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I'll admit-I love watching late night talk shows. My average bedtime last year was 2 AM just because I wanted to stay up and watch them all. Personally, my favorite is Craig Ferguson, who just seems so spontaneous and genuine. I like Leno because I'm a traditionalist. I can't stand Letterman, or Paul Shaffer (who knew you could shave a parrot and teach it to be your bandleader). Kimmel is OK, but does he have to keep looking at Cleto to get a laugh?
And now we get to Conan.
In my opinion, this tonight show conflict is total bulls**t. Don't blame Jay Leno, don't blame Conan, blame the executives at NBC. Plus people, is it really a stab in the back if you're given $45 million to walk away? All business aside, I'll admit I watch Conan out of sympathy. I always hope that one night Conan will have jokes flying this way and that...to this day I'm still hoping. True, Conan does occasionally tell a good joke or two, but that's it. Now I'm not saying Conan O'Brien isn't funny. Indeed, when I saw him on Inside the Actor's Studio he was hilarious. He was being himself! Conan the show does not equal the wit and humanity of Conan the man. When I watch Conan, I always get this feeling that Conan would rather be anywhere but there. He always appears nervous, and his self-deprecation and weird bumpkin dances do more to enhance his stick-bug physique than his comedic talent. His mad scientist voices are just, well, weird. His interviews are awkward, mainly because of this nervousness. Any transition to another question is a very sad-sounding "um." To add evidence to this assumption of Conan's anxiety, I'll recount to you an episode where Conan had a martial arts expert as a guest. When the stunts required Conan to take his jacket off, he revealed his underarms, which were drenched in sweat. I'm no comedian (professionally), but I always learned that one of the top 10 rules of a comedian is that they should never laugh at their own jokes more than the audience. Evidently Conan left the rulebook back in New York, because he does it all the time. My mother stated, and I would have to agree, that Conan looked better with bangs. Now it looks like the Lorax is living on his head. Andy Richter doesn't help either. Again, probably a very decent, humble man, but not fit for the comedic podium. Still, a sight better than Paul "I'll just repeat what Dave said so it's funny" Shaffer. I rate Conan a 7 out of 10. Truth be told, it should be a 6, but I really feel bad for Conan. The show's format and expectations of the audience don't allow him to be himself, a genuinely funny man. He is a better man than a talk-show host, but unfortunately, you don't get paid to be a decent man. It's not my favorite late-night show. Still, I'll watch it just to hope. Hang in there Conan.
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