Posts Tagged ‘tonight show’


By Matthew Casey

Okay wow.  I knew it was going to be bad, but “bad” is not the proper word for the first Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  I would have to say the word to describe it is dreadful.  I went into the show trying to convince myself that it might (and I use that sparingly) be a good show.  For some odd reason I figured that Leno would have changed his style a bit.  I was clearly mistaken and really I shouldn’t be surprised about it.

Where to start with this train wreck…? The opening was just plain horrible and lame! The play on the whole seven months being a bad dream was just boring.   I was glad to see Betty White though, God I love that lady!  Secondly the monologue was so typical of  Lenoism humour–hey I think I just invented a term here!  He stays safe and predictable all the time.  All of his jokes are based on sexual suggestions and the type of comedy that your Uncle Bob tells at the yearly family reunion.

The whole searching for a desk skit really provided to me a cross-section of Jay’s target audience.  Every house he went to the people were quite old one guy even had his pajamas on at seven pm according to Jay.  This showed that Jay’s audience is mostly made up of 65-95 year old people in my opinion.   These are the people who Jay so painfully reaches out to by refusing to change his boring comedic style.  By focusing on these people I feel that Leno alienates a younger audience and in my opinion that’s who he should be trying to target.  Soon all of Jay’s audience will be so old that they wont be able to stay up past nine pm and they may have to move the show to an earlier time slot to accommodate them!

After we were graced by the style of this insightful piece we then meet Jamie Foxx as the first guest.  He is a great actor and I respect him.  But his attempts at hyping up the audience for Jay was as sad as watching a little puppy being hit by a car.  I thought to myself, how much did NBC or Leno have to pay Foxx to get him to turn a lackluster Blackeyed Peas song, I Got  A Feeling , into a version of “Tonight’s going to be a Jay night“?  Really? It didn’t even make that much sense.   So while Foxx was a great guest, I just feel sorry that he was on such a horrible show!  The only exciting part was when he broke his water glass on the floor just before going to commercial.

He then interviewed Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn which was okay.  Again, Jay had to put his same old boring slap stick comedy in there by showing a Sports Illustrated magazine with Jay on the cover in a skiing position instead of Vonn.   He showed this because apparently Vonn has gotten some controversy over her pose on the cover saying that it was a sexually suggestive pose.   The fact is though that is how you ski!  But again Jay’s attempt at evoking a laugh from me here failed.

Finally the show reached its long overdue homestretch with musical guest Brad Paisley.  This show just seemed to drag on and on! It was the longest hour of my life.  Paisley did an excellent job singing his latest hit “American Saturday Night”.  Although, I have to say that I was disappointed when he replaced a chorus line in the song.  The line is supposed to be “Live from New York it’s Saturday Night!” as an homage to the great American institution which is Saturday Night Live.  Instead Paisley replaced it to “Jay it up” as it were with “Live from Burbank it’s Saturday Night.”  In my opinion it was another feeble attempt at revving up the “Jaymobile” that at least for me failed.

So with all of that the credits FINALLY rolled! And this nightmare was over.   So I ask myself, do I tune in tomorrow as well? I might, just to see how horrible Sarah Palin makes herself look after her interview.  But after that not a chance!  I won’t be watching the Tonight Show again and that’s a fact. I guess my late night is restricted to Saturday Night Live from here on out.

My rating of the first show is F–Jamie Foxx or not, this show deserves NOTHING more than that except maybe to be pulled off the air!

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Well, I guess you could call this an article and a review of the show as I fully intended to do an entire recap of the show based on some of the notes I took.

Honestly though, I’m going to make this brief.

First of all, I used to think Jay Leno was funny. Used to. Back in the late nineties and early 2000’s, I thought he was a decent choice for the host of the Tonight Show until his material just started getting stale and watered down. That’s when I yearned for Coco and couldn’t wait for him to take over.

Then you know what happened.

So, Jay’s back and was it worth watching his first episode back at all?

Well, the first thing they did was a Wizard of Oz parody involving Jay, Kevin Eubanks, Ross the Intern, and a surprise appearance from John Melendez and an even bigger surprise appearance by Betty White. Despite the presence of the great Betty White, this was a pretty lame way to start the show.

What followed was a ridiculously long standing ovation for Jay upon his arrival to the stage and then a ridiculously unfunny monologue peppered with a couple of “hilarious” videos. One involved a skiier punching Leno while he stood in the audience at the Olympics and the other one was the backside of a person wearing very tight pants. Oh-haha! Stop! My sides! They’re a-splitting!

