Saturday, January 16, 2010

How awesome is Jimmy Kimmel?

With Conan O'Brien taking pot shots at Jay Leno later on his own network and David Letterman striking at him from CBS; Leno went looking somewhere, anywhere, for an ally this week. With FOX having no such person of note [all their comedy is through animation], he turned to ABC where Jimmy Kimmel reigns supreme.

Kimmel's Thursday night appearance on The Jay Leno Show was announced in advance lending most speculators that despite often doing Jay Leno impressions' on his own Jimmy Kimmel Live show on ABC, he'd be appearing as a voice in support of Leno.

The speculators were wrong. During the Jay Leno Show's 10@10 segment where Leno asks a celebrity via satellite link 10 questions - Kimmel's answers were quite scathing against the moon-faced talk show host.

The first few questions Kimmel answered sincerely until Leno asked what the best prank he ever pulled was. Kimmel replied, "I told a guy that five years from now, 'I'm gonna give you my show,' and then when the five years came, I gave it to him and then I took it back almost instantly.

Leno kind of laughed thinking Kimmel just had to get a little joke in there before asking "Ever ordered anything off the TV?" "Like NBC ordered your show off the TV?" Kimmel replied.

He was stuck in it now, Leno had to continue asking his questions and inquired as to Kimmel's biggest fear; "I fear the network will move my show to 10 o'clock," Kimmel answered.

It was obvious Leno then tried to cut Kimmel off as quickly as he could but not before Kimmel imparted one final plea on the large chinned one; "Listen Jay, Conan and I have children, all you have to take care of is cars. I mean, we have lives to lead here, you've got $800 million. For God's sake, leave our shows alone."

At which point Leno dismissed him.

Read about it on


Bruce Russell said...

I don't particularly care for Kimmel, and thought the comment about kids vs. cars was uncalled for and out-of-bounds. As much as I prefer Conan to Jay, and think that the Tonight Show should have been Dave's all those years ago anyway, let's not lose sight of the fact that NBC created this problem, not Jay. Jay handled the Conan coup in as classy a way possible, and as funny as Conan has been discussing this topic, during his tenure as jay's replacement, he has lost half the Tonight Show audience, alienated a bunch of advertisers and affiliates, and has showed no class towards the man who helped build him up over all those years as his Late Night lead-in.

vaughan said...

Actually most people see Leno as the problem was his show the affiliates were losing viewers over....the Leno show has rated last every night of every week on ratings and people were not watching the NBC affiliates at 11 because of the show....O Brien was suffering because of the change over ( The Tonight show languished for the first eighteen Months after Leno took over from Carson...where as O Brien got barely Six months...and his ratings were climbing)
And let us not forget Leno did this when Letterman was shafted Leno pleaded innocence and a lot of people sided with him ...this time he had Twenty years at the top and cannot claim the network is making him take the Tonight show back ...all he has to say is No...but he hasn't...His reputation is damged beyond repair by this one.

Bruce Russell said...

Here's the thing: I love Conan. I enjoy his Tonight Show, for the most part, although I wish he'd give Andy more of a McMahon-type role. I preferred his Late Night show, but must confess I grew to prefer Craig at 1230 to CoCo. Dave is the King of Late Night, and should be celebrating 17 years as host of the Tonight Show. "Most" people want to see Leno as the problem because they don't care for his brand of comedy. I must say, I'm not a fan. However, the people NBC wants tuned in at 1130 are more of a Leno-crowd. This is sad but true. All that about the Leno show providing a soft lead-in for Conan? Bah. Folks who want to see Conan at 11:30 will/would tune in at that time. The fact is the 5 million plus Leno drew every night didn't want TTS w/ Conan: they wanted Jay's brand of soft, middle-brow comedy. The 10 PM Leno show did exactly the numbers NBC thought it would. Conan didn't deliver the show he needed to in order to deliver the numbers he needed to justify the 11:30 o'clock show. Again, I don't care for Jay, but Conan needs to take responsibility for his role in all this.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

I do agree that from looking at the ratings for The Tonight Show that they are down from when Jay was there. Conan pulls in a different crowd then Leno, the baby-boomers are Leno's crowd not Conan's. I will argue that even a few months in, Conan is in much better shape than when Jay Leno was in his first year of The Tonight Show from all the reports I've seen, not speaking from experience obviously. That said, Leno eventually took the top spot over Letterman but he took his sweet godammn time, this is time that Conan has NOT been afforded and I'm confident would have made a difference.

