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When it comes to late night TV: The Chin wins

January 28th, 2010

Before May 29 of last year, I loved sitting in front of the tube after a long day of school and intense homework to watch a certain talk show host with an abnormally long chin. 

His monologues, normally filled with political rumblings and events involving Hillary Clinton, were hysterical. My favorite segment, “Headliners,” showed people’s hilarious lack of common sense in what they print. 

June 1, 2009, began a new era of late-night talk TV when Jay Leno stepped down as host of “The Tonight Show” to be replaced by new host Conan O’Brien, formerly of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” 

I remember a lot of my friends were really excited about the change and thought Conan would be much better than Leno. 

I didn’t think so. 

On the rare occasion I stayed up late enough to watch “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” I was not all that impressed. 

Granted, he was goofy, but his antics, mannerisms and jokes were just too weird for my taste. It was because of this that I didn’t think Conan would do well on “The Tonight Show.” 

NBC agreed. 

After awarding Conan and his staff a nice severance package, the network announced it would bring Leno back to “The Tonight Show” starting on March 1. 

This announcement is being met with large amounts of criticism from my peers, other “Coco” supporters, and numerous late-night talk hosts. For our parents, this brings back shades of Leno versus David Letterman when Johnny Carson retired at the beginning of the 1990s. 

Current “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon probably said it best: “There have been three hosts of ‘Late Night.’ There’s been David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and me. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Dave and Conan, it’s that hosting this show is a one-way ticket to not hosting ‘The Tonight Show.’”

Conan is very good at what he does – being silly. As his time on “The Tonight Show” wore on, I grew to appreciate Conan a little more, but I still like Leno and his brand of humor. “The Tonight Show” is a better venue for him because people want to watch him when they go to bed, and I think for the majority of us, that isn’t at 10 p.m.  

The bad guy here is NBC, who has made an absolute mess of their successful late-night lineup. They should have stuck with Conan even though his ratings were not as good intially. 

Leno grabbed the ratings lead over Letterman in 1995 – three years after he started on “The Tonight Show.” 

Good shows sometimes take time to develop. But rather than wait, NBC decided to send Steve Carell to shred Conan’s company I.D.

The drama stirred up in all of this might be more than that created on “Jersey Shore.” Maybe NBC should fill that 10 p.m. slot with a new reality show. “Coco” and “The Chin” can live it up for the summer together in a nice beach house. 

It should be a fist-pumping good time.