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Entries in The Tonight Show (5)


Becoming Queen; or, the Survival of a Late Night Talk Show Ticket Line

...From this point on, no one bothered to learn anybody’s names… we referred to each other as numbers all night. Even now I don’t think anyone knows who I really am - I’m #10 to all of them. Or, to #24 I am “The Timekeeper”. #24 was a guy who fell very much into the “fan fan” category of people… he came out to be in line with only a hoodie on and a handful of trashbags that he wore over it. No chair, no umbrella, no friends. As soon as I had finished numbering hands and given the sharpie away, he ran up to me and thanked me for devising “The Number System”.

“No problem! It’s not really a system though.”

“No, it is a system. You just established order on all of these people. And I am going to enforce it.”

Yep. That happened. If I was the Queen, I guess I had a General. The Enforcer AKA #24 AKA Jack Bauer… didn’t dude know we were going to see an NBC show? Crazy part is, within half an hour, he had A DEPUTY policing underneath him - #17. He wore a trashbag too. Uniforms. I felt like Piggy and that blue sharpie was my conch. Only difference, no one was going to borrow MY glasses to make fire.

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Tonight Show Website Heading to Internet Stockyard

Every blogger dreams of writing The Tonight Show Insider, and for 7 months, Aaron Bleyaert got to do it. Last night he published his final blog entry and mentioned that everyone needs to get their last clicks in before the site is gone 4ever:
As for this site, I feel bummed to be leaving it... Me and the excellent digital team over at put so much hard work into making it sweet, but what can you do? I don't know how long this site will be up; I've been lobbying for it to remain up as long as possible, but it's not my decision. My point: If you've got posts you wanna go back and read, or videos you wanna go back and watch, I'd do it sooner rather than later. Our show will be in repeats through the Olympics, and after that, what happens to this place is anyone's guess. It could be left up forever (which would be really awesome), or it could get taken down tomorrow (which would be the opposite of really awesome). That's just life, I guess.

Closing Time

Apiary pal Aaron Bleyaert just tweeted this photo ("Staff photo time!") from the sweet seats. The end draws near, friends. But remember: If there were no goodbyes, there would be no hellos.


Conan Prepared to Walk From The Tonight Show 

Photo: Joel Aron PhotographyConan O'Brien released a statement moments ago saying he refuses to follow Leno at 12:05, thus refusing the hosting job on The Sometime at Night Show with Some White Guy. Via the statement:

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.
So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

It's about time Conan started playing hardball. Faced with the prospect of another huge programming blunder and with everything on the line, it's critical for him to go all-in.


Message Boards Explode in Wake of Leno Debacle

The stunning Leno reshuffle sent the AST message board into a tizzy, with users almost unanimously banding together to create virtual puffy paint Team Conan signs.  A few unique insights from the boarders stood out:

They are actually taking another very big and unprecedented gamble with a 30 minute show that starts off after 11:30. You would think they learned their lesson after Jay's current show. Unfortunately, when they look at what they perceive as a lack of success with Jay and Conan's shows, they probably see it as Conan being the one fucking things up. Things were great before when Jay started at 11:30 and Conan started at 12:30. Why did Conan have to go and ruin everything? I guess they may even be right, if all you care about is numbers. --Berliner

And this one:

If you look at it from Conan's side, he's the boss. His decision affects an entire staff of people who are relying on him for their jobs. (Of course they can find other work, but still). If he walks, he's essentially laid off a staff of talented and devoted people who uprooted themselves from New York to ride this train to hell.
I think Conan will take the new time slot just to keep the show going. The media is stating that Fox is not interested in taking him on anymore, nor is ABC. --Trikywu

Noticeably absent so far from the fiery online discussion are the usually chatty Tonight Show staffers who can be seen lurking on the board but not commenting.  All eyes will be on the monologues tonight.