In a case of the best-laid plans gone awry, NBC gave Conan O'Brien a cool $45 to walk away from "The Tonight Show" seven months after taken over for Jay Leno who moved on to tank with his nightly comedy/variety show at 10pm. I bet NBC execs were in heaven at this point last year when the idea of having Leno do a comedy hour and bringing Conan into the fold for "The Tonight Show" started floating around headquarters.
Only one problem, after Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rihanna kicked off "The Jay Leno Show", people stopped watching and although Conan was doing decent with his ratings, he never really caught on. Rather than lose Leno, NBC paid Conan a king's ransom to step off, but not badmouth the station or Leno. Well, too late on the gag order, O'Brien, Leno and even David Letterman all traded one-liners in the weeks leading up to Conan's departure from his dream job.
I say all of that to say I don't give a damn, I've never been a fan on any incarnation of "The Tonight Show", I don't watch Letterman and I didn't watch that Leno crap either! All I know is that the shuffle has Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on at a bad time. I've read a few articles saying this is the perfect time to bring back Arsenio Hall. WTF? Are you serious? "The Arsenio Hall Show" played out because, well, Arsenio Hall played out.
We don't need another 90's retread, 90210 is enough, but we do need some new blood in the mix. Late-night TV needs someone that can feed the mainstream, bring a hip-hop element, but is funny, poignant, relevant and has star power and I don't mean George Lopez or Mo'nique's screaming ass. What late-night TV needs in Chris Rock.
Yes, Chris Rock would be perfect to host a late-night talk show. Think about when he had "The Chris Rock Show" on HBO, it was on-time, the guests were great, the skits were hilarious, the interviews asked the questions you wanted to know. Why? Chris Rock was able to read the pulse of the people and has continued to do it through his stand-up specials and even with his movies. So, while FOX is deciding whether or not to bring Conan over in the next few months, someone should ante up and bring Chris Rock to save late-night talk TV.