Thursday, January 21, 2010
Quote of the Day
"Mr. Leno sounds less like a fuzzy fellow worthy of Middle America and more like a dangerous beast from Middle-Earth—not unlike, say, Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale, Gollum is a once noble animal who (like Leno is his early days as a stand-up comic) was beloved by his peers. But then Gollum takes possession of an incredibly powerful ring, which not only extends his life but also gradually saps him of his humanity. Alone with no family or friends, continued possession of the ring becomes Gollum’s only purpose in life. Gradually, his proto-self 'Smeagol' disappears and is replaced by a nasty, treacherous personality, which leaves him two-faced to the world. In 'Slinker' mode, he comes across as servile, toothless and eager to please. But as 'Stinker,' he lurks quietly in the shadows, hiding in the closet, ready to bite off the finger of anyone who tries to get between him and his 'precious.'"
-- Felix Gillette in the New York Observer
Case in point: While it's true that there's been a near-constant barrage of mortar fire exchanged between Conan, Leno, NBC and the guy who's taking a substantial amount of pleasure in watching all of this -- David Letterman -- Leno's always tried to have it both ways. He's wanted to keep his squeaky clean, nice-guy image while secretly working behind the scenes to put himself back in place on The Tonight Show, what's ostensibly been Conan's gig, and getting off his fair share of below-the-belt shots at those he feels are wronging him. It came to a head last night when Leno, who's already almost universally disliked by his peers and whose public image may in fact be permanently tarnished, made a crack about Letterman's wife.
Meanwhile, Conan and NBC have reached a $45-million dollar deal for Conan to leave The Tonight Show. His final show will be tomorrow, but ramping up to that he's been doing a whole lot of hilariously corrosive bits aimed right at NBC. The latest, last night, involved hitting the network where it's been proven to hurt most -- spending a hell of a lot of NBC's money, supposedly $1.5-million, on just one sketch.