Conan, Jay Leno, NBC discussed on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
Wait but people we treat everybody with respect so when it came along near the last couple of years we we have to salary I took a salary cut to keep everybody on board so they all like that and when they when they heard if I took it ten o'clock show they can all work for another a year and a half they said would you do. I said let's do it so we did it. Fox are ABC. I mean the the there were other networks. That would have fired you to host an eleven o'clock. I know L. but you know would've would've gladly brought your staff with you as well. I'm sure well no see my staff couldn't have gone because they they all have individual contracts with NBC NBC and they could've gone taken somewhere else or it. Wasn't that easy and plus. I'm a very loyal person. I'm the you know. The you have is probably going to be better than the one you're GonNa get and that was always my thing. I I liked the executives I work with the ones making the top decisions. I didn't know but the ones that Ha- all right so okay so they'll do a ten o'clock show okay fine so clock show and that starts another whole thing problems I got had accused of because shows like law and order and stuff for non anymore and then that was that was my fault and I was this was this was a big deal. Well Yeah Plan. NBC's was a big swing for them and their idea was cut costs yeah and then it producing big dramas at ten o'clock do a earlier version of the tonight show. I mean I remember them. I just happened to have read an article. not happened to. I was researching for this article. Well I read an article in the in the maybe the New York Times or something from from the time that that quoted in an NBC executive saying like look don't don't quote me on this asked but if he did a one point five we'd still come out ahead which you know this was when network television still doing pretty good numbers but their their their idea was that because it was so much less expensive to produce it would be you know you wouldn't have to you know you'd have to do pretty good a few million people to watch but yeah well the thing that really screwing curtis otherwise the local affiliates complained because there's a bad lead in the eleven o'clock news so they wanted me to move the monologue to the end of the show so people would say watch the monologue go rhino well that does it work stupid idea so the whole thing sorta went down the tubes and and then Conan show is not doing that well either which somehow was my fault. Apparently you know well. I mean for this. I mean the further in part I mean in in part because our lead in show he's trying to figure it out but also in part because you know for the same reason that the affiliates wanted a strong lead in the news right like they're just were a lot fewer people watching a talk show then might have been watching on or let our numbers were. We had bad lead INS when I was doing the tonight night shows. I mean you know when you get these shows. Your job is you're supposed to be able to pick it up on your own you know but calling on the air for what five months before we came along so the ratings were it opened initially well but it it. It didn't hold on very well so it. It was an awkward time all all around. I guess you'd call. Did you ever talk to Conan about it. No I never did I don't really know him. That wasn't like David. I don't really know I always felt there. There was when I would watch the show they would. They had a character a little Jay and then they make fun of headlines and all this kind of okay well. It can make fun of me. That's fine you know. They're waiting for the day you know. I went to donal Myer. When Conan was on literally a week to week renew on. I said just pick the guy up for years so they can relax. Everybody can do their job. He'll do fine and he was funny. I liked CONAN. I thought he was good so I was stunned as anybody when that whole thing oh you're being really nobody nobody said a word to me and we never spoke about it and that was that was pretty much if you had to over would it have been better to just take the same money from ABC and doing eleven o'clock show up against Conan. I mean you're probably to some extent still the bad guy in that situation because you're petitional. You know the Nice thing about making mistakes. Is you learn from them so I wouldn't change anything feel. Would you do this differently. No because mistakes give you you empathy for people you know I remember when I was when I was watching the cosby trials and all that stuff that was going on here these people these women are stupid. They should've of now well. No you don't because you when you were a kid. When you're young person you don't really know you know I remember being ripped off and lied to and when I was when when I was a kid and I knew was being liked to as it was happening but because won't maybe there's some maybe he's not no. He is so no so I I think mistakes. Make you smarter make you stronger so I wouldn't do anything differently and actually turned out fine for me. What would you say it was mistaken. What did you learn from it. the mistake okay. I was in Boston and I went to a club. I meant I meant in in the situation. When you host the Jay Leno show in what I would have done differently. I know what I could have done differently. as I said I didn't have a manager or an agent. I I didn't know that's a mistake or not. It saved me a huge amount of money just because I didn't have anybody but no I don't know what to me. You Rise and fall on your own ability awesome what people think of you. I mean I'd like to think that I was funny and I was easy to work with and never missed a show didn't throw tantrums trump's so NBC new okay. This guy's pretty reliable. Put Him back in eleven thirty. We'll we'll see what happens you know so and that that's what happens so it actually worked talked quite well. If you imagined what your comedy is when I mean I'm guessing that you're not quitting because you show no signs of slowing down the have my stroke. I'm sure but if you imagine what your comedy is when you're eighty two years old. I don't imagine it's much different I mean you try to be reasonably hip to you know you don't. I WANNA be talking about Reagan's trip to Pittsburgh. People what what but that's that's the. Nice thing about going out and working because you see comedy. You can't quit. I give Eddie Murphy a lot of credit man. He is coming back and he's going to do a big netflix special. It's hard to stay off the road for fifteen or twenty years because because your instincts suggest you have things you just you don't even know you know I the way I would practice is I used to say my act and then try to write a letter with my with my hand while I talked and see if it made any sense and I got to the point where I could write a letter and talk and that allows you to compartmentalize. I can think of an ad Lib about this subject while I'm talking about what I'm talking about. When I turned to that guy it looks like it just came up with some ad Lib but actually took a minute or two just think about what is going to you. Say you know so. You've just gotTa keep doing it. Musicians know off the road for ten years and then come back with an album. Oh my God but you can't with comedy comedy. You've got to constantly keep doing it. You know I mean a classic example that was I did all the material in this last tonight. Show with Jimmy Fallon and I read a blog where Leno say material. I Assam two weeks earlier. It's a comedy magical break in that material in well yeah. It's still new material you gotta do it. Somewhere like like somehow wasn't new. I the two weeks earlier you're busted J. Hilarious doing material more than once well Jay Leno. I really appreciate you come back on and Wednesday night. Don't worry we'll we'll have tied yeah. We'll have tons of stuff and I really enjoy the show. It is a really thanks thanks. I appreciate that thanks for taking the time I appreciate that. It is a fun car. Show where you do cool fun car stuff that I wanNA watch where the host hasn't assaulted did any of his employees.