Posts Tagged ‘NBC’


January 10, 2010

Saturday January 9th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

There’s a disturbance in the show business force, and I don’t like it. Not that it was ever ’normal’, but it seems to be crazier than ever lately. Rumors are all over the place that Jay Leno is going back to his old time slot on NBC in one form or another. Either he’ll share it with Conan O’Brien or Conan will get launched, depending on which articles I read.

My opinion about any of this means less than nothing, but I’ll give it anyway. I think it stinks worse than a 300 lb. trucker’s hemorrhoid cushion after a cross country trip in July from Jacksonville, FL to Los Angeles on I-10. Network television appears to be loaded up with clueless imbeciles just as radio is, only I think these goofs have a lot more at stake.

I have nothing personal in any of this, as I don’t really watch late night talk shows at all. I just don’t. I’ve worked nights as a comedian the majority of my adult life, and the rest of it I did morning radio so I was fast asleep by the time any of those shows came on the air.

If I had to pick one, I do like Craig Ferguson and not just because I got to appear on the show. I just think his sense of humor matches best with mine. He makes me laugh. That’s a difficult gig and no disrespect whatsoever meant to Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon. There’s a whole lot of behind the scenes insanity nobody sees.

There has to be, it’s show business. I know how much frustration I had in radio dealing with Dorkasaurus Maximus, aka corporate dinosaurs. They all THINK they know what’s funny and entertaining, but in reality all they really do is grease up a very expensive suit. They all assume creativity comes in little chunks and can be summoned up on a whim.

I don’t know much about television, but I like to think I understand entertainment just a little. If Jay Leno was doing well in the spot he was in, why did they need to replace him? There must have been a reason for it, and I’m sure whichever ass kissing little know it all who suggested it is now selling used Volvos in his hometown so he can still use the suits.

The network took a risk by putting Jay in prime time, and it appears to be failing by all accounts from what I hear. But, what does ‘failing’ really mean? Many times ratings have all kinds of ways to be sliced up to look good or bad, at least they were in radio. The real question I have is, why did they decide to make it a prime time five nights a week show?

I think it was due to lack of vision and downright cheapness. It would take WORK and also a major money investment to craft five quality shows to put on NBC, so they tried to take what looked like the easy way out and just plug those holes with Jay Leno who was a known entity. I’m sure they just assumed everything would be fine and continue as it was.

That seemed like the solution apparently, but then all hell broke loose. They moved the rest of the lineup around and stuck Conan O’Brien where Jay used to be and brought in a new guy in Jimmy Fallon and now they have three new shows struggling to stay on the air when none of this had to happen at all. Now they seem to be in a state of complete panic.

However it all works out, I doubt if Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien are going to be sleeping in a bus station any time soon. What I think of are all the hard working people who have a dark cloud hanging over their heads right now. They don’t know what’s going to happen.

That kind of stuff trickles down, and there are people who work hard to survive that are having their stress levels tweaked to the max. It can’t be a lot of fun right now, and it’s all because some gooferinski pulled a trigger and thinks he or she knew all the easy answers.

Does ANYONE really care about the petty little stupid detail of entertaining America? I doubt it. They’re thinking bottom line and that’s fine, but the bottom line will be there if a show comes along and reaches the majority of good people who still make America tick.

Personally, of all the celebrity types around who might be a good choice for a host spot on a major talk show, I’d have to go with Jeff Foxworthy. Knowing him personally, I am a huge fan. He really is a down to earth nice guy, and I think that would show on the air.

Jeff has touched the public’s nerve with his Redneck angle, the one I was too stupid as a young kid in the business to see. Jeff saw it and every Walmart in America has items that SELL with that theme from greeting cards to t-shirts and everything else in between. He’s middle America, but also likeable and smart and funny. My vote would be give it to Jeff.

Like I said, I don’t really watch those shows but pure logic of thinking of who could be the answer to attract the attention of the masses, who as a comedian has done it as well as Jeff Foxworthy in the last 20-25 years? I can’t think of one. I respect the guy’s marketing skills but I also respect him as a person too. Jeff is the real deal and I think he’d nail this.

Nothing against Jay Leno at all. He was the king of the club boom in the ‘80s and every comedian working then knew it and knows it now. He’s a hard working guy and got a big break and I’m sure he knows that. He won’t have to sell any kidneys to survive this mess and I’m sure Conan will land on his feet too. But for a long term answer, I’d go with Jeff.

What the hell do I know? I’m still struggling to pay my rent every month. BUT, I am on a positive roll lately and am having all kinds of fun. Today we did a last minute version of Jerry’s Kidders on WGN radio and it was a blast. We love doing it, and at least we know someone is hearing it. WGN is a huge radio station and it gives this project credibility.

We also ran through the last minute details of our play “You’re On The Air” which will debut at the Beverly Arts Center next Saturday and Sunday, January 17th and 18th. We are all excited about it and have put a ton of work into this project. No matter what it does or doesn’t draw, it has already been a creatively fulfilling experience and a boat load of fun.

Fun keeps coming back as the central theme of everything I’m doing lately. I love all of it, and even though money would be nice I still appreciate the fact I can have freedom that not everyone else gets apparently. I hope the NBC thing gets figured out, only for the fact I can relate to the people who might lose their jobs. The suits who blew it can kiss my ass.