California Dreaming


It’s fitting that, in this year of “change”, the late night television landscape will be altered in its most meaningful way in nearly two decades.

Jay Leno abdicates the Tonight Show throne this spring and moves to a new primetime slot at 10pm for NBC in the fall.

Jimmy Fallon will gain the title of the next talkshow host to bomb remarkably as he takes over Late Night for NBC on March 2nd at 12:35am.

And the man on the spot – just as he was when he took over for David Letterman over 15 years ago (video link here) – is Conan O’Brien.

If you haven’t already heard, tomorrow night will mark the final episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien.  Expect some surprises from the final show, along with a musical appearance from longtime friends The White Stripes.

Conan reflects on the occasion with his typical self-effacing humor. In an interview with USA Today, he looks forward to the move to Los Angeles and refers to himself as “a fish out of water” who is “not genetically engineered to live that close to the Mexican border.”

In this feature from the NY Times, Conan discusses the challenges of the industry insider notion that he will lose guests in Los Angeles to the entrenched Jay Leno with a casual comment that “maybe I’m a bumbling, Gomer Pyle fool who should be more concerned about this stuff, but I can’t control what’s going on around me.”

And this quote, which really gets to the heart of the matter: “A lot of that is up to me. If I do a good, funny, and fresh ‘Tonight Show’ every night at 11:35, it’s going to be successful, and it’s going to be irrelevant what everybody else is doing.”

Get those DVR’s programmed now. Odds are good that show number 2725 will be a memorable finale.

Episode 1 of the new Tonight Show with Conan premieres on June 1.

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~ by acm213 on February 19, 2009.

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