Jay also showed a video later on about him finding the perfect desk for the Tonight Show. A couple of lame cameos from Adam Carolla and Randy Jackson later, the piece was thankfully over.

Jamie Foxx was his first guest of the night. Despite the fact that I enjoy Foxx and his energy, the obvious pandering to Jay during the entire interview and his chants of “Welcome back!” were a little too much for me. Foxx remained interesting throughout the interview though, so that’s more than Jay can say for himself.

Jay’s second guest was Olympian skiier (and HOTTIE) Lindsey Vonn, who came out with her gold and bronze medals and talked about stuff. Seriously, she was pretty dry and aside from her looks, most everything about her was boring.

Brad Paisley was the musical guest, but I turned the show off before that. I just couldn’t take anymore.

This whole debacle gets a D (would be lower if not for Foxx) and LIKES it.

PS: Jay Leno, RETIRE. NOW!


By Matthew Casey

The Olympics are now over, Canada got its gold against the USA in hockey and life returns to normal.  Normal that is unless your a fan of late night television.  That we know will never be the same until Conan O’Brien gets back on the airwaves!  Tonight, however, Jay Leno takes the torch–sorry I had to say that I’m still in the Olympic spirit– and hosts the first post-Conan Tonight Show.

I plan on tuning in to see how it looks and goes as I am sure many others out there will.  However, I think that it will only be a matter of time before he fails as well.  I think that the damage to his reputation has been done and he won’t be able to pick up again.  After all it’s sort of like the old expression “you can’t go home again”.  So while his ratings might be strong tonight they will eventually dwindle again after the novelty wears off of the new show smell.

I’m very curious to see how the show may or may not have changed from his previous gig.  I would think that he would have to make some changes to attempt to attract an audience again.  After all, people are going to get tired of the same old.  I mean honestly, how long can something like “Headlines” or “Jaywalking” be funny? They’re getting old!  So hopefully for Leno’s sake he will have some new tricks up his sleeves for his second run at the Tonight Show.

So I wait in anticipation of 11:35pm to see if this new ship will float or sink!  Wow I also noticed that I am full of clichés today!!


After watching Jay Leno on Oprah’s show on Thursday I have to say that I really do feel for him a little more now.  Some may label me as being too soft, but I think both Conan and Jay got the shaft in this whole ordeal as NBC tried to take something away from Leno when he was on top, and they gambled with Conan thinking that five years would be enough for Leno to want to leave his show when the time came, which of course, didn’t happen that way.  NBC was trying to predict the future and it inevitably failed for them and it ended up thrusting both of these late night hosts into a bad situation.

The only part of the interview that I absolutely disagreed with was when Leno made the comment that he lives strictly on the money he makes from his stand up comedy bits and not the money NBC paid him to do his shows.  I’m sure he taps into his millions from the Tonight Show from time to time to take care of all his cars.

However, in the interview he mentions that NBC decided that they were going  to pull him away from his Tonight Show back in 2004 in five years time despite the fact that he was number one.  Leno claims it was all being done to keep Conan from switching to another network as his contract was almost up at the time in 2004.  It looks like Leno may have been the one who had the carpet pulled from underneath him first.  He really did not seem like he was ready to go from his show and he couldn’t figure out why NBC wouldn’t let him keep it while he was still number one. Honestly, I have to say I can’t blame him for that.  So to make a rational excuse, Leno announced his “retirement” as the reason he would pass the torch in 2009.   This seeming like a logical explanation, no one thought anymore of it.  The thought didn’t cross anyone’s minds that O’Brien was trying to bump Leno.

So after seeing this interview, perhaps it is just that I am gullible and susceptible to the PR job that Leno is trying to do here so that he can repair his image, I have to say that I do feel for Jay Leno more than I did before he came out and talked about the whole fiasco on Oprah.   People often mention that Leno had this planned from day one, but I really do not think so.  I don’t think he knew anymore than the rest of the world did about what was going to happen in 2010 when this whole mess failed. That is simply just another conspiracy theory like all the naysayers on whether or not we actually went to the moon.  Leno was just going along with what NBC was planning to do.