However it's unmistakeable that the main cause of this is not Conan being more appealing to a younger demographic - I agree that's one element - but it's an element that NBC were quite aware of as Conan is cut from a post-modern cloth as opposed to Carson and Leno. No, the blame is squarely in The Jay Leno Show being such utter crap that people abandoned NBC when it came on and thus there was no carry-over audience into the news [which the advertisers and affiliates were up in arms over]. Conan therefore had no significant prime time lead in like those that had gone before him had and Leno's poor ratings had a domino effect on Conan's. Conan was not attracting Jay's Tonight Show numbers, true as only the people as you say the "folks who want to see Conan at 11:30 would tune in at that time"- and they do, just like they did for Leno - BUT Leno's numbers benefitted from good Prime Time lead in - something which has been denied Conan.

I'm not disputing that NBC isn't ultimatly responcible, but Leno must be slammed for apparent total agreement in all this - Furthermore I completly, utterly and vehementaly reject your notion that Jay leno deserves any sort of "class" due him for the stunt he's in the middle of pulling other then a "class-action" by Conanco employees. That's like saying that John Stebbins deserves respect because he was awarded a Silver Star, he doesn't - not anymore and so neither does Leno.

When Carson and Parr before him, said they were leaving The Tonight Show - they left, and didn't come back. Sure Parr created and did a show for NBC primetime just like Leno tried now and it went on for 3 years but do you think that he'd have waltzed back into The Tonight Show throwing out Johnny Carson if NBC wanted him to? Of course not! What could have happened later was that Johnny Carson would have delayed his own retirement to ensure Letterman got the Tonight Show over Leno - as you say it should be Letterman's - again NBC's fault - but as Dave said only on Wednedsay night: "When Johnny Carson quit, he quit!" Leno had his departure ironed out in like 2004 - it's all here. And if he had any respect for the show that made him what he is, Leno would not allow this 12:05 bullshit to happen and bow out gracefully with some sort of dignity and go home to his $800m and vintage car collection.

I also reject the notion that Conan has to take responcibility for anything here. He was doing fine and more or less matching Letterman's audience share, sometimes he'd fall, sometimes Letterman would - it's difficult to get a yearly average when it hasn't been a year yet. It's obvious Conan was still in a transition period between his Late Night and his final Tonight Show idea - he was basing this on the presumption he'd have over a decade to work with, not months!!! No, Conan's onlt mistake was presuming support from either his network or predecessor and is not to blame.

Civilian Overseer said...

"responcible?", "responcibility?"

Colonel, I know that you have only a vague, passing familiarity with the concept, hence the dreadful misspelling but I have to live in the same country as the Queen, she gets mad and smashes things when people abuse her language so.

Civilian Overseer said...

Also, this is what happens when the Irish go to war with each other, the real victim is the English language.

My verification Word is Zings

Bruce Russell said...

I hate to say it, but Dick Ebersol is right:

Also, Leno's primetime show is performing exactly as the network expected. I adore Conan, but he'll never do Leno numbers because he lacks the ability to do a Leno-style show, which is what the network wants. Give him five years, and he still won't be delivering the program that the affiliates and the advertisers want.

O'Brien pushed Jay out of the 11:35 roost, but now the big-chinned egg is hatching right under him, and he isn't equipped to deal with what comes out of it. We haven't heard a single bad word from Jay about Conan through any of either the present situation, or the bloodless coup that brought it about. All Jay ever did for/to CoCo was build him up over 17 years with a solid lead-in and encouragement of his viewers to stay-tuned for Late Night.

As non-entertaining as I find Jay, he's not stealing: he's just taking back what's his, and only to save Tonight before NBC and their red-headed stepchild kill it.

Bruce Russell said...

But check this out:

Constance said...

That's an awful lot of T&A for four paragraphs.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

@ Civvy: If I had a Euro for each one of your atrocious spellings I'd certainly not be sitting here entertaining you. Even now I have better things to be doing so I'm not going to lower myself by - Oh fuckit Civvy - here: Seriously three "i”s in digital?

Now unless you have something worthwhile to contribute..., sit down and shut up.

@ Bruce: As for you Russell

The only thing the aptly named Dick is right about was Eddie Murphy back in his SNL days, but look how that eventually turned out [The Klumps, Pluto Nash, Daddy Daycare and endless sea of shit]. Erbesol once ran SNL into the ground because unlike Lorne Michaels, Dick[less] was all about “control” over “humour”. I read Erbesol’s comments you linked elsewhere last week and as I expected the NBC bigwig wankers will stick together shit on bogroll. This fucktard, like Zucker, has had it in for Conan as well no doubt and had the audacity to tell Conan how to run his show - “suggestions” my arse. Bruce - the man is in charge of NBC Sports for fuck sake and he can’t even do that properly! Lucas forgive me – it’s a tragedy for a man to outlive his son but sometimes someone can be such an asshole as to deserve what’s coming to him! He got a second chance at life after that plane crash but has squandered it by not changing, like in a Disney movie, there is no excuse for that.

