I am a recent convert to Team Conan (about two years ago). I didn’t stay up late enough to watch, unless I was out at a bar, and Hulu did not yet exist. I support and respect Conan and the Tonight Show–although the legend of Carson is lost on people my age. His sense of humor just hits me right. Leno is…just…meh. The uncertainty of the future and transition time are growing frustrating and boring. I’m sick of the jokes about Leno, Conan, and NBC–except for some by Jimmy Kimmel.
Basically, I want it all to just get worked out. In the end, my viewing will go wherever Conan goes. I guess that puts me on “Team Conan.” At the same time, though, I find it difficult to advocate for a talk show host, when my time is much better spent advocating for the relief efforts in Haiti or even sharing a laugh, a drink, and a dance with my close friends.
My wife mentioned that she’s glad Conan finally said something about Haiti, rather than constant jokes about himself. I agree, but wonder what responsibility a late-night host has regarding disasters or even social injustice. Is their role to distract and entertain in a world of suffering? Or are they to speak to the realities of humanity? I think it’s somewhere in between. They are, ultimately, jesters and comedians–but cannot turn a blind eye to the horrors of the world. They do, after all, have access to a great audience and have the opportunity/responsibility to use their influence for good. But cannot focus solely on the sad. If comedians can’t tell jokes, then how will we have permission to laugh?