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Archive for the ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien’ Category

Conan’s final message from The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.


“Before we end this rodeo, a few things need to be said. There has been a lot of speculation in the press about what I legally can and can’t say about NBC.  To set the record straight, tonight I am allowed to say anything I want. And what I want to say is this: between my time at Saturday Night Live, The Late Night Show, and my brief run here on The Tonight Show, I have worked with NBC for over twenty years.

Yes, we have our differences right now and yes, we’re going to go our separate ways.  But this company has been my home for most of my adult life.  I am enormously proud of the work we have done together, and I want to thank NBC for making it all possible.

Walking away from The Tonight Show is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Making this choice has been enormously difficult. This is the best job in the world, I absolutely love doing it, and I have the best staff and crew in the history of the medium.

But despite this sense of loss, I really feel this should be a happy moment. Every comedian dreams of hosting The Tonight Show and, for seven months, I got to. I did it my way, with people I love, and I do not  regret a second. I’ve had more good fortune than anyone I know and if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-11 parking lot, we’ll find a way to make it fun.

And finally, I have to say something to our fans. The massive outpouring of support and passion from so many people has been overwhelming. The rallies, the signs, all the goofy, outrageous creativity on the internet, and the fact that people have traveled long distances and camped out all night in the pouring rain to be in our audience, made a sad situation joyous and inspirational.

To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I’ll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism- it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere.

Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have something in my eye. (Also, in case you’re wondering what to do now that Jay Leno has taken back The Tonight Show, the answer can be found in two words- David & Letterman.)

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So. There’s good news and there’s bad news. The GOOD news is that there are some fantastical, magical, should-be-riding-on-unicorns shows on television in 2010. Some of those babies are so adored and beloved that their safety is secure. The bad news is that because of your neglect (yes, you. It’s your fault. I have a TV blog, I watch enough to cause social services to take my kids away.) some of them may very well be canceled before 2010 is out.

Fact: Earthquakes suck. FACT: Being financially stable enough to help people is awesome. Fact: Good TV can be saved too. Let’s do this.

5.  Better Off Ted (Tuedays 8:30/7:30pm, ABC)


Ah, yes. My panicked warbling about ABC’s (dare I say it?) quirkiest show continues. Great, snug writing, fantastically weird and likable characters, a setting that is just bursting with possible story ideas, Better Off Ted is a dream of a workplace comedy, capable of cheerfully zinging the ridiculousness of massive conglomerates in the same beat that a crazily-coiffed magician named Mordor the Unforgivable gets shot with a harpoon gun. Even this show on its worst day is far-and-away better than the middling sitcom fare you’ll find on CBS these days. At least tell Charlie Sheen to take a hike for God’s sake. Clear up some programming time for Ted instead (see what I did there? Classic Lemon).

4. Parks and Recreation (Thursdays 8:30/7:30pm, NBC)

One of the all-time best turnaround stories for a network comedy. When Parks and Rec first aired last year, I made it through two episodes before I had to stop watching. Despite my love for Amy Poehler, watching her grating, Tracy Flick-esque Leslie Knope stumble, crash and burn amongst coworkers and townspeople who seemed to despise her was too much for me. (That episode where she’s flagellated in a town hall meeting in front of her mother? Just painful.) And then… and then someone (probably Beal) told me to take another look at the show when season 2 came around. So I did. A few weeks back, I sat down and caught up on Parks and Rec. And then I proceeded to watch every episode back to back in the span of three days.

What’s different? Leslie Knope is now completely lovable. Sure, she’s still got her high-falutin’ ambitions but it’s tempered with a lot more self-awareness, a healthy dose of idealism and hard work. Instead of her begging for Anne’s friendship, you can tell Anne adores her. And Louis C. K as her boyfriend-cop? Adorable. The episode with Megan Mulally as a slutty, malicious bureaucrat for the library? Fantastic. And that damned Christmas episode made me tear up.

3. Friday Night Lights (Fridays 8:00/7:00pm, NBC)


Here’s how good this show is and I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m talking to a wall when I bring it up. My dad, holed up for weeks after surgery, got the first season of FNL thanks to his third and doting daughter’s recommendation. Cut to three weeks later. My mother, who is incapable of staying up past ten minutes of any show (something about the lull of the voices, the softness of the couch? Or maybe the fact that she gets up at 5am every day) is rabidly asking me when the show is coming back on NBC (DirectTV has shouldered the production costs with NBC, so it gets the new episodes first. I love you, DirectTV). My dad reports that she is obsessed. He even caught her sneaking upstairs to watch an episode while he napped and rested. When I brought up the scene where Smash learns he’s going to college, she choked up. And my father is just as hooked.

Returns to NBC on April 30th. Rent the first three seasons on Netflix. Email me a nice thank-you card when you’re done.

