hate Conan. I think Leno is alright, but I don't find much latenight except Jon Stewart to be laugh out loud funny.

    Until one of you comes on here and says you're Leno, Conan, or an NBC exec that knows the situation well, I'm sick of hearing about it. None of us know what's going on! So fuck off, stop going on TMZ etc to find out about the situation. Why has the world fallen into this culture of obsessing with celebrities? The fact that TMZ exists sickens me, but that's for another day.
     
  19. effinshenanigans

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  20. Nettdata

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    I remember the first time I saw a "late night" show.

    I was about 10 or 11, and it was a very early David Letterman show.

    I was punching the channels (remember those plastic boxes with the push buttons on them, with a cable going to the TV, before wireless remotes?), and then saw somebody throw something off of a 12 story building.

    It was a pinata filled with baked beans.

    And they FILMED IT.

    I heard the angels sing, and saw the bright light in the sky, and I was forever a Letterman fan.

    They threw TV's and all sorts of shit off the building, and it was glorius.

    Leno ALWAYS fell flat for me. I respect the hell out of him for his car-nuttiness/sickness, but his humour caters to a totally different demographic than I am.

    Conan has his moments, Craig is AWESOME, and Kimmel is funny, but too constrained in his content due to the censors/timeslots in my opinion.

    Honestly, I'd love to see Adam Carolla get a shot at a late night show, but done in a casual, "chatting on the couch" kind of way similar to his podcasts.

    Unfortunately, the censorship would kill a lot of the funny, but it just might make it regardless.