It's apparently official, the most unfunny guy ever to host a long-term talk show (and the group even includes Charlie Rose) has signed with TBS. And for his dozen or so viewers, the station will now move George Lopez to a later slot.
I remember when Conan first took over for David Letterman and I asked, "What the hell is THAT?" The expressionless, emotionless, wooden O'Brien did offer quite a contrast to Lettermen – and to comedians everywhere.
But Conan did bring a new wrinkle to the comedy monologue – he mastered the art of delivering a punchline that was so deadpan that the audience didn't know it even was a punchline – so O'Brien would then proceed to explain it – and then explain it again – as many times as necessary until somebody finally laughed.
Now I haven't seen Conan more than a half dozen times in all the years he's been on, but I was delighted to see him get the Tonight Show gig – because it would finally validate my marvelous ability to recognize funny when I see it, and help explain why I recoil in horror when someone tries to be funny against their will..
But I must admit that I could not have expected such a rapid demise. I guess that's what happens when you drop bombs every single night – eventually one explodes.
I did watch the Tonight Show once during the "Conan Era," and it was an amazing experience. If anything he was even more wooden than the day he started, and he clearly had not made a bit of progress in all those years. If he didn't make all those millions, I'd have felt bad for the guy.
Note that I haven't even addressed his interview skills. When he gets some, I will.
So you can imagine my consternation when I heard that Fox was vying for his "talent." What, they didn't remember Joan Rivers and Chevy Chase? Well, maybe somebody finally did and Fox did win? And TBS got second prize – Conan O'Brien!