Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

07 November 2010

Conan O'Brien and His Return to TV

Am I the only person on the planet who does not consider Conan O'Brien funny? I'm puzzled that so many people do. Various sources refer to O'Brien as a "comedic genius." Genius? Really? Rolling Stone Magazine recently did an article on him, sort of explaining why he is so popular with the college-age stoner crowd. And maybe that's it: Maybe I'm just too old and out of it to "get" his humor. I pride myself on keeping up with pop culture and stuff. And so it's kind of sad/tragic that I realize I'm on the wrong side of the generation gap. When did that happen??

O'Brien may be a great comedy writer (I'll admit that), but his on-air persona just does nothing for me. I don't find him funny at all and in fact, I find his interview skills particularly weak. Instead of genuinely listening to what the guest is saying, he always seems to be figuring out a way of turning whatever they say into some faux-self-deprecating joke. And everything is a joke to Conan O'Brien - a joke that he pretends to make at his own expense even though we know (wink-wink) he doesn't really mean it. It's as annoying as it is juvenile.

Thus although I shouldn't be, I am baffled by O'Brien's popularity (he reportedly has over a million Twitter subscribers), and all the hoopla surrounding his return to television - albeit as the host of a talk show on basic cable. I mean, TBS for cryin' out loud? What, TVLand didn't bite? He must be some kind of world-class attention-whore if he'd settle for the pittance TBS was able to cough up - which surely must pale beside what he used to make at NBC. He has said that he's not going to "reinvent the wheel" of late-night talk shows. How could he? It's been tried before - unsucessfully - by others, most notably Howard Stern. So we're not going to see anything different than what Jack Paar and Groucho Marx pioneered a thousand years ago. Wowee.

After NBC gave him the boot (and a $34 million severance check) and gave The Tonight Show back to Jay Leno, O'Brien was subject to a non-compete clause in his contract, which has now expired. Suffice to say, I won't be watching O'Brien's "triumphant" return to almost-late-night TV tomorrow night. Or the night after, for that matter.

You know, if it was me, if I was some unfunny, pretentious goofball and a major TV network just gave me $34 million to leave my job, I'd run away fast and you'd never hear from me again, ever.

Then again, I'm not a world-class attention-whore.


Anonymous said...

Just so you know, you are not the only one that can't stand him. I don't get the appeal either.


Anonymous said...

I also find Conan O'Brien more annoying than funny. Lopez too, for what it's worth.

Hal Johnson said...

I never got him either. I always fig'ered it was my lack of sophistication or somethin'.

"You know, if it was me, if I was some unfunny, pretentious goofball and a major TV network just gave me $34 million to leave my job, I'd run away fast and you'd never hear from me again, ever."

So you'd just leave everyone who reads your blog in a lurch? Bastard.

Redlefty said...

Is it possible he loves his job, and wasn't content to just sit on a pile of cash?

(Defending gingers since 1976)


Greybeard said...

Intelligent? Yes.
Talented? Certainly.
Funny? Meh.
I agree with your thoughts.

Comedy is a strange thing, isn't it?
He obviously appeals to a certain group of folks. His ratings for that first show were VERY high...
Let's see how long he can keep 'em there.

Debby said...

Okay, maybe I'm just a cheap woman, but shoot. I'd run away and be very quiet for $1m.

Anonymous said...

So funny you post this Bob.

I find Conan very funny and have for several years. In fact I watched his return show and laughed my butt off...of course Matt ditched me to watch football. Maybe you are to old, lol...and we know Matt has an old soul ;) I don't mind watching Jay Leno, but I don't laugh nearly as much as I do with Conan. Their style of comedy is just different; I think Conan is more slapstick and Leno is sarcastic, much like you and Matt. To each his own I guess.
Alisha :)