The old saying goes, “lead with your best foot forward”. This is equally true when you’re starting out a “new” late night show. Conan O’Brien did this in June of 2009 when he started ‘The Tonight Show’ on NBC. A sample of the guests Conan booked for his first 2 weeks looks like this(in order of appearance):
Will Ferrell, Pearl Jam, Tom Hanks, Green Day, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Mayer, Patton Oswalt, Eddie Murphy, Bonnie Raitt & Taj Mahal, Rancid, Norm MacDonald, Jim Gaffigan, Neko Case, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Nealon
That’s 15 fairly large names and a considerable group of talent, hard to argue otherwise. Now, let’s take a look at a sample of Leno’s scheduled first two weeks(in order of appearance):
Jamie Foxx, Lindsey Vonn, Brad Paisley, Sarah Palin, Shaun White, Cast of Jersey Shore, Apolo Ohno, Avril Lavigne, Matthew McConaughey, Morgan Freeman, Simon Cowell, Animal Expert Dave Salmoni, Joan Jett, Guy Fieri, and Dana Carvey
Let me take this moment to say I find Jamie Foxx annoying. I find it even more annoying he’s on both of these lists. Next, take out Olympic athletes(whom I’m sure are contractually obligated to be on the show thanks to NBC’s coverage of the games) and you’re left with Brad Paisley, Sarah Palin?!, and the cast of the Jersey Shore as the highlights of the first 3 days.
I’m not one to judge someone based on what they find entertaining(who am I kidding? I absolutely judge based on that), but if you would rather watch that second list of guests vs. the first list, a conversation between us wouldn’t last too long. I’ll leave it at that. Of course, I’ve already decided I will never again turn on NBC while ‘The Tonight Show’ is on thanks to NBC’s handling of Conan O’Brien last month, but even if there was a glimmer of hope, Sarah Palin, Jersey Shore, and an animal expert wasn’t going to bring me back.
Below is a full list of Jay’s first 2 weeks as well as a visual reminder of what NBC let get away.
Monday, March 1 – Guests include Jamie Foxx, Olympic Gold Medal Skier Lindsey Vonn and a musical performance by Brad Paisley
Tuesday, March 2 – Guests include Sarah Palin, Olympic Gold Medal Snowboarder Shaun White
Wednesday, March 3 – “Jaywalk All-Stars” with the Cast of “Jersey Shore,” Chelsea Handler, the most decorated American Winter Olympian of all time Speed Skater Apolo Anton Ohno and a musical performance by Avril Lavigne
Thursday, March 4 – Guests include Matthew McConaughey and Jason Reitman
Friday, March 5 – Guests include Morgan Freeman and Meredith Vieira
Monday, March 8 – Guests include Simon Cowell
Tuesday, March 9 – Guests include Christoph Waltz, Animal Expert Dave Salmoni and a musical performance by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Wednesday, March 10 – Guests include Kristen Stewart and Guy Fieri
Thursday, March 11 – Guests include Dana Carvey and Kim Kardashian, with a musical performance by Colbie Caillat
Friday, March 12 – Guests include Dakota Fanning and Judd Apatow