Day: January 12, 2010

Leno’s fans boo his “cancellation” by NBC; Yes, Virginia, there is a Team Jay

In case you were wondering how Jay Leno would respond to Conan O'Brien's announcement that he would not be joining The Tonight Show after midnight, well, keep wondering. At least for a half-hour or so. In this sneak preview clip NBC produced, however, you'll notice that while Team Conan is on the Internet, Team Jay (or would it be Team Leno?) still has many ardent fans. Of course, if you watch his show in primetime or late-night, Leno opens by letting fans rush the stage to lay their hands upon him as if he were the Chin God. Anyhow. During tonight's monologue, they boo when Leno says NBC is "pulling the plug" on him — which, still, no, they're moving you back to your old time-slot, which means you're still on the air, dummy — and cheer when he jokes that the date (which he would not be on anyhow because of the Winter Olympics coverage pre-empting everything else on NBC) coincides with the Mayan calendar. Also Leno joked that if he gained 10 more pounds, the network would let him go on The Biggest Loser. Which jokes like these, he's already halfway there. This from a guy who knows that if NBC lets Conan walk away, he'll get his full hour and Tonight Show back (and TMZ is reporting this is in the works, too). Who is he...

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Letterman has more advice for Conan, “Big Jaw” Leno & NBC, plus a 10 p.m. replacement

The people at CBS and Late Show at David Letterman know that after Monday's blistering take on NBC, they could have some more fun tonight. Except now that Conan O'Brien announced today that he would not move The Tonight Show to 12:05 a.m., the balls are in NBC's court, and tonight's Tonight Show will be one to watch (they're all ones to watch, BTW). So CBS has put up these two clips from tonight's Late Show. The first has Letterman giving NBC an idea on how to replace "Big Jaw" Jay Leno at 10 p.m. with another Law & Order…Leno Victims Unit. When Letterman gets to the desk tonight, it sounds like he is rehashing his advice from last night, only with updated information about the ongoing battle at NBC to reply to Conan's announcement this afternoon. Also, as Letterman tells Carson Daly, the difference between having a TV show at 1:35 a.m. and not having a show, isn't that much of a difference. Roll it! The Hollywood Reporter also has gotten hold of quips from Letterman's monologue. "I just knocked off another competitor!" UPDATED: Here is Letterman's Tuesday monologue! In part two of his monologue, Letterman also gets in a dig on Leno regarding Simon Cowell's decision to leave American Idol. Then it's back to Sarah Palin...

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Robert Smigel and Dino Stamatopoulos get crunk reminiscing on launching Conan for Late Night

Last summer, while running around from show to show at the inaugural Just For Laughs Chicago comedy festival, I managed to catch up with Robert Smigel and Dino Stamatopoulos backstage after one of their rare screenings of "The Unaired Bozo Circus Parody" along with the pilot for TV Funhouse. At the time, I quickly posted only part of the video, in which I asked Smigel to offer his perspective on his Chicago Superfans sketch that he developed into one of the more popular recurring Saturday Night Live sketches in the early 1990s. Da Bears. Da Bulls. Well, as all of this NBC late-night TV melodrama has unfolded, I remembered that Smigel not only was the first head writer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien, but that he and Stamatopoulos had talked a little bit about that — Dino was Smigel's first hire — as well as their humble beginnings in comedy. Also, how they came up with the word "crunk" before it became popular for something else. In their eyes, it was supposed to be a fake curse word that Conan and others could say on the show without actually cursing. Roll the wayback machine clip! Stamatopoulos could be seen on several episodes this season of NBC's Community, and is developing a new show for Adult Swim, Frankenhole. He previously produced Moral Orel for the cable toon network, as well...

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Seaton Smith’s PSA on behalf of “safe Negroes”

A few weeks ago, D.C.-based stand-up comedian Seaton Smith uploaded this parody of a public service announcement to Funny or Die, letting white people know not to be afraid of all black people. Unfortunately, it has become a somewhat timeless message. Fortunately for Smith, however, this timeless message is quite timely satire now that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had to apologize this week for comments a new book quoted him making about Barack Obama's presidential campaign, in which he described Obama as "a 'light-skinned' black man 'with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.'" Reid has apologized; Obama has accepted; the GOP wants a lynching (ahem)! If you want a serious discussion of the matter, here's Jake Tapper's report for ABC News last night. If you want comedy, here's Seaton Smith. Roll the...

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