Even the best boss is going to have to ask their workers to bend and do something they just don’t want to do. When there’s hundreds of millions of dollars riding on it, the pressure to perform twists the intensity level. The ‘big asks’ can lead down roads that break binding legal contracts and suddenly that new job that was so fun, the really big one to show and push yourself to the next level– that you’ve been training for your whole career gets pulled out from under you, watered down to accommodate some big gun who is slightly better connected than you and who’s ego can’t take a downgrade is back to kick you in the teeth.
For Conan O’Brien that story has been played out in the public eye over the last week. Jay Leno did not go gently into that good night. In Conan’s statement to the “People Of Planet Earth” yesterday he showed his passion for the 60 year old franchise of ‘The Tonight Show’ and why he was such a perfect choice to take over the mantle, make the show young again and attract the lucrative 18-39 year old viewers.
I agree with Conan’s point about the 11:30 timeslot being so important despite TIVO and DVRs. I havewatched Conan more on ‘The Tonight Show’ then ever before — that’s not due to a lack of adoration on my part previously to his antics, it’s the timeslot. When he first went on air with his own show I went to the tapings of shows 33, 66, and 99– how this worked out is a random bit of awesome but I have loved that Giant Ginger since then. He instantly was more captivating then Jimmy Fallon who has yet to stop laughing during any of his interviews with his famous friends or any of his former castmates from SNL.
Conan owned his gawkiness and used it to captivate us. He had a contest connecting to his audience to join in on the fun by sending in things that rhyme with Conan the blank blank -arian. Yes, I confess I did send in one and he read it on air “Conan The Chocolate Bavarian.” Oh how I live in infamy….!
I want to cheer for Conan for always making the most of his talents, for his grace under this pressure and for being letting Sasha Baron Cohen as his character Bruno gyrate on top of Conan and never really freaking out about it. Well done sir!
Bonus watch Conan on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis