Eff You, NBC & Jay Leno

Does anyone else feel like they’ve been transported back in time? To 1992, to be precise. A time when Gameboys were cool and gas was only $1.05/gallon. A time when Leno and NBC clawed Letterman out of his deserved Tonight Show spot, against successor Johnny Carson’s wishes? I wasn’t old enough to understand but don’t worry – there’s a whole made-for-TV movie on it, “The Late Shift.”

Even if, at the time, I didn’t know what was going on, I came to develop a passion (shared with me by my grandmother and father) for late night. I’ve seen dozens of episodes of Johnny Carson, while my peers barely know his name, and hundreds upon hundreds of episodes of Letterman. They were beloved figures in my household. As I grew up, I became partial to Conan during high school. I would stay up past my bedtime with my sister, skimming right over Leno to catch me some Conan O’Brien.

As time went on, the natural progression of things began to unfold. Leno’s time was coming to a close and he turned the coveted 11:35 spot over to Conan. However, instead of bowing out gracefully, NBC decided to cut their high-budget dramas at 10:00 and replace it with “The Leno Show.” Um, okay…?

And now, after only giving Conan a few months in this new time slot and after altering the nighttime lineup, they’re making an executive decision to move “The Jay Leno Show” to 11:35 and bump “The Tonight Show” to 12:05.

And this is pissing a lot of people off. Namely, ME.

First of all, “The Tonight Show” does not belong in that time slot and never has. It’s always been at 11:35 and shouldn’t be moved just to appease some old guy with a big chin. And let’s take a moment to note that Conan was never even given a fair chance with his “Tonight Show” gig due to the nighttime lineup changing to FIT LENO AT A 10 PM TIMESLOT. Leno should’ve retired and truly handed the reins to Conan. Who does he think he is? Brett Favre?

Leno and NBC both have screwed up the natural progression of the “Tonight Show.” The whole thing is so effed at this point that perhaps it would be better to focus on Letterman’s “Late Show” which is better anyway. Conan can leave NBC, collect his cool 50 million and in a few years, Letterman does what is right and passes the “Late Show” onto Conan while Leno crashes and burns when all his fans kick it due to health complications after all the KFC and Domino’s they’ve been eating in their trailer parks (or wherever Leno fans exist… I’m a little unclear on this).

[Breathe]

Last night I was venting my frustrations to one of my best friends. She doesn’t even own a television and cringes whenever I bring up Jersey Shore or any other pop culture phenomenons. She couldn’t quite wrap her head around it all, particularly NBC’s loyalty to Leno. So I explained it to her the only way I knew how. By relating it all to relationships, sex and some mild alcohol abuse.

NBC falls into a relationship (“Tonight Show”) with Leno. Perhaps Leno wooed NBC with his chin or fancy cars, but whatever the case may be, NBC and Leno are a pretty serious item. Years later Leno and NBC break up and NBC starts a relationship with Conan O’Brien, that lovable awkward redhead. However, NBC is still sleeping with their ex on the side. You know, maybe Leno’s getting drunk and feeding NBC lines like, “I love you and I love BEING with you, I just really don’t want a relationship right now.” NBC keeps dating Conan, but, hark, overhears that Leno might want a relationship AGAIN, if given a second chance (“Oh babe, we can try and make this work!”). And NBC goes back to him, thus leaving Conan alone to eat brownie batter out of a bowl while watching The Notebook.

Hitting a little closer to home to anyone?

It’s sad to think that the “Tonight Show” has been to reduced to “The Jay Leno and Corporate NBC Show” and subsequently lost all the credibility that Carson gave to it. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen now (rumor has it even Jay is gonna bounce on NBC. Boo hoo), but I know for sure that no matter what happens, I would rather watch reruns of Real World on MTV than get my late night fix from Jimmy Fallon.

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