Saturday, February 21, 2009
Seeya Later Conan
I haven't been a Late Night regular. Watched less since since Craig Ferguson took over Late Late Show. Craig does better monologues, Conan had better comedy schticks. Neither is a good interviewer, but Craig's C & D list guests usually beat Conan's B & occasional A listers the night after Letterman had them. Craig, though, rarely keeps any guest past one segment, & he's cut back on his skits.
Conan had Triumph the Insult Dog.
Conan did what I had thought an impossible task; take over the best talk show since the Steve Allen era, Letterman's Late Night creation, & make something new & good of it. Letterman lost something in the transfer to a big theater & big budget; the cheesiness that forced a lot of creative improvising. But he's avoided the stupidity & vulgarity Jay Leno brought to Johnny Carson's Tonight Show & which, sadly, increased Leno's ratings. Leno stands there night after night smugly railing against fat people & ignorant people to front rows of thin, tan blonde women culled from the audience, then flacks whatever Hollywood product he has scheduled for the guest chairs. A hard worker punching the clock; that's how he does stand up, too. One of his signature bits involves going out on the street & interviewing nitwits so we can all feel superior. Ha ha. It shouldn't be too difficult for Conan to top that humor. But I won't like having to choose at 11:35 pm.