2. Lost (Tuesdays 8:00/7:00pm, ABC)


If you’ve been watching this show, then I don’t need to convince you to do anything. You’ll watch. You might shake your fist at Obama’s State of the Union if it pre-empts it too. Lost for us TV geeks is the very definition of appointment television (and there is far too little appointment television these days.)

For those of you who haven’t watched it- look, don’t be turned off by the “mysteries” and the “clues” and the “LEXICON.” It’s a show. A damned good show. The acting is good, the twists are great and when Lost is good? It’s very, very, very good. I could personally give a damn about what the polar bear symbolizes. To me, this is a twisted, funky show about a whacked out, magical island and the very flawed people stuck on it. The end. Watch it because it’s fun. And because I think this whole plan to map out the story and end it this year was a brilliant one (and something serial dramas should always do. Hello, shows-that-spin-out-of-control-toward-the-end-because-they-have-no-direction! Yes, Alias. I am talking to you.)

This is a big year for Lost. The last season. And there’s still time! Hole up for a few weekends, catch up and don’t get bogged down in all the extra stuff.

Returns to ABC on February 2nd.

1. The Tonight Show with CONAN O’BRIEN (Mon-Fri 11:30/10:30, NBC)

I have seen every single episode of Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show, which would be a laudable feat if it had lasted the usual tenure of 10-15 years on air. It looks as if Coco’s run, however, will be capped at a measly 7 months. Catch up on the whole story here, just in case you’ve been on Mars for the last week and missed it.

I’ve tweeted and Facebooked and languished over every bit of news and every awkward and hilarious and awful and painful late night segment about the debacle since it all started with Heir Zucker’s announcement to move Jay Leno back to 11:30pm. I am, quite frankly, too sick at heart to talk about it for much longer. Suffice it to say, my perspective of the situation is merely one of a devoted fan. Like so many others, I’ve been watching Conan O’Brien for years and years, for so long that when he saw his dream of hosting The Tonight Show realized, I was beyond thrilled for him. He’s talented, he’s paid his dues and he deserved it. To see it taken from him just hurts.

I don’t care to dissect the reasons or the secret reasons behind the lineup changes or why we hate Jay and love Conan and what it means for comedy and for NBC. It’s all been said to death. Suffice it to say, Conan did not have enough time to secure his legacy with The Tonight Show or to prove himself in the ratings. We’ll miss him and we hurt for him. And wherever he goes, we’ll go. Simple as that.

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien could very well end on Friday Jan. 22nd. Watch it until the fat lady sings or I will stab you in the face.

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Sorry about the silence around here. I’m battling a deadly disease (sounds better than “the sniffles”) and Beal’s life, it sounds like from Twitter, is basically unraveling at the seams.

Anyway, here’s a quick Round Up of the TV I’ve caught over the last two weeks and my thoughts because, oh, you are DYING to hear my thoughts.

Glee Fall Finale (Last Wed. 12/9)

Thoughts: First of all, kudos to FOX for brazenly creating a new thing- “the fall finale.” And we all just started saying it like shows freezing for months around the holidays isn’t a completely usual thing anyway. They’re called “reruns because everyone’s out shopping and putting on their winter weight.”

As for the episode itself, I seriously love this show and I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I’ve TiVoed back and watched Rachel belting out “Don’t Rain On My Parade” a dozen times since the show aired last week, the little gay man inside my straight woman’s body was doing cartwheels- CARTWHEELS.

Here’s my one problem- Glee is not the tightest-written show, as I’ve worried over before. They let storylines drop left and right (Artie and Tina- really, there’s nothing residual from that whole thing? And did crazy Terri actually tell Quinn she’s not taking the baby anymore? That seems like a HUGE hole) but this one just kills me. The Glee kids panic because the other teams stole their musical numbers for Sectionals, WHATEVER WILL WE DO? Here’s a thought- how about perform one of the DOZENS of other numbers you rehearsed all season long under the guise of a set-list for the competition. “Keep Holding On?” “Hair/Crazy in Love?” “True Colors?” “Jump?” You had routines and everything. So confused.

Top Chef Finale (Last Wed. 12/9)

Thoughts: Kevin was off his game and by the end of judging, I knew he was sunk. Just a heart-breaking loss for all of us who were a little creeped out by the Voltaggio brothers. I have to say, though, I think Michael deserved the win. His dishes were the best and he’s more innovative than his brother. Also, way to go for the cheap emotional hit by bringing their mother into the equation, Bravo. I could always count on you for the obvious blow.

So I guess we’re stuck with Michael “Blue Steel” Voltaggio. God help us all.

The Sing-Off (All Week on NBC)

Thoughts: My GOD, this show is terrible. TERRIBLE. Nick Lachey, as pleased as I am to see you working, you need to take your beefy hands off the mike you’re strangling and go back to making Vanessa some muffins, or whatever the hell you’ve been up to. The showboating, the jazz hands, the expressive facial movements that make my insides die. Last night, my friend remarked that all she wants is for the dude from the Police Academy to show up as a contestant, making all those sound effect noises and putting everyone to shame. That would be amazing. At least make him a judge next to Ben Folds and the King & Queen of Irrelevance. Judi says no.

