CoCo’s Got a New Show
And it is simply named Conan.
Yup, the name of O’Brien’s third late-night show is … Conan. Show insiders tell Vulture that O’Brien and team pretty much settled on this name weeks ago, but like so many things in Hollywood, choosing a name isn’t always simple. You have to clear the title legally, to make sure nobody else has the rights to it, and that’s even true when the name is your own. For the last few weeks, O’Brien’s army of lawyers and TBS have been doing their due diligence making sure it’s okay to use “Conan” as the show’s title. One stumbling block could have been the Conan the Barbarian franchise, which has included comics, books, films, and, in 1997, a short-lived TV series called Conan. But now, it’s clear that all issues have been worked out.
Still to come: a new logo for Conan, which should be ready shortly (and no doubt available for purchase via T-shirts and ballcaps not long after). TBS has already started stepping up on-air promos for the show (like this one). And don’t be surprised if Coco himself starts showing up in some of the spots himself soon, too. The only mystery left: Will Conan keep his tour beard once he returns to TV November 8?
Frankly, late night is getting a bit crowded now. There’s George Lopez, who I really would like to see. Jimmy Fallon has finally grown on me, but I prefer Craig Ferguson most nights, although I have to admit that he’s beginning to flag. Mo’Nique and even Wanda Sykes are in the game. But I haven’t been able to see George, Mo’Nique or Ms. Sykes. Quiet time at the Y is after 10:00 p.m.
Frankly, I think that many people may have moved on since O’Brien delivered an uppercut a night to NBC. He didn’t get an Emmy Sunday night, which makes me wonder whether some people know more than the television audience. I’m sure that he will ditch the beard, but the trademark pompadour may have to go. It’s already graying.
I barely see Leno these days, unless he has someone lined up that I want to see. And there are certain nights that I’ll switch over to him for a while. Like Monday nights with “Headlines.” Like “Jaywalking,” The Jaywalk All-Stars competition or that series he does with the guy in a camera over at gas stations, or the skit with the woman’s voice in the photo booth. Otherwise, the rest of his stuff has become stale. He can’t still be “feeling his way” after returning to late night.
That new bandleader he has, Rickey Minor, isn’t Kevin Eubanks, although he seems fun. Kevin used to participate in some hilarious comedy spots.
I think Leno needs a recurrent news character, like Judge Ito, that really used to get people going around the water coolers of America. Or maybe what he needs is a new set of writers.
I’ll probably wheel over to see the new Conan show one of these nights and turn the volume down low, if the TV clicker isn’t in someone’s hands or if someone wants peace and quiet. But if the show is canceled before I see it, no loss.