Team Coco Goes Down the Tubes

Last night, after watching hours of earthquake coverage — do the CNN reporters all work out at the same gym? — we found ourself catching up on late-night Leno-bashing, which truly was, as they say, comic relief. So, while there are far more important things to talk about today, we’ll use that as an excuse to present the latest shenanigans.

TMZ reports that, as predicted, Jay has re-signed (alas, not resigned) for a one-hour Tonight Show, following the Winter Olympics. People, in turn, says Conan’s last Tonight will be a week from Friday, after which the show was already scheduled to take a break.

For added fun, Deadline Hollywood says that Jeff Zucker, NBCU chief (the U is for Universal — keep up, folks!) and stick-figure star of Craig Ferguson’s opening monologue last night, is threatening to keep Conan off the air for the three-year duration of his contract.

Take it away, keyboard cat Hitler Meme!

Instant update! NBC denies the TMZ report.

19 Comments

he didnt ask me but I would tell Jeff that Conan is probably a hornets nest it would be better not to poke.

@Capt Howdy: So was Dave, but NBC lived to tell about it.

If nothing else, the Leno-bashing is getting really fun — so fun I’ve actually visited Gawker at night for all the latest copyright-violating clips.

@nojo:
yeah
but I dunno. Conan seems a little more dangerous than Dave.

That clip just keeps giving and giving.

And I love Jay if only for his car collection, which you can see him test here, but I am an irreparable gearhead. Check out the old Bugattis – amazing what you used to have to do just to start a car.

@nojo: Different situation. NBC wasn’t breaking a contract with Letterman when they picked Leno over him. Protracted litigation is not in the interests of the bean counters’ wallets. And anyway, NBC may survive but I think Capt’s point is that Zucker won’t. He’s already destroyed the network and if Comcast comes in, he’s surely the first one out.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: If I read this correctly, Conan is repped by WME (William Morris Endeavor, for civvies) which is run by — wait for it — Rahm’s bro Ari, the model for Entourage.

So, the Capt is right: Hornet’s nest.

Hitler never gets old. Hilarious.

@nojo: William Morris was the agency for most of the 20th cent. And Endeavor gobbled it down. Awesome. Would have seemed to be about as likely as Goldman Sachs devouring congress.

Oh wait…

@nojo: Ari? Fucking awesome. And it turns out pinhead NBC exec Zucker has hated Conan since their Harvard days:

Too small to pursue his fantasy of playing football for the Miami Dolphins, Zucker took to writing local sports stories for The Miami Herald. He continued his writing career as an undergraduate at Harvard University, where he covered sports for The Harvard Crimson. He later became president of the publication. It was at Harvard that Zucker first met Conan O’Brien, now an NBC late-night host, who worked for humor magazine the Harvard Lampoon. As a prank, O’Brien’s staff stole all the Crimson issues one day before they could be delivered. Zucker called the cops. “My first meeting with Jeff Zucker was in handcuffs, with a Cambridge police officer reading me my rights,” says O’Brien.

Go Ari! Go CoCo!

@SanFranLefty: Extraordinary. I pissed off the entire college-rag ad staff because the annual satire issue I produced blew off advertisers. Dozen years later, I hired the ad director for the alumni magazine. We’re still in touch.

@SanFranLefty: After reading that on Gawker, someone commented about Zucker: Humorless prick then, humorless prick now.

Conan, tonight: “No matter what happens, it’s been a real honor to sit in the same chair as Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and Jay Leno.”

Time to go clip-hunting…

@nojo: One of these is not like the others.

@nojo, TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I have a book somewheres around here that is a history of the Harvard Crimson. One of their pranks involved stealing some other group’s bronze eagle off their building and then presenting it as a gift to the Soviet ambassador as a sign of friendship between the people of the two nations.

@redmanlaw: Harvard Crimson writers are the Stanford Band of Cambridge.

Daily Beast:

The NBC-Leno-Conan war is close to ending, according to a knowledgeable source. According to the outlines of a settlement, Conan O’Brien will leave NBC and the network will make an as-yet unspecified payment. The comedian will be free to appear elsewhere on television well before his contract expires, despite earlier threats from NBC that it would prevent him from working anywhere else.

Fox, line 2.

Jimmy Kimmel on Jay Leno’s show the day after impersonating him. Daaaayum. Are he and my shero Sarah Silverman still a couple?

@SanFranLefty: They split not long after the dual videos, alas. But yes, Kimmel performed a public service tonight.

And wrapping up the bitchfest for tonight…

Referring to the pointed jokes made this week by Mr. O’Brien and David Letterman of CBS, Mr. Ebersol said it was “chicken-hearted and gutless to blame a guy you couldn’t beat in the ratings.”

He added that “what this is really all about is an astounding failure by Conan.” Mr. Ebersol is a veteran at the network, with a longstanding relationship with NBC Universal’s embattled chief executive, Jeff Zucker. Mr. Ebersol also has a deep link to the network’s late-night history, having been a creator of “Saturday Night Live,” and he has been frequently consulted on changes in NBC’s late-night lineup.

Dick Ebersol’s role as a “creator” of SNL can be disputed, but he did his best to ruin the show when Lorne Michaels left. But really, he’s being trotted out here as Zucker’s Cheney.

@SanFranLefty:

i heard they were cuddling and kissy facey all night at the friars club in new york a few weeks ago. eyewitness certainty.
aren’t they the perfect couple?

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