“The Situation” and Snookie on The Tonight Show (Tues. 12/15 on NBC)

Thoughts: Snookie (of the now infamous Jersey Shore- like we needed yet another example of how MTV has turned from the cool older brother who lives in the attic and still has a sweet record collection to a $2 whore trying to get her five year old into beauty pageants so she could take her boyfriend Carl on that trip to Tijuana) admits she only likes guys who use STEROIDS. The Situation gives our Co-Co the best nickname ever (“The SOLUTION.” COME ON) And Italian-Americans everywhere, including myself, try frantically to remind everyone of the days when people only thought we were murderers and tax-evaders. So, yeah, awesome TV. Watch the clips here.

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I’ve missed my favorite red-headed string bean more than I can say.

fathertime1No, no. Not Father Time. THIS red-headed string bean.

123921__conan_lI’ve been waiting rather impatiently for The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien for, oh, five years or so when they announced he would be replaced Jay Leno, aka The King of Middle America Monotony. I’ve embraced the recent media blitz, even going so far as to TiVo four hours of The Today Show, just to get a glimpse of the new set. I made a lot of seriously angry noises at my computer when the New York Mag spread on Conan was released last week but the site wouldn’t let me go past page 1. I did not watch the Access Hollywood interview (I have standards, people).

So, last night FINALLY comes and of course, I missed the first fifteen minutes of the show. This is what I get for assuming that TiVo has my back. Little did I know that when it came to a choice of Conan O’Brien Wish List or Burn Notice repeat, TiVo believed I would need to rewatch that episode when Michael saves somebody using his spy wiles. You know, again. TiVo and I aren’t speaking at the moment, as you can imagine. I’m sure in retaliation, I’ll turn on the TV only to find that it’s taped forty episodes of Sanford & Son and a week’s worth of Nancy Grace.

But I digress. Thanks to Hulu, I finally got the whole picture. And while others could give you a better review of Conoco’s first night on the Tonight Show throne, I just want to clap and do a happy little string dance of my own. He was right- the episode did go by fast. It was funny and familiar and new, all at the same time, and I can’t believe our luck, as a NATION, that we get to see it all again tonight. And the next night and the next.

This is going to be fun.

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by Judi

I always start freaking out this time of year. Season Finales are playing out and I’m forced to wonder if the summer’s slim programming means I’m going to have to spend time OUTDOORS. Not happening. Do you know how annoying it is to put on sunscreen? Super annoying.

Five Reasons Not To Panic That The TV Season is Officially Over

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1) The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien starts June 1 on NBC. Jay Leno’s reign of terror gets a brief hiatus before he starts attacking us earlier in the evening.

Burn-Notice

2) Burn Notice returns June 4th on USA. The bad news is that it’s a cable series which means it’ll end after about two months and we’ll be back in the same leaky TV boat that we’re in right now.

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3) Royal Pains premieres on June 4th, also on USA. The cable network tends to be hit-or-miss in the programming department (hit: Burn Notice, Monk, Psych– miss: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, by far the worst Law & Order of them all. Although I do get a good laugh whenever I see those promos where Jeff Goldblum  strikes a pose next to his lady partner) but kudos for hiring “Hey, it’s THAT guy!” for the lead and “Hey, it’s that guy from Road Trip and nothing else!” as his sidekick.

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4) Raising the Bar on June 8th on TNT, aka Zack Morris’ Hair- What Will It Be This Time?

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5) Leverage also on TNT (airing in the all-too-vague “Sometime this summer” zone)- possibly the best “doing the dishes” show from last year. Fun and you can totally watch it while doing something useful, ie the dishes. Unlike some other shows (I’m looking at you, Lost. High-maintenance much?)

Now, if you really want to be depressed about the summer schedule, click here. I’m warning you, though. It’s really, really depressing. You might not recover from it.

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This is a fucking game.

This is a fucking game.

 

Turning “Battleship” board game into a movie- NO

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The Ricky Gervais Show- YES

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Last Call With Carson Daly renewed- NO but it’s on so late that only Beal will be inconvenienced

Gilmore-Girls-tv-01

Lorelai Gilmore (aka Lauren Graham)’s pilot is cancelled- NO. Idiots.

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NBC Promos for The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien- YES. THANK GOD. Especially the one of Conan running down the beach in his suit, Baywatch-style.

by Judi

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strike-conan-obrien_l_jpg_300x1000_q85Nathan Rabin from the AV Club sums up the final episode of Late Night With Conan O’Brien perfectly. It’s everything I felt last night and more.

– Judi

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