Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Random Nonsense

Needless to say, I'm on Team Conan. For my generation, Conan is The Guy in late-night comedy. (Er, specifically, late-night network comedy, since Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are pretty much undisputedly The Guys for late-night comedy in the last decade. But anyway....) Of my friends who often stay up late enough to watch, I'd say a good two-thirds are Conan fans, a significant amount are Letterman fans, a growing amount love Craig Ferguson since more and more people seem to be growing aware of his awesomeness, and literally nobody watches Jay Leno. That's clearly a generational thing, though --- my brother and I took a trip to a casino last weekend to play some cards, and I found myself at a poker table split between five 30-and-under guys and five 50+ gentlemen. The conversation spun from the game to sports to women to one guy at the table's uncanny resemblance to a young Al Pacino to the Tonight Show fiasco, whereupon all of the old guys unanimously stated that they were happy to get Jay back, while all of us youngsters were as equally adamant that Conan should get a fair shot at 11:35.

If you're NBC, though, who would you rather have at the helm of your flagship late-night program: a guy with a big young fanbase, or a guy whose fanbase is rapidly aging? That was the impetus for putting Conan in charge of The Tonight Show in the first place, and hey, who knows, he could've put up some big ratings if he hadn't had such a terribly rated lead-in as....hmm, the Jay Leno Show.

The bright side to all of this is that it's led to some inspired comedy from every late-night performer over the last couple of days. Specifically, it's been almost a tipping point moment that has revealed just how little respect comedians have for Jay Leno. The reaction has been 100 percent pro-Conan. Jimmy Kimmel did his whole show dressed as Leno last night and just ripped him to shreds, complete with a Chevy Chase (dressed as Conan) cameo. David Letterman, as you might expect, has been just mocking Leno and NBC non-stop. Conan himself, in fact, seems to have turned the Cone Zone into the FU NBC Zone, and has been all but daring NBC to fire him in a series of hilarious segments. (Between this and his performances during the writer's strike, it seems that strife really elevates Conan's game, so maybe wherever he ends up with his next show, he should perform the whole thing under gunfire.) Even Carson Daly....well, nobody has watched him to see what he did, but even though everyone just assumes his show is screwed, that's more publicity that 'Last Call' has gotten in years.

It seems like NBC has really painted itself into a corner here, and there is only one solution: Vampire Johnny Carson. Vampires are hot right now. Carson is eternally respected. Clearly, NBC needs to send a vampire over to Carson's grave and try to work some magical spell to resurrect Carson as one of the living undead. They can bring back Ed McMahon too while they're at it, though just to avoid vampire overload, McMahon can be revived as a zombie. I wonder who would win a fight between a zombie and a vampire? These can be kind of questions that the new Tonight Show can answer.


An antikythera is a primitive version of a computer, made of stone and gears and existing over 2100 years ago. Very cool article on this thing here. Does this mean that Windows 7 was actually their idea?


Remember last April when I ripped Parks & Recreation? Yeah, that happened. Now it's probably the funniest show on TV that doesn't involve Larry David and I once again have proven my airtight ability to criticize television. This is like that time I thought the U.S. version of the Office would be a failure....that happened, right?

Anyway, as good as Parks & Rec has gotten, it might have been even better with the RZA in the cast. The video even includes a cameo from Mike "Ken Tremendous" Schur of fame.


So I'm in a college bowl pick'em league with some friends, and the rules were simple --- pick the results of every bowl game on a sliding scale of confidence points. So, the game you're most confident about, you rate it 34 points (out of 34 games). If you're not sure of a result of want to pick an upset, you can go as low as one point.

It all comes down to the very last game, the BCS Championship, and I'm almost positive that Alabama is going to whip some Texas ass. So I have 33 points wagered on Alabama but I noticed that I was 32 points behind the first-place player (my friend Taylor). Now, you can't see what the other players have picked until the game has begun, but you can see what points they've wagered, and since I noticed that Taylor had just five points bet on the BCS game, I quickly switched my pick to Texas in an effort to pick the upset and win the league.

Now, I'm sure you've all seen the logical fallacy in my thinking. I was thinking "Huh, Taylor is being conservative in betting on this major game," whereas I should've been thinking "Taylor is picking Texas for the upset, hence the low point bet." Ergo, once the game started, I was disgusted to see that Taylor had in fact picked the Longhorns and I had outsmarted myself. And, naturally, Alabama easily won the game.

On the bright side, Taylor had been so sure of my eventual victory that he already paid me his $5 share of the victory pool. See you in Mexico, sucker!

/runs out of room
/slams door
/drives away
/plane takes off

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