Like Leno, I believe that all of this comes down to numbers.  That is what television is about, numbers.  Conan for whatever reason could not pull in the numbers that NBC wanted in his time slot so they decided to bump him.  Even though I am a fan of Conan I do understand what NBC was thinking about when they were making their decisions.  Although O’Brien wouldn’t agree to the time slot move, I feel that perhaps it would have  helped his show if he had moved to 12:05am.  He was getting a poor lead in from the local news due to Leno failing in primetime.  Had Leno have been his lead in after the news once again, perhaps O’Brien’s ratings would have soared and when Leno finally retired for good at some point O’Brien would have gotten his time slot back with top numbers.  But of course,  all of this is purely speculation because no one knows for sure what may have happened.

I believe the interview shows that Leno wasn’t being selfish about this whole mess.  When he said  that he asked to be released from his contract when NBC approached him to do a half hour show at 11:35pm  it showed that Leno did not want to bump Conan.  The fact that NBC would not let him simply leave the network shows that O’Brien’s Tonight Show was struggling and NBC knew it.  If all of the people had tuned into The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien as faithfully as they had during his last couple of weeks, then it would have most likely been game over for Leno when NBC pulled the plug on his primetime gig.

So as for who is right and who is wrong in this whole late night conundrum I don’t know, and it’s not my place to say.  All I can say is that perhaps neither man was right or wrong and it is the network, NBC, itself that was wrong.  They shouldn’t have tried to take away a show that was number one when Leno had it so far in advance.  Even though O’Brien was threatening to move to another network at the time, they should have waited to see how Leno was going to do before making the announcement official.  I think that NBC just rushed into everything without thinking and did its planning too early.

Finally, I am a huge Conan O’Brien fan but I am just one person and it takes more than just one to keep a show on the air.  As I mentioned previously, if all of the people watching the last couple of weeks on O’Brien’s show had tuned in for the last seven months then this situation would have ended much differently.

I don’t believe that Jay Leno is an evil man who was out to get Conan, I think that this is like everything else in the world of business.  Many people tend to forget that what we watch on television is simply that, a business.  They are in this to make money. If they weren’t making money with O’Brien then they made the obvious business choice to let him go and see if the man who once made money for them can do it once again.  Like everything else in this economy NBC is simply trying to survive.   Jay you definitely have your work cut out for you! And Conan, I can’t wait to see you on another network soon! I’m sure this is just an opening to a better future  for you.

—Matthew Casey

What do you think about his interview?


It might have been his last show, but Conan O’Brien proved that he can draw in the masses.  Early national ratings reports indicate that O’Brien had a 4.8 rating share in the 18-49 year old demographic on Friday night.  This is NBC’s most targeted audience as this is what determines the price of advertising for the network and advertisers are always trying to reach out to these people.

These reports are still early, but if the numbers hold this would mean that O’Brien was able to beat out any other show that has been on NBC this season in this ratings demographic.  Even though this was his last show and there was a lot of hype about it because of the fracas of his battle with NBC, the ability for O’Brien to attract these kind of ratings is a testament to his character.  These preliminary rating reports could lend Conan a helping hand in getting a show on another network.

The most likely new home for O’Brien will be the Fox network.  The network is  having difficulties, however, in winning over the idea of giving up profit generating syndicated programming in favour of a late night talk show with its local stations.  Hopefully his achievements in his ratings in the final episode and over the last couple of weeks will be enough to propel him on Fox and win over the local stations.  If nothing else, these numbers show that Conan O’Brien is very popular and has the potential to attract a large following.  All he needs is a station that will give him a good lead in, unlike NBC where he suffered with the lead in from the local news.  The  most likely reason for this is because the local news had poor lead ins from the failing Jay Leno Show.

—Matthew Casey


An end of a late night era has just come to a close.  Conan O’Brien bid his farewells to NBC and his fans on his final episode of “The Tonight Show”.  The show was very well put together and included quite a few high profile guests to send him on his way. Conan seemed very humble throughout the show.  There seemed to be a different side to him tonight, he didn’t act like the NBC bashing man he was for the last couple of weeks.  In fact he seemed thankful to NBC for everything they gave him over the years despite the recent differences they have had.

He seemed to be very modest about everything and didn’t portray much hate towards the company that housed him for over twenty years.  In fact a comment that he made towards the end of the show was very surprising to me.  He stated that young people should not be cynical about this whole situation, mentioning that cynicism was his least favourite quality because it gets people nowhere.  This remark really resonated with me because I would have expected him to be full of cynical thoughts given his situation.   He mentioned he was very lucky to have even had his job for seven months and that to host the “Tonight Show” is every comics dream.

