Oh, NBC, why must you be so consistently retarded? When all this mess is said and done, it looks like we are going to end up right where we began: with Jay Leno hosting The Tonight Show at its usual time. Conan is going to exit stage left (but not before NBC gets in one last dig, telling the New York Times this is all Conan's fault because ratings were so bad on The Tonight Show while he hosted) and move on to hopefully greener pastures.
I haven't weighed in on the this whole late night kerfluffle before now for one clear reason: I don't really give a shit. Look, I think Conan O'Brien is quite funny, I enjoyed him hosting the Emmys a few years ago and when I was in college I would occasionally watch his show. And I am sure that Jay Leno is a very nice man and old people think that he is very funny. But I do not understand why people care about this late night stuff so much. I mean, who are the people that can stay up until 2 in the morning watching talk shows? Don't these people have jobs?? And are there so many millions of them that it's really worth all this annoying network bitching and back-stabbing?
I get that The Tonight Show is part of television history and people still really really love Johnny Carson. But I think those days are behind us. I think most everyone can agree that there will never be another Carson and it seems to me that he was really what made The Tonight Show worth watching. From what I've seen Craig Ferguson is a pretty funny guy, and of course there's always David Letterman, but I guess my opinion on the whole late night tv genre is that I just don't care. I don't watch it, nobody I know watches it, and I don't have the free brain space to devote to arguing or debating about it.
So if you are avid Conan/Leno/Letterman/Ferguson/Fallon fan, good for you and I hope this all shakes out in a way that pleases you. But I think most people are in this whole debate just for the drama aspect of it and haven't watched a minute of late night tv in years. Because, like me, they have jobs that require them to get up at 5:30 in the morning, so watching someone crack wise after midnight isn't really ranking high on the priority list over, say, getting some actual sleep.