With today being the last evening we'll ever be able to see "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien," it's vitally important to the world for me to have my say. Vitally important, like the world-won't-continue-to-spin-and-orbit-the-sun important.
Let me start off this possibly incoherent and positively unnecessary ramble by saying I'm a big Conan fan. I like his show more than Jay Leno's. I like his show more David Letterman's. (I do, however, dig Jimmy Kimmel's more, but that's besides the point.)
Two of my favorite days in the last 10 or so years involve going into New York to see Conan's old show get taped.
OK, so I've made that clear. I like Conan. I like his show much more than Jay's.
With all that said, I can't stand all the columns being written about how unfair this whole situation is, about how Conan is a victim. Screw that.
If Conan's a victim, please sign me up to be a victim. Heck, you can let me host "The Tonight Show" for a few months, give me $40 or so million and even kick my ass and I'll take it.
Look, NBC messed this situation up royally. There's a reason nobody watches NBC anymore. The network's management is stupid. It acts as if it doesn't understand what the country watches. And, hell, with the move of Leno to 10 p.m., it basically took a huge dump on its audience. They wouldn't want to see adult dramas, right? Heck no.
But Conan's ratings have been pathetic. I know part of that is NBC's fault for making Jay the lead-in to the news. Let's be realistic, though: Conan's jokes aren't necessarily made for 11:30 p.m., when the audience is much older than it is at 12:30 a.m. A masturbating bear? Hilarious, but maybe not for everyone.
No matter the reason, though, NBC is getting its ass kicked up and down the late-night ratings highway by David Letterman. If it wants to give Jay Leno his show back, because Leno regularly won the ratings war against Letterman, it can do that. Firing Conan is fair. If his ratings aren't good, well, then, that's NBC's choice.
When the network decided to stupidly cancel something like "Southland," do you think they gave all actors millions of dollars and paid for their moving expenses, etc.? Um, nope.
So Conan got fired. He still gets more rich. His profile is much larger now, so when he inevitably shows up at 11:30 p.m. on Fox or ABC in September, more people will watch him than they did over the last few months. And NBC gets Jay back, puts all those "Law & Orders" back on at 10 p.m. and looks incredibly stupid in the process. Everyone wins. Sort of.
Conan is not a victim. Conan is a big winner in all this. His show sucked in the ratings, he got fired and he stills gets a bajillion dollars.
That seems like a sweet deal to me. And making NBC look incredibly foolish? That's just gravy.