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October 9, 2015

Here's Conan's 2004 announcement about taking over The Tonight Show

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 18th 2010 4:30PM
Earlier today we posted video of a 2004 Jay Leno telling his Tonight Show audience that Conan O'Brien would take over the show in 2009, and how it's right to hand it over to someone like Conan who is a gentleman and funny. Now here's Conan's thoughts at the same time. He thanks everyone at NBC and says that hosting The Tonight Show is something he has always dreamed about.

[via TV Tattle]

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Really sad to see, he seems legitimately excited about this like a kid promised a car at 16.

Good prediction on Clay Aiken coming out though.

January 19 2010 at 4:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

meh, they're both not funny. I'll take craig over those two any hour of the day

January 19 2010 at 2:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

Now if only Conan had kept up his end of the bargain and continued to be as funny as he was in his earlier late night show, there'd be no problem. I looked forward to the change and was disappointed. Seven months was enough to "get established" and he didn't. NBC made a decision to cancel Conan's hosting and bring back Leno who for 15 of his 17 years beat Letterman in the ratings.

The 10pm show for Leno was a disaster, yes, but NBC didn't do all that much better for most of its other pre-Leno shows in that time slot. Leno was on top on the Tonight Show despite lousy lead-in shows and his ratings are what count. NBC is a business and business decisions are made everyday. Really don't understand why Leno is getting all the flak.

January 18 2010 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joyce N.'s comment

Yeeeah, 'cause NBC was really going to let him keep the Masturbating Bear at 11:30. He was forced to drop or tone down his style as part of the price of moving into the time slot. Of course it's going to take him time to find his stride.

As for the ratings - he had the younger crowd, but the older crowd had to be won over all over again (part of the reason he had to tone down his show). Give the man a break. It's not like Leno was always a ratings leader, either - it took him time to get there (who, by your own admission, spent 2 years behind Letterman... a li'l more than 7 months, no?).

NBC wanted Conan to take the job, Leno agreed to step aside - and furthermore went on to state that if his show flopped, that's it, he was done. NBC didn't give Conan a chance to build his audience (and no 7 months is not enough for fans who develop longterm loyalties to one host or another), and Jay didn't step down and retire gracefully like he said he would, and Conan had insult added to injury. That's why Leno (and NBC in general) are getting all the flak.

January 18 2010 at 10:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember that episode, Jim Belushi was his guest and congratulated on finally making it to the "big chair" and how many comedians dream on hosting the Tonight Show.

If a schlub like Jim Belushi can recognize that, I suppose I understand Conan's attachment to the legacy that made him go rogue on NBC.

Notice when Conan announces to his audience that he's going to the Tonight Show, they instantly erupt in cheers and even give him a standing-O.

In the video where Leno announces himself leaving, he purposely lets it hang for a couple of seconds before the audience finally moans.

January 18 2010 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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