Louis C.K.: Conan better than [poopy] old "Tonight Show"
Soon-to-be-former host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" Conan O'Brien never should have left "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" in the first place, because "The Tonight Show" Conan grew up wanting to be host of is "just this old [poopy] thing," says a comic who used to one of Conan's writers.
Washington-born comic Louis Szekeley, aka Louis C.K. came to Winter TV Pres Tour 2010 to pitch his new FX comedy series "Louie." But, like everyone else who has gotten up on stage, he got asked about the ongoing real-life drama in which NBC pushed Jay Leno off "Tonight" and over to primetime to make room for Conan, only both men failed, so Leno's going back to late night and Conan's going to "available."
"Conan will be fine...," C.K. said, adding that he never understood Conan's whole Must Host "The Tonight Show" thing.
"When I was a kid that was Johnny Carson's show and it was what old people watched...When [David] Letterman really wanted it I didn't understand it, because he had his own show called 'Letterman'," C.K. said.
Actually it was called "Late Night with David Letterman," but the point C.K. was trying to make is that everyone called it "Letterman," as in "Did you see Letterman last night?"
"Conan had 'Conan.' People didn't call it 'Late Night' - that was how much he owned it," C.K. continued.
" I don't know why you'd want to give that up to host 'The Tonight Show' - it's just this old [poopy] thing. Let Jay [Leno] have it."
C.K. was quick to note he's totally pro-Conan, Conan having given him his big break as a comedy writer.
He also wanted to make sure the press in the room knew he wasn't dismissing the genuinely "traumatic thing" all the participants in the Great NBC Late Night Imbroglio were suffering - "except for that guy, [expletive] [NBC Universal CEO Jeff] Zucker."
" He's just a great villain!That face! And doing all these crazy things, and making everybody mad!" C.K. marveled.
And, while we're at it, Jay Leno is the perfect guy to host this [poopy] old show, C.K. said:
"Jay is a driven American guy. He's a working class guy -- he's a Boston comic...[Jay decided], 'this is my show and I'm [expletive]ing holding on to the show.' I don't blame him either. And he won - and that's pretty impressive, what he pulled off."
TV critics, who'd grown fat and lazy owing to the sheer sameness of the answers to The Conan Question they'd heard all week - you know, 'Conan's being shafted, Leno's a skank, NBC was built on a Native American burial ground, blah, blah, blah' - reacted to C.K. like someone had sloshed them over the head with an umbrella.
"Conan will be fine," C.K. continued, noting Conan is a Harvard graduated "milk-and-honey-fed fellow." Critics began to quiver like jelly.
"He'll end up going somewhere else and going back to doing Conan.," C.K. said, adding, "It's a little presumptuous of me to tell him his dreams are misguided. But they are. I'm certain of that."
Meanwhile, NBC appears to be wrapping up negotiations with Conan. But it's unclear whether NBC will make its announcement Sunday night, because they will want the Monday morning entertainment packages to be fronted with Golden Globes coverage - NBC owns the rights to the trophy show.
Lisa de Moraes
January 17, 2010; 5:59 PM ET
Categories: Winter TV Press Tour 2010
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