Ohh Coco :: NBC’s Conan / Leno Debacle

January 25, 2010

What prompted NBC to reinvent the wheel? Conan was pulling high ratings following Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, and in that position, Leno outranked Letterman dominating Late Night TV for more than a decade. So why shift gears when you’re above the competition?

I assume to try and ensure top position above the competition by grooming the future star early on. But that still entailed reinventing the wheel and was done so early on that all parties are paying for the grave miscalculation.  After only 7 months of hosting the Tonight Show, Conan has taken the high road in walking away without any uproar, but at the expense of his credibility as a high profile comedian. Leno in the same way won’t immediately regain audience when he resumes the main position in NBC Late Night TV.  And as NBC pays heavy compensation to outgoing Conan O’Brien, cuts losses from their Leno show launched some months back and re-gears everything back to as close to the original state as possible, they come across as ultimate fools in this debacle.

But what went wrong after Conan actually replaced Leno? I always thought Conan was funnier than Jay. Leno was good, certainly better than Letterman, but Coco made me laugh, like actually laugh out loud. He was far less staged, less slick than Leno.

Conan wasn’t static. He made me laugh out loud because he acted funny. It was more than just delivering punch lines. Conan amused us with antics: he brought clowning around to Late Night TV. He was unpredictable and his content came across as less scripted than Leno’s.

And I think that’s why he didn’t initially pull in ratings as host of the Tonight Show. One could see the lackluster way in which Conan performed product placements that came so naturally to Leno. Jay Leno had the art of staging anything down to a tee, product placements, T.V., book, movie promo guised as celebrity Q&A came naturally to him. Slapstick antics on the other hand are natural to Conan and the Tonight Show didn’t offer him ample platform for them. Conan needs a show where he can be clowny Conan.

Oh well. I don’t watch much television, but when i choose to, it was nice having Conan as an option. I hope this doesn’t ultimately cost us his comedy. Both Leno and Coco had more left in them, and it’s so uncool to see someone as un-funny as Letterman raking in the ratings 😦



  1. conan left??? amazing


  2. Conan may be a clown but he is a clown with class; Much more than what I can say about Leno who jumped at the offer to come back.


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