As you might expect, Conan O’Brien had a few things on his mind last night. If you need to explain it to a friend who doesn’t have the internet, here’s a summary: “NBC can suck these ginger balls.”
He even took a few shots at Jay Leno, as he should. Leno is a little underhanded bitch. ‘The Late Shift’ talks about him hiding in closets to spy on meetings. ‘Headlines’ is the exact same thing as ‘Small Town News’, which Letterman has been doing since the 80‘s. In his autobiography, he tells a story about appearing on the Dinah Shore show (read the entire story here, word for word from his book). It’s a cute story and would be even cuter if it had happened to him. In reality it happened to Robert Altman.
The only satisfying part about this is seeing NBC flail around like a retarded giant that someone just pushed onto some ice.
(As you read this, keep in mind that none of this happened to Jay Leno, even though it’s in his book, and he speaks in some version of first-person 27 times.)
“I went in and met with the talent coordinator, who said, ‘Okay, what’s your last joke, so the band knows when to play you off.’ … I said to the talent coordinator, ‘Listen, do I have to give my last line?’ ‘Well, how’s the bandleader going to know when you’re done?’ I said, ‘Well, I like to hear the laugh. How about if I just say, “Thank you, thank you very much!” Twice, okay? And that’ll be the cue.’
“He agreed to this and went to tell the guys in the band. During the show, I waited backstage for my introduction from Dinah Shore. Finally, I heard her say, ‘Now we’re going to bring out a very funny young man from Boston. He’s got a unique brand of comedy. Please welcome, Mr. Jay Leno! Come out here, Jay!’ Because Dinah was such a warm presence, she tended to infect audiences with her own enthusiasm. And this audience took her lead and responded with a long, wonderful round of applause. It was almost unnatural. They even went, ‘Wooooo! Wooooo!’
“I walked out, surprised and feeling like hot stuff. I started with: ‘I’m from the United States! Are there any United States people here?’ This got a huge ovation – much more so than such a lame joke deserved. So I said, ‘Oh! Thank you! Thank you very much!’ At which point, the bandleader looked up in a panic, threw down his magazine, stubbed out his cigarette – and started playing me off!
“‘BAAAA DAAAAH! BAAAAAM PAHHHH! BAAA BAAAHH! DAAAAAH! DAHHHHHN TAAAAAA!’ And I stood there, stunned.
“Meanwhile, Dinah, who had been reading through her notes, looked up, smiled broadly, and started applauding. Which started the audience applauding wildly! Now she was waving me over to her: ‘Come on over here, Jay! Come on over here!’ So I shrugged and walked over to her couch. Still beaming, she said, ‘Sit right down! That’s some of the freshest material I’ve heard in a long time!’ Was anybody paying attention here? So I just sat down and said, ‘Well, thank you very much! At this rate, I could do this show eighty, ninety times a year!'”