I’m currently reading Bill Carter’s The War for Late Night about The Tonight Show debacle that gave then took away hosting duties from Conan O’Brien in a matter of six months. One interesting insight was Chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Dick Ebersol’s concern about Conan being able to adjust his comedy to an “11:30 audience.” Essentially being more broad with the types of jokes, more middlebrow. This was a death blow to an edgy and pleasingly esoteric comedy mind like Conan. It was one of many destructive elements that lead to him getting booted, but it also was one of the biggest. It alienated his hardcore fans and never got middle enough for Middle America.
Well, I’m pleased to say that Conan’s new show on TBS has brought back his signature Late Night comedy attitude and now with the advantage of starting a half-hour earlier then his talk show competitors. I’ve actually found myself watching Conan a lot more because of this. His 11pm slot is a perfect cap to the TV show landscape with built-in TiVo busting placement. Most people at that time of the day have caught up on their “Now Playing” TiVo queue, which for me lately has been comprised of 48 Hours on ID and Gangland, and are surfing the channels for Live TV. Now you got Conan to tuck you in.
And that signature comedy I was talking about? Check out these two clips from this week which destroyed me. An example of the show’s anti-comedy comedy ethos that makes it a true return to form for Mr. O’Brien. Team Coco!