Now that news of NBC’s late night shake-up has spread coast-to-coast, all of the evening shows are finding comedic inspiration in the drama. While the mood was light at CBS, NBC’s Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien took a more direct – and biting – approach, making it clear that the gloves are coming off. And it’s poor, dejected O’Brien who took the most shots.
The barbs kicked off the night on ‘The Jay Leno Show‘ when Leno broke the ‘news’ to his audience, “We’ve been fired… Again,” but made sure to clarify that this situation’s entirely different than when he left ‘The Tonight Show.’
“NBC said the show performed exactly as they expected it would and then canceled us,” joked Leno. “Don’t confuse this with when we were on at late night and performed better than expected and they canceled us. That was totally different.”
Watch Jay Leno Talk About Getting Fired Below:
Conan O’Brien was up next on ‘The Tonight Show’ with a nearly five-minute tear that came with no small amount of bitterness.
O’Brien’s monologue began with some gentle ribbing, like his joke about how he’s “the new host of Last Call with Carson Daly,” this weekend’s earthquake knocked Jay Leno’s show back an hour-and-a-half and that he planned on “stealing as many office supplies as humanly possible.” Then, with the audience and executives a bit loosened up, O’Brien injected a fair amount of bitterness into his bit, like when he explained that NBC projects a $200 million loss for the Olympics and asked “Is it just me, or is that story hilarious?”
Watch Conan O’Brien Address His Future Options Below:
The red-headed comedian didn’t reveal any of his actual plans but did offer some hypothetical options, like “work in a classier business with better people, like hard core porn” and “host a show on BET called ‘White All Night.” Perhaps the most jarring dig, though, was the suggestion that he could “Star in a Lifetime original movie about a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her network.”
No, O’Brien’s definitely not hiding his feelings of betrayal. And why should he? Though Leno clearly has more power in this situation, or at least within the network, O’Brien now has the opportunity to decide his own fate, and he’s not letting the network off easy. Leno’s monologue hit the nail on the head: the network’s getting exactly what it wanted, “drama,” and no doubt that drama’s providing their evening talk shows with a ratings boost.
As for CBS, its two hosts, David Letterman and Craig Ferguson certainly couldn’t ignore NBC’s late-night drama last night.
‘On Late Night with David Letterman,‘ Dave, who long pined for ‘The Tonight Show,’ laughed, “once again I did no get The Tonight Show.” He even used the story for his top ten list about the “signs there’s trouble at NBC,” like that the “NBC president was seen wandering the halls shouting ‘Is Night Court still on?’”
Meanwhile, the acerbic Ferguson offered his own summation on ‘The Late Late Show‘: “It’s a bunch of middle aged white guys arguing over a few million dollars. Who gives a [expletive]?”
Well, it’s clear that at least Leno and O’Brien give an expletive.