Entertainment behind the scenes
Conan debacle inspires comic digs galore
It has become a battle of who can win the most sharp-tongued digs.
Conan O’Brien’s statement released two days ago that he will not be bullied by NBC back into a later timeslot has sparked a competition over which late night host can squeeze in as many quick fire NBC slaps in their opening monologue as possible.
On Wednesday night O’Brien was more combative in his comedic tone than the previous night, in a message directed to “the kids out there watching: You can do anything you want in life. Unless Jay Leno wants to do it too.”
He also took a direct dig at executives talking about the strong audience “American Idol” receives at rival network Fox – where it is speculated O’Brien may eventually move to: “When they heard that, NBC executives said “That’s not true, there’s no such thing as an audience of 30 million people.”
But David Letterman predictably has been able to be even more aggressive calling NBC executives “pinheads” and “nitwits” and “twits” after his own tumultuous relationship with the network in the early1990s following more than a decade with the network. Last night his nightly top ten was based on messages left on NBC chief executive Jeff Zucker’s voicemail and he also took potshots at Leno himself.
The jibes delighted the audiences and left others wondering how far can their zingers go? How long will NBC give the hosts ample fodder for laughs at their expense? Can Leno and NBC turn it around?