It’s been amusing to watch apologists for NBC and Jay Leno explain away Conan O’Brien’s brilliant and shockingly candid "People of Earth" letter.
But lest anyone think that the Dick Ebersols of the world are anything less than lying, despicable jerks for stabbing Conan in the chest, let’s go to the record.
[Directly below you’ll see] the video of Jay Leno in 2004, explaining to his "Tonight Show" audience why he wanted to hand the reins over to Conan in 2009.
Listen carefully as Jay tells his (somewhat) disappointed fans, "I don’t want to see Conan go anywhere else … There’s only one person who could do this into his 60s and that’s Johnny Carson …"
B.S. B.S. B.S. B.S. B.S. B.S.
Sorry, that was my detector going off.
Now that Leno has betrayed all of that, can we be done with the "Jay is a nice guy" meme once and forevermore? And can we please stop thinking of Jeff Zucker and his pals as engaging in anything but the most desperate form of CYA — the kind that happens just before you get fired, or suddenly lose $200 million of the company’s money, or both?
The only part of that whole talk I agreed with was when Leno said, "Conan is a gentleman, funny …"
Yep, he’s both and you’re neither.
Kudos to the FunnyOrDie.com poster who saved the clip from the Tonight Show.