January 22nd, 2010 by Clark Humphrey

Robin Williams was on the next-to-last Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Williams had also been on the next-to-last Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. It’s a tribute to O’Brien’s and Williams’s media-historicism that neither felt the need to announce this symmetry.

Then next on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, we learned how to get kids into more book-reading, thanks to the cast of the stage musical Fela.

My take on the whole two-week minicrisis that was the Late Night Wars? Leno should never have been offered five hours a week of network prime time. That immediately lowered NBC to the status of a secondary network along the lines of The CW, and made Leno’s own schtick seem as tired and overworked as, well, it is.

No, the Leno prim etime show should have been a weekly or twice-weekly franchise. Like Dateline or Deal Or No Deal, it could have become a programming backstop the network could plug into any troublesome timeslot. Now we’ll never know how that strategy could have worked. And we’re not likely to get comedy-variety back in prime time for some time.

One Response  
  • Visitor writes:
    January 23rd, 20109:22 amat

    I’m a long-time fan of your column, have read ‘Misc’, ‘Loser’ and all the way back to your regular columns in The Stranger — my request, though, is if you could change the theme of your website in WordPress to something that’s legible — all the primary colors fighting for attention and mish-mashed design is keeping me away from what I love best — compelling content.

    Other than that, a great read.

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