Last time I mentioned Jay Leno, it was a post the day after his first prime time show. I lamented how poor the production was and how disappointed I was in the show's content and flow. (Recall this was the show where Kanye West appeared the night after his stalking of Taylor Swift and Jay didn't have the balls to really get into the whole matter.)
Jay looked and sounded like a big puss last night as he put his spin on this whole NBC programming mess. The blame for this entire debacle lays at the feed of Jeff Zucker, the network president, pictured at right. Another moronic move that took the number one prime time network to number three — putting a lame-ass prime time show with Leno at the helm and basically killing some of the network gold in those time slots. Well if folks bail the poor prime time programming, they don't stick around for local news, which pisses of the affiliates. If they don't watch the local news, then guess what, they don't stick around for Conan and The Tonight Show.
But what Jay said last night in his spin effort was sickening. His attempt to appeal to the common guy on the street, as though he was an innocent participant in this fiasco. And instead of bowing out and passing the baton on to Conan,as he said would do back in 2005 when he first announced his decision to retire and pursue other interests, he hoses Conan by agreeing to go back to his former show. He should have told NBC to Zuck off.
Leno made mention of his number one rated show for 12 years, passing the baton to Conan, making deals on a handshake, blah, blah, blah. Let's be real Jay — you inherited the number one time slot from Johnny. Secondly, you weren't number one the entire 12-year run of your show — I recall Letterman's reign at the top for a portion of that time. You simply are not "the regular guy" you make yourself out to be.
Conan is a different sort of host with a different following. Jay attracts yesterday's audience; Conan attracts tomorrow's audience. If NBC had a clue, they'd know this and stick with their original plan to make Conan their host of the future. I like Conan because his brand of humor is edgier (maybe 'odder' is more appropriate) and Leno is sort of lame as he reads his monologue from the cue cards.
Don't cry for me, I'm a Letterman fan anyway. I actually liked when Conan was on later in the evening because I got to catch both he and Letterman. But now, at 50, I barely make it half way through Dave's show. Too bad for NBC as it will take quite a while to fix what it took less than 3 months to screw up.