Balloon guy, on Friday, January 8th, 2010, 11:43 AM, said:
The Tonight Show has been evolving into this wanna be cutting edge garbage that has completely come off the rails form the shoot at the hip days of Johnny Carson.But the Tonight Show needs to get back to the older crowd that made it what it was. We have plenty of alternatives for the younger crowd who think "In the year 3,000" skit is funny enough to do more than once.Conan was a horrible choice. Leno was barely able to be the guy. We need someone more sophisticated, who is secure enough with himself to allow the show to make the guests special, instead of just the host.I do not have the right person in mind, but he would be strikingly like Johnny Carson.
A couple things. First off, I loved carson as a kid.. during the summer, I'd stay up late and watch him.. and I'd also watch the best of carson shows that were syndicated. And when you say " cutting edge garbage".. well.. carson was pretty cutting edge for his day, he would do sketches, tell jokes and make sexual innuendo that were pushing the envelope, for it's time and place. It's just the envelop is much further out there today than it was in the 70's. In the 70's, Art Fern and the Slauson Cutoff was cutting edge, in the 00's the masterbating bear was. Another thing.. I don't even think Carson could be Carson today. Back during Johnny's heyday, there were basically 3 networks. He was IT when it came to late night.. he was the premier show. If you got on carson, you'd made it. And there weren't many other forums for you to see stars like that, in "casual" settings, talking conversationally, so each night was a bigger deal. Tonight Jimmy Stewart is on, Last night Raquel WelcH! It would be the only time you'd get to see stars like that, to get to know them. Now, not only are there infinite late night talk shows, there are afternoon talk shows, morning talk shows, sports talk shows. There are 300 networks now, and several of them are dedicated to celebrity. there is the internet, TMZ, and all manner of other medium for people to consume stars. So, when a star goes on Leno, or Letterman, it isn't special any more, because we've seen them 100 times before, in a 100 different ways. Unless the show is memorable, unless the show and host are funny, then it's hard to get an audience. Also, you say that the tonight show should look to find an older crowd, but 1) older people go to bed earlier, so there are going to be less older people watching late night shows than younger people 2 ) older people are much less desirable to advertisers, as older people tend to be more set in their consumption ways, and it's younger people the advertisers covet. And Advertising runs the show. So yes, Johnny was special, glamorous, legitimately funny and his show had a certain cultural cache.. but I don't think that cache is achievable these days, for a myriad of reasons.Personallly, I pine more for the golden age of letterman in the 80's. When Comedy central first came on the air, they would show old 80's letterman shows that would just SLAY me. He was so good back then, he's a shell of that now.