If you get out a map of the northwest section of Los Angeles county and place a ruler in a position between Universal City and the intersection of Olive and Alamada Avenues in Burbank (home of what's left of NBC studios and the location of Jay Leno's stage), then draw a straight line, that line will go smack through the location of my apartment. Perhaps this explains my fascination with the current late night wars.
In the last two weeks I've been reading a lot about the participants. I like to read. And I like to think. (Some day I hope to retire so I can sit on my ass and read, then think, but I digress.) In my reading, I came across a story about Conan O'Brien and Jeff Zucker, current President and CEO of NBC Universal. It seems both of these men were at Harvard at the same time. O'Brien was at the helm of the Harvard Lampoon, Zucker headed up the Harvard Crimson. O'Brien one day stole (with help, I imagine, or, considering Zucker's exhibited brain power lately maybe he didn't need help after all) the entire day's run of the Crimson. A Lampoon/Crimson prank, no more, no less. Zucker called the cops and tried to arrest O'Brien.
Ah HA! NOW it all fell into place for me. Zucker obviously has no sense of humor. The college incident explains not only Zucker's animosity for Conan O'Brien, it also explains his adulation of Leno. Because Leno isn't funny. At least, not now.
Leno used to be funny. Then he got a television gig. He's been getting more UNfunny as the years have worn on. He reminds me of Bob Hope as Hope approached the age of 100, still making Phyllis Diller jokes. Those weren't funny either. However, the guy was NINETY SEVEN YEARS OLD! I think we ALL cut him some slack.
Jay, let me tell you something, like a mother. Repeating the joke three times won't make it better. Jeez, even I know that. The only laughs your monologue is getting this week are on the jokes you stole from Jimmy Fallon. JIMMY FALLON is funnier than YOU are! Come ON, Jay! Or are you so consumed with yourself you don't bother to watch anyone else so you didn't actually hear Fallon do the Spaghetti-Ohs joke what? Almost 24 hours before you did?
You know what we all hear? That one of the reasons this is STILL being fought is that Conan O'Brien is negotiating a deal that will take care of his people. All the people that uprooted their spouses and their kids and their lives to follow him to Los Angeles. They FOLLOWED him. Across the damn country. And he knows who they are and he wants to make sure they're not cut loose in Los Angeles with no jobs and no income. Yeah, that's one reason. The other reason is that Leno is a dickhead.
Does anyone have O'Brien's email address, btw? I would like to shoot him a quick note and remind him to add the booker and the writer who were responsible for Jimmy Kimmel's appearance on 10@10 the other night, I'm pretty sure they're looking for work and hell, Conan...you OWE them.
Now, here's what I propose. As I'm ideally located in the geographical center of this mess, Jay, Conan and you too Jeff. E-mail me for my address. I can arrange to be home any time that works for all three of you. I'll order espresso. I'll also provide the ruler.
In five minutes we can have this entire thing settled. Jay, if the numbers aren't looking good I promise I will add two inches.
Conan can go back to The Tonight Show.
And you, Jay, can retire undefeated as the biggest prick in Hollywood.