On Monday, Conan O’Brien was given the keys to one of the best jobs in television. The Tonight Show has been going strong since 1954 and is one of the longest running shows ever. It was first hosted by Steve Allen, then Jack Parr (very shortly), followed by the masterful Johnny Carson, and finally Jay Leno. The producers should have left the show with people that have a first name beginning with “J” since Conan simply doesn’t have what it takes.
It is interesting that Conan took the job over from Leno where he comes from taking the David Letterman vacated show. Letterman was upset that he didn’t take over for Carson and left to form a show on a rival network. Leno and Letterman have been battling for the entire time and Leno consistently won. Now it appears that Letterman will easily have the upper hand since there is no way the very un-funny O’Brien can compete.
I feel sorry for Conan. He moved to Los Angeles from New York City. I sure hope that he is renting his home because I will be amazed if he will survive long on this show. He simply doesn’t have what it takes. He will do moderately well since actors and singers need to do the show to hawk their latest projects but they will quickly opt for doing Letterman first and then eventually get around to appearing with O’Brien. The shows ratings are in for a huge fall!
The jury is still out if Leno’s new gig will be successful. If it is a raving success then Conan is in for more of a challenge as the comparison will continue and they will split the audience. Why would a viewer spend an hour with Jay at 10, watch the news, and then be bored with the inferior Conan at 11:30? If he fails, he may come crawling back to his old job and kick Conan out of his old chair.