The 2010 Tonight Show Fight
The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend
I came across this gem during a late night YouTube spiral. I think I started off listening to a very engaging lecture by Christopher Hitchens, then somehow it was then Norm MacDonald, which then led to Conan O’Brien on The Late Show, back in 2010, right after getting suuuuuuper fucked by NBC and Jay Leno, over the Tonight Show.
I think the longer we just sit here, the more uncomfortable it’ll make Jay.
So begins the wonderful, groundbreaking, extremely intense,interview between two direct rivals. Conan and Letterman. This is around 2010/2011, while NBC is in a public relations death spiral over the Conan/Leno Tonight Show debacle.
Conan O’Brien goes rogue, and goes on The Late Show with David Letterman. This is after an extremely messy departure for Conan O’Brien, after more than 20 years with the network. Jay Leno, a man whose reputation as a nice guy is key to his success, is exposed as a… well, a showbiz asshole. He pulled a power play and won, but messily; making his bosses look bad.
Game of Thrones
Conan took his visible rage on the road, and on the Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour, Conan was reborn. He somehow became cool, and not in the nerdy cool way he’s been forever. Real cool. Fonzie cool.
Conan and Letterman both share the sting of being outfoxed by Leno, and fucked over by NBC. The relish with which Dave listens to Conan rant is plain. “There we go! Now we’re getting somewhere!” He exclaims as Conan starts to let out some of his rage.
Conan seems almost diffident. He’s so wary of being used as a pawn again that his guard is way up. No need to worry. Dave treats Conan as a comrade in arms, and this whole interview is GOLD. It’s a solar eclipse level rarity, this confluence of rival late night legends. Watch the video. Conan and Letterman vs Leno. It’s totally worth it.