Thank God, Jay Leno Is Back!!!

March 2nd, 20101:01 pm @ Angela Odom


I will admit I’m over 50 and grew up during a time when the common refrains were “no one owes you anything” and “don’t expect something for nothing.” That said, I did not understand the whole riff between all of the talk show hosts and the immature banter regarding Conan O’Brien’s drop from the Tonight Show.

It may be a sign-o-the-times, a paradigm shift if you will that has caused people to think or believe someone always owes you something and therefore, whether you meet and/or exceed expectations or fail miserably everyone is equal and all should continue to hold their jobs. Really? If this is true, why bother working toward anything other than mediocre?

Another sad and disappointing sign came in the way of excuses: O’Brien had a bad lead-in, they didn’t give him enough time to grow his audience, etc., etc. Personally, I have never watched a network television show or the news prior to my moving over to NBC to watch the Tonight Show. My life is quite automated. My DVR is set to switch to the Tonight Show and begin recording at that magical time. Typically, I am watching something on cable prior to the Tonight Show so that excuse holds no water for me.

Secondly, what happened to Conan’s Late Night audience? They didn’t follow him over to the new time slot? And as far as “growing an audience” goes, there are way too many television shows that were not afforded such a luxury. Many did not make it two weeks, let alone seven months, because of bad ratings.

I don’t know, sometimes I see and hear things and shake my head. I don’t get it. A man who had the show and left it on top is being ridiculed, persecuted and some pretty horrible things are being said about him because he did not walk away? Wow, the times, they are a changing aren’t they? I’m sure many of these folks complaining would not step down from a position to give someone else a shot. There aren’t that many altruists in the world.  I just love it when folks demand others do something they would not do themselves.  Babies!!

Truth is, the network did a major faux pas. They put Jay on the back burner to either fail miserably — which he did — or they really did not expect Conan to cut the mustard. I personally had a problem with the network’s fear factor. If you promise someone something you must give it to them and suffer the consequences of your decisions and/or actions. Don’t half do it. You either commit completely or you rescind your promise. Period.

Then there is something called contract law. You can pay out of your contract but why pay your hard earned to get out. I don’t care how much money I have I ain’t giving it up. You can negotiate a release from your contract and Leno tried to do that and the network said no. You can bail — also known as a breach — but you will have to pay damages for breach of contract so why do that. The network could have paid Leno off and released him from his contract but they chose not to. So, what was Leno to do?

As an aside — and this is just me engaging in pure rant — how could he end the show stating he hates cynicism when he engaged in cynicism the entire last week of his show? I liked his words but he engaged in cynicism the entire week. Then, after hearing his last show with Tom Hanks was going to be “really funny,” Hanks turned out to be one self indulging painful thing to watch. I did not know that about him. Yikes. Okay, I’m done.

I dunno, I’m just glad to see Jay Leno back on the Tonight Show. I gave Conan O’Brien three days and quite frankly, I could not bear to watch any of the shows I recorded during those three days. It wasn’t long before I finally reset my DVR to record other shows during that time slot. I only watched David Letterman during the week of his scandal and quickly turned away because I can only take so much of him.

Maybe it’s his gray hair or perhaps it’s his good old fashioned work ethic that turns me on. I mean, the guy still does stand up. He is not stand offish as the others, he’s down to earth, and I like the guy.

So Jay, I’m glad you’re back. Thank you.