The way that Conan ended his show tonight displayed to everyone that he is the better man in this situation.  He ended it with dignity and class, and it looked much better then going out guns blazing at NBC.  It showed that he was a bigger man who is modest about the circumstances and he is looking forward to the future and he is not going to dwell on the incident. He didn’t even blame anyone once during the whole show for the fiasco.  Even though he could have been full of hate and spite tonight, he chose to show the nation that he has class and that should land him a high place in the book of respect.

I think he is setting a good example for people. At least on the camera he seemed to hold no malice towards anyone which seems like a good thing for people to follow.   Sure it has been fun to watch him the last few weeks really “stick it to the man” as it were, but he  brought everything back to reality, that this is all just show business and that there is a real world out there with real problems.  Throughout the show he kept mentioning the name of a charity for people to donate for relief efforts in Haiti.  I applaud him for the way he handled his last show, he really made a point to make people realize that what happened to him isn’t anything compared to what is going on in the real world.

As the credits began to roll across the bottom of the screen at then end of the show, I really couldn’t help but feel like I was losing a friend.  A friend who brought me laughs for years almost every night at the end of a hard day. I can’t wait to see him on the airwaves again as soon as he can get on them.  Late night just simply isn’t the same anymore.

Farewell Coco, many good things lie ahead for you I’m sure. Thanks for the laughs.

—Matthew Casey


Well folks, it has come to this. The final episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien aired tonight (or as I like to refer to it – The Tonight Show with the Only Funny Host It’s Had Besides Johnny Carson) with guests Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, and musical guest Neil Young.

But tonight wasn’t really about the guests. Tonight was about the pale-faced warrior himself, Conan O’Brien, and his last night on television to entertain us as a host for at least seven months.

Way back in 1993, a young man named Conan O’Brien auditioned to take over the reigns of Late Night after David Letterman jumped ship to CBS after a dispute with the network. With much assistance from Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels, Conan was able to obtain the show. After three or four years of struggling to find his niche, Conan became extremely popular with the young college-aged crowd specifically with his knack for off-the-wall comedy and experimental humor.

When Conan was finally announced to take over The Tonight Show, many people (myself included) were ecstatic. And now ever since the whole “Late Night Shuffle” (I’ll spare everyone with the well-known details), it looks like this was the last show tonight for Mr. O’Brien after only seven months of some of the most inventive and funny bits in quite some time.

So, the show specifically? How was it tonight? Well, simply put it was a very classy and beautiful way to go out for the Cone Zone. After a monologue poking fun at the whole ordeal (which has become somewhat of a mainstay these past few weeks) followed by a great montage of Conan’s Tonight Show moments, Conan gave a number of suggestions about what NBC could do with the studio with it being vacated now.

Following this, Steve Carell made a delightful appearance as an NBC executive to administer an exit interview with Conan (“How was your time spent at NBC? Positive? Very Positive? Or Extremely Positive?”).

The guests were delightful. After Tom Hanks got Conan feeling a little woozy on cream soda, he talked about the history he had with Coco and cracked wise with him for a solid fifteen minutes. It should be noted that Hanks can be credited with the aforementioned nickname for Conan and it is sure to be one that will stick for a long time.

Surprisingly, Conan’s second guest was Neil Young performing and he was, as always, quite wonderful.

Then it was time for Conan to speak seriously.

While on the verge of tears, Conan announced to everyone that he had the best time in his life in these past seven months. Of course, in usual classy fashion, he was quick to point out that he did not blame anyone for the fiasco and that it was a decision he ultimately just had to make. He relayed the message to everyone not to be cynical and to instead to just work really hard and be kind to others because it will all pay off. For God sakes, he even thanked NBC for all they’ve done for him over the past 20 years. The man has butt-loads of class.

The show then ended with a bang as Will Ferrell, Beck, ZZ Top, Max Weinberg, and Conan himself performed “Freebird” for the live audience. Ferrell stopped between a few verses to mack on some pregnant blond chick that accompanied him on stage, but the song was performed very genuinely and if you looked closely, you could see Conan crack a smile and sigh deeply.

Credits.

I will be the first one to admit that I have not been the most avid watcher of The Tonight Show as I should have been, but this episode was a truly wonderful way to go out for Conan O’Brien and I hope that he only has good things ahead in his future for the benefit of him and his family.

Farewell, Coco. Thanks for the laughs.

Thanks for the memories.