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The Dishmaster January 12, 2012 5 Comments
Being the dedicated “online journalist” that I am, I often watch late-night interviews. One of my favorite late-night guests is Kathy Griffin, who consistently kills it. So when I watched her on Conan O’Brien, I couldn’t help but notice the uncomfortable laughs from the audience, and it felt a bit like she was tanking. Then I came to a very powerful realization — and it’s one that Conan’s people should listen to. His audience sucks. Almost every guest appears to be tanking, including comedians. The audience is either not laughing, or there are some sound issues that make them feel too far way from the guest. Are they not properly warmed up? Perhaps Conan’s team should watch Chelsea Lately, because her audience seems to erupt in laughter on a per minute basis. Is Chelsea just funnier than Conan? I doubt it. Get on the ball, Coco.
The Dishmaster August 10, 2011 Leave a Comment
I feel bad for George Lopez. The guy had a moderately successful show, and then Conan’s late night debacle forced him into a new time-slot. At the time, he was supportive, assuming that a great lead-in could only help his ratings. Unfortunately, Conan didn’t deliver his expected audience numbers, and George Lopez suffered. But when you look at the big picture, here’s the nutshell summary — Conan did to George what Jay did to Conan. Sure Conan likely asked for George’s permission when he joined TBS, but in the end, he still hurt Lopez’s numbers. It’s not my style to pick on Conan O’Brien. I used to be such a huge fan of his show. But he should have stayed in his original time-slot. He was chasing after the dream of “being the next Johnny Carson,” and that arbitrary goal got in the way of pragmatic decision-making. Now he’s suffering. And furthermore — he should have gone to Fox instead of TBS.
The Dishmaster March 12, 2011 2 Comments
Celebrity meltdowns are only funny when it’s about a spoiled brat learning a lesson. But when someone completely loses their mind, it’s no longer funny. The Charlie Sheen debacle was funny for the first five interviews, and then it became sad. So when Charlie Sheen called John Cryer a “troll,” I actually felt sorry for Sheen. He felt betrayed by Cryer, and he lashed out at him in one of his many insane fits. Cryer made fun of the accusation on Conan O’Brien, and I’m pretty sure it was in bad taste. Watch below and judge for yourself.
The Dishmaster December 14, 2010 Leave a Comment
I’d heard that Johnny Carson called Conan O’Brien, but Conan never gave any details until now. Apparently, Carson called him to give advice when he found out that Conan was taking over The Tonight Show. After watching the video below, it occurred to me that Conan is still devastated about losing the franchise. I think he needs to a therapist so that he can finally put this behind him. And by “therapist,” I mean David Letterman, who also lost The Tonight Show to Jay Leno. In fact, Johnny Carson also advised Letterman during the first late night debacle, and it was Carson who told Letterman that he should jump-NBC-ship, because NBC disrespected him so much. Letterman’s exit from NBC marked the death of the franchise, so Conan shouldn’t feel so sad about losing something that no longer existed. If he wants to call me, I’ll be his therapist — and I’ll even give him a discount.
There’s been a lot of talk in the media about Conan’s ratings dip on night two, and I’d just like to send a collective “suck it” to all the Negative Nancys out there. It’s obvious that he’d have huge ratings his first night out. People initially tune in because of the insane press coverage for the first show, and then Conan’s regular audience sticks around thereafter. In this case, his regular audience was about 30% of the initial viewing audience, which is pretty good. Sure he came in third against Leno and Letterman, but keep in mind that Leno and Letterman are network shows, and the fact that Conan can even come close to those ratings is pretty pathetic for the Network big-wigs. Cable has less eyeballs, and even with less eyeballs, Conan is a contender. That’s pretty damn good.
The Dishmaster October 27, 2010 1 Comment
A few weeks ago I insulted Conan O’Brien and said that he needs to chuck his new “woe is me” image and start to “look rich.” He was broadcasting youtube videos from an old, ugly office and began to look pathetic, presumably because he hoped to appeal to his young fan base. Well, Conan listened, and I take full credit (he does read The Dishmaster, right?). In his new Rolling Stone interview, he rocks a great suit with fancy sunglasses and hangs from a helicopter, “with a harness that wraps around [his] loins.” He might have lost The Tonight Show, but who really cares at this point. Comics only yearn for that time-slot because it was Johnny Carson’s, but when Jay Leno got the gig instead of the more deserving David Letterman — I think The Tonight Show officially ended. Watch Conan’s Rolling Stone shoot below.
The Mother-Zucker lost his job today, and I can’t help but wonder if Conan is secretly laughing. As I pointed out in yesterday’s Blockbuster post, I don’t usually rejoice at another’s demise, but I sometimes make exceptions. I’ll make an exception today for Jeff Zucker, who was the brains behind the Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien late-night debacle, and who handled his mistakes by pointing the finger at Conan’s failings, instead of his own. To quote the great Tim Gunn, “take responsibility for your own actions,” Mr. Zucker. As an aside, he also made a feeble attempt to smoke Conan off the air for three years, so that Conan could not move to another network to compete with Leno. It didn’t work, and insiders felt it was only a matter of time before Zucker was held accountable for his poor decisions. Zucker was fired by Comcast COO Steve Burke. If you would like a detailed account of Zucker’s failings while he headed NBC, then read Bill Carter’s fantastic book, Desperate Networks. You can also read Nikki Finke’s brief recap. How NBC kept him all this time, when he single-handedly sunk the network after NBC lost Friends, I’ll never understand. Oh wait — yes I will — It’s Hollywood. Here’s hoping that this gave Conan a slight sense of enjoyment.
In a preview of things to come, future cable competitors Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart engaged in a very funny dance-off on stage at O’Brien’s ‘Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television’ tour. It’s worth watching the video below if for no other reason than to see Jon Stewart in spandex.
The Dishmaster May 31, 2010 Leave a Comment
If you’ve never read a book by Bill Carter, it’s time to start. I just finished reading ‘Desperate Networks,’ which kept me in solitary confinement for the past week because I couldn’t put it down. Carter is most famous for penning ‘The Late Shift,’ which chronicled the very ugly Leno/Letterman transition of ‘The Tonight Show’ when Johnny Carson left. So I naturally wondered if he is going to write another book about the Leno/Conan debacle, and I am happy to report that it is in the works. Carter told the New York Times that he is trying to get the book out as “as soon as [he] can,” and he is “reaching out to all sides” so that he has an unbiased point of view.