Friday, June 05, 2009

The Chin's Last Ride

I can't say I'm the largest fan of late night television, usually because after work and playing with my daughter my wife and I end up in bed hours before any of the craziness starts and so I never have a chance to see it and develop any kind of emotional investment. But I have watched a fair amount of late night material over the years, and I think that Jay Leno was definitely my favourite. The key difference between Leno and his closest rival, David Letterman, was that Leno seemed to be, well, funny. The only good thing about Letterman's show was the Top Ten Lists, and even some of those were kind of shaky.

But for as long as I can remember Letterman and Leno have essentially been the kings of late night, so news of either of them stepping down is like the end of a dynasty. I guess Carson retired from the Tonight Show in my lifetime, but at the time I was so young I was never allowed to stay up late enough to see his show. So instead I'd stay up all night banging my head against the wall to get back at my parents. I'm not sure how this was supposed to facilitate my revenge against them, but in all fairness the severe damage my brain sustained from years of continuous blunt force trauma has definitely affected both my long- and short-term- memory and as a result I tend to ramble whenever I talk or write and get completely off topic. Nachos are great with cheese.

Where was I? Ah yes, Jay Leno's last night as host of the Tonight Show. Even though I haven't really followed the show I still got a sense of nostalgia and a weird tingling sensation in my bathing suit area when I heard that he was handing over the reigns to another late night icon- Conan O'Brien. So naturally I had to tune in for this momentus event in television history. Jay was pretty cool about the whole thing, and the show much like the man was endearing and unpretentious. There wasn't a huge fanfare, and I guess it really wasn't too sad of an ending because aparentlt Jay is going to start his own show in the fall. The main guest was his successor Conan O'Brien, who I must say has really come into his own over the years. The story of how he came to be a late night talk show host directly after working on The Simpsons (back in the Golden Era before Marge got breast implants and other stupid shit) was kind of cool and it was very fitting that his very first appearance on TV had been with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show years earlier.

I think the best and most emotionally poignant part of the show was the ending where Jay Leno answered a question posed to him earlier about his legacy by talking about how many couples had gotten together from the production crew and then brought out all the children who were born to these couples. It was a touching moment to see how the whole crew had grown together as a family and it was a nice, classy way to end an impressive seventeen-year run. Way to be, Jay.


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