Not a bad return for "Conan" (as in O'Brien) last night on TBS, although the pre-taped stuff was the best. And I liked Jack White saying that since Conan stayed at his house this past summer, "we've changed the (door locks) code."
The (George) "Lopez Tonight" show followed, and since Lopez is sometimes rated as a grade B or lower host, I thought I'd watch a little just to see how accurate that assessment is. Maybe so, but there was one dazzling joke in Lopez's monologue: "We turned back our clocks an hour earlier this week due to the end of Daylight Savings Time. Since election night, with the Republicans taking over the House, I just set my clock back fifty years."
It's been nearly 30 years since Tom Petty fought against his record label, MCA, who sought to use Petty & the Heartbreakers' upcoming 1981 album, Hard Promises, to find out if the market could bear a one dollar increase in the list price of vinyl.
Petty fended off that dubious distinction, but you knew it was only delaying the inevitable, as that price hike was coming. And boy, was it coming--two to three times as much for a compact disc by mid-decade.
But I was proud of Petty for taking a stand, and I'm even more jazzed at how Conan O'Brien isn't about to be shat upon by NBC, who wants to move O'Brien's Tonight Show to 12:05am amidst their network meltdown. Conan's trying to keep integrity and tradition in place for the medium he loves, and he gained a lot of new fans (even those who don't dig his humor) by releasing a statement on January 12 stating that he would not participate in the "destruction" of the Tonight Show, a 60 year success story.
Good for Conan. I'll bet NBC was certain he'd buckle and move his show back 30 minutes, and now he's really pushed those programming idiots deeper into the hopeless situation they've created by their lack of vision and support. "Overnight Success" doesn't really happen, even in the computer age. And just think if, years ago, Columbia would have booted Bob Dylan off the label after just a few albums that didn't sell enough to please the parent company. Axing Dylan was what Columbia was leaning toward; those with some sanity, like Johnny Cash, stepped in and told the label how shortsighted that intention was.
Perhaps NBC has reason to impose heavy changes on the Tonight Show to try and rebound from their abysmal ratings; this is certainly a much different world than it was even ten years ago.
But where does the high end panic stop?
Speaking of Glenn Beck...er, I mean, panic... rumors were flying that O'Brien was considering taking his schtick to Fox (I refuse to capitalize Fox). I've got to believe that O'Brien is too smart to do that. He's already had to deal with one network of imbeciles.