Conan O’Brien released a brilliant statement about The Tonight Show debacle. He basically told them to drop dead but in a really smart and polite way. The smartest part of the statement was the opening line:
In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.
The statement reminded me of something that was on The Howard Stern Show a bunch of years ago. Stuttering John was interviewing Conan for something and he asked his usual dopey questions. Conan, because he’s actually very bright, engaged John in a battle of wits, a battle in which John was, shall we say, unarmed. (Stuttering John, aka John Melendez, ironically became The Tonight Show announcer in 2004.) My point is that Conan is a bright guy who can give as good as he gets. NBC probably didn’t want to pick a fight with him.
There were a few bits on The Tonight Show that addressed the kerfuffle. Let’s start with Global Leaders Respond to NBC.
And then Howie Mandel dropped by to play Deal or No Deal:
Over on CBS, David Letterman proved that of all of these guys, he’s the funny one. In this monologue, Letterman takes some shots at his former employer (NBC), refers to the former Tonight Show host as Jay “Big Chin” Leno and does a not very flattering impression, and says that when he called NBC they said “they’d never heard of Carson Daly.” Watch:
I want to point out a couple of things. First, I don’t watch any of these shows. If I’m awake at that hour, I’m either working, changing a diaper, or wondering why the hell I’m still awake. (Sometimes I’m doing all three of those things, usually only two at once. The older one gets, the more difficult it becomes to multi-task.) The first time I watched Conan on The Tonight Show was this past Monday, when the TV happened to be on NBC when I finished watching whatever I had Tivo’d. It wasn’t particularly funny, but that’s not the point. Second, Michael Russnow wrote something stupid over at Huffington Post where he says that Conan O’Brien’s “Defensive Posture is Somewhat Wanting.” Hey. Schmuck. It’s defensive because he’s defending himself. At stake is what some say is 45 million dollars. Read the first paragraph of Conan’s statement. The part where he says “don’t cry for me, Argentina.” Third, while I acknowledge that none of this is really all that important in the grand scheme of things, it is very entertaining in a way, and also interesting. Again, there is a lot of money that has already been flushed down the entertainment industry toilet, and more money is at stake. Jeff Zucker, however, will still have a job. I know you were concerned about that.
Now, some other news.
Warning: this story is gross. Mexican law enforcement captured Teodoro Eduardo Garcia Simental, a man described by The New York Times as a “ruthless drug lord.” How ruthless? “Mr. García’s trademark, when not trafficking marijuana and methamphetamine to the United States, was boiling rivals in barrels of lye in what has become known as pozole, for the Mexican stew, the authorities said.” Yikes.
A 104-year-old man who once lifted 635 pounds with one finger was killed by a minivan. His name was Joe Rolino. Sad. (New York Times)
Ed Hornick of CNN wonders if President Obama should tackle the race issue again. He asks the question because of the Harry Reid hooey. Two things on this. One, President Obama tackles the race issue every day in his own life. Why? Because he’s half Black and half White. (I’m simplifying, I know. Feel free to correct me.) If he weren’t President of the United States, he would have trouble hailing a cab in Manhattan. If you don’t believe me, you’ve never seen a taxi zoom past a Black person and then stop a block later for a honky. Two, if you read the comments on this article at CNN.com, you’ll see a number of people complaining that the Democrats always want to play the race card. Which is interesting because Michael Steele, the head of the Republican Party, has called for Harry Reid’s resignation. But he’s… a Republican… head of the… party… and we’re blaming Democrats… logic… failing…
Finally, a quick word about yesterday’s column, God’s Plan For Sarah Palin. I talk about her because she’s news. The “God’s plan” comment was in the Washington Post, which is hardly a fringe news outlet. Also, if everything is God’s plan, then my column is also part of God’s plan. Or is only Sarah Palin allowed to declare something to be part of God’s plan? And last (or is it lastly? Anyone? Bueller?), how is saying something about Sarah Palin making fun of Christians? I’m not saying that to be rude, that’s an actual question. So…?