When he walks out, Mr. O’Brien said, his fans may be surprised. “I think the overwhelming feeling at first will be: ‘Oh, he’s got real lighting now.’ ” He said he had one word for what he wanted in a new set (besides better lighting): elegant.
“And they did that,” he said. “It’s very elegant.” But his fans shouldn’t worry: “You can still be a jackass in an elegant space.”
Mr. O’Brien expects to mine his personal dislocation for comedy. “I can’t go anywhere without people saying, ‘Good luck in L.A.’ Or, ‘What’s it like in L.A.?’ Osama Bin Laden is in a cave somewhere saying, ‘I wonder how Conan will be in L.A.’ ”
Mr. O’Brien said the move would definitely affect the show. “It should be different,” he said. “The only way to survive in television is to reinvent yourself.”
He added, “I can’t radically remake my personality, but this should change me in ways that I changed during the ‘Late Night’ show — in ’93, and ’96 and ’98. What’s nice is there does seem to be something funny about me being in L.A. It’s almost like a sight gag that I’m in L.A.”
Gotta say – I’m really looking forward to what O’Brien will do with this – and I’m especially happy to see Andy Richter back.
[Image licensed under Creative Commons courtesy of bunnicula.]
Troy Patterson of Slate revealed (to me) that Andy Richter will be rejoining Conan for his Tonight Show debut. And suddenly I am looking forward to the Tonight Show with anticipation rather than mild interest. Patterson explains Richter’s challenge:
So now it’s left to Richter, coming in from the cold, to revive the dying art of the late-night-show sidekick…Richter, meanwhile, has been and should be the deferential Robin to Conan’s absurdist Batman, a Boy Wonder with a Wonderbread deportment. Holy subordinate!
Nader is so pathetic, this interview veers between humor and pathos. At times, it looks like Nader is about to cry. But he tries so hard to be in on the joke. He can’t seem to decide whether to attack the dog puppet or to try to get his vote – and he tries to do both. Towards the end of the interview, Nader attempts to defend himself in a sing-song voice:
Triumph: Come on – you screwed Al Gore. You campaigned in the swing states.
Nader: Politics has gone to the dogs! With two parties, Republicans and Democrats!
Triumph: [interrupting in a sing-song voice] You campaigned in the swing states. You campaigned in the swing states. Harder. Harder.
Nader: [interrupting, in a sing-song] You’re telling a canine lie. You’re telling a canine lie.
I would feel bad for the guy if this weren’t all of his own volition. He did seem to betray a feeling of guilt in how he defended his 2000 campaign – but he refused to acknowledge any responsibility – and deflected the blame onto the Republicans.
But if the past eight years has proven anything it is that Nader’s core message was wrong – that it wouldn’t make a difference if a Democrat or Republican was elected, if Gore or Bush won – both were equally bad. Nader rightfully has much criticism of our two-party system and how it exerts a stranglehold on power – but the Bush administration proved definitively that it matters who is elected. And Nader, after promising not to campaign in swing states to raise money, decided to campaign anyway and without his support in Florida, we would have had a different president.
Something to remember as we approached another Tuesday in November.