I must say, it’s challenging to come up against Bruce Russell in “Lawyer” mode for the first time as opposed to “Clown” mode as I do normally. It’s obvious your argument is supported by evidence and concise debate as opposed to mine which let's face it is almost entirely governed by raw emotion, passion and the unswerving belief that I'm always right.

We had a couple of similar transitions in Ireland after our Gay Byrne retired from what is actually the longest running chat show in the history of broadcast television world wide [we can't claim too many records with our meagre TV but that's one we're proud of] after 37 years as host. He was as beloved as Carson was but replaced by a muppet who depite being an unfunny moron like Leno, somehow drew in the big ratings just as Leno did [you may recall Mark and I lambaste the man Pat Kenny as “plank of wood”]. With his departure In ‘08/’09 RTE [our national Broadcaster] chose a young lad much like Conan. He appealed to a younger crowd, and had the old fogies up in arms - until they gave him a chance. but is slowly bringing the oldies in because he’s getting the support of RTE. If given time people will come round as - well we have nothing else to be honest.

Conan can’t create a show that the Network and advertisers want? Of course not Bruce, I wholeheartedly agree, and he’s Conan - why should he, if he changes then what’s the point in watching him? The world has changed since the days The Tonight Show started and folks have to change with it – advertisers can sell stuff easier to Conan’s demographic than Leno’s so why doesn’t NBC market Conan’s show to advertisers for younger people – yeah I know it’s not as clear-cut as that, but in principle it would work. Their current “fix” of the problem is a Band-Aid and they’ll be faced with this problem once again when Leno really retires, dies of a heart attack or is shot [kinda hoping that a crazed redneck is reading this and get’s an idea].

Will you please explain what the hell you mean by "Leno's primetime show is performing exactly as the network expected", you've mentioned it more than once and I'm at a loss as to why they'd put it on at all if they expected it to do so badly - it's a piece of the puzzle I'm obviously not comprehending so do enlighten me.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

[Wow I never wrote more than the one-comment limit before - allow me to continue]

O'Brien did not "push Jay out of the 11:35" slot!!! Will you stop pandering to the jury - you're not in court now man! - Jay left as he said he would and stepped aside for his successor. Sweet Lucas! while writing this; your own link of the 2004 clip of him saying he would leave and "avoid the kind of wrangling that he went through with Dave - I knew he was a hypocrite, but this is worse than Michael Jackson singing "it don't matter if you're Black or white" [and then turning himself white!!!!]. Jay is not "just taking back what's his" because IT'S NOT HIS ANYMORE -





Try this on - Last year, you got me a gift of a Star Trek Communicator Xmas tree ornament. It's fucking awesome! [Thanks again] It's superior to a genuine toy replica version of the same thing I got about 12 years before that. Now say you really intended for me to use that as a Christmas Tree Ornament, but I'm not going to do that, it's too cool and only I'm allowed to play with it, if it's on a tree other folk might fiddle with it. So you come to my house and take your gift back without my consent because I'm not using it the way you intended and you don't think that's stealing?

Conan did have a serious problem with his show: Leno. Leno is was still hanging around there before it, like a stinking unflushed turd drawing away the difference in ratings that existed between Conan and Letterman and unless he was flushed permanently Conan’s true potential couldn’t be measured.

Finally ['cos I'm tired now] If NBC think Conan is so crap - why are they so afraid of him going to another Network?

Bruce Russell said...

The Tonight Show isn't Jay's. It is the property of NBC, who can put on whomever they wish, as they did with Conan, who bombed spectacularly because a) it just wasn't the right fit, b) he refused to make adjustments that previous hosts have made to broaden it's appeal, and, most egregious of all, c) he did not bring Lorne Michaels along as Producer, which he could and should have.

And check this out:

Also, I have the 2009 edition X-Mas present sitting under my tree, waiting for me to get off my duff and get it to the post office. The official truth is I wanted to wait until Christmas died down so you'd appreciate it more. The real truth is I put it under the tree and forgot about it until just now. Yes, my tree is still up, and yes, it will be for some time.

A final thought: if NBC were still afraid of Conan going to another network, they would hold out for a longer non-compete than the six months or so we're hearing about in the news. I'm very anxious for a formal announcement closing all this down. My dream scenario would be for both hosts to tell the Peacock to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Civilian Overseer said...

Unlucky for you Colonel but lucky for me. Now as you don't have a euro for everyone of my atrocious spellings, dance for me entertainment monkey, dance!

I really don't care if Leno or Conan wins in the grand scheme of things neither contributes very much, except, maybe to the life's of coach potatoes.

Now, go home, figure out what "it" is and then bring "it".