Leno on not so Late Night

What’s the deal with Jay Leno taking a job at his own company? You’ve probably heard that Leno will start a new show at 10pm, weeknights on NBC. He’s retiring from the Tonight Show, Conan is moving to Jay’s old desk and (ugh) Jimmy Fallon is moving in to Conan’s old place. NBC’s Monday-Friday schedule will look like this:
8-10pm: Prime Time Fodder, probably all involving Donald Trump
10-11pm: Jay Leno’s new Show
11-11:30pm: Affiliate Time!
11:35-12:30am: Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.
12:30am-1:30am: Jimmy Fallon makes us all feel better about our own lives
Pros: Conan O’Brien on earlier, and uh… that’s it.
Cons: Jay Leno steals the thunder from Conan. Jimmy Fallon.

If you’ve ever seen the movie/documentary “Late Shift”, this whole debacle makes some sense. When Johnny Carson was on his way out, there was a massive, earth shattering event between NBC, Jay Leno and David Letterman. Letterman once hosed what is currently the Conan show. Carson wanted Letterman to take the show, but NBC picked Leno. This gave Dave the ol’ shaft-a-roo and he ended up going over to CBS. For a while, Letterman had the ratings at CBS. Today, though, Leno wins.
It was a huge mess that gave the Tonight Show on NBC its first legitimate competition that didn’t somehow involve Ted Koppel.
Everyone walked away thinking “man, that could have gone better”. Letterman could have hosted the Tonight Show (would have been awesome). Leno could still be doing standup (he’s pretty good at that). And Jimmy Fallon would work at a Taco Bell in Fresno. Conan? Oh, he’d still be a writer on the Simpsons, guaranteeing their success well past the 181st season.

We’ll see how this goes, I guess.

Hold on.

I should probably apologize for being so hard on Jimmy Fallon. I think he’s funny. He’s certainly been on Saturday Night Live more than me, which is zero times.

I should also apologize for not liking Jay Leno as much as David Letterman. Poor Jay is one of the nicest guys on the planet and ended up being the puppet of his agent, who now works at a Taco Bell in Fresno. I like Jay, too.

About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at www.radamdavidson.com, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (www.CoachMyPreaching.com).
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