Go, Conan!

A limerick in honor of Conan O’Brien’s Solomon-like decision about the Tonight Show — not to “seriously damage what [he considers] to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting,” (I wrote it both as a fan and as a recovering lawyer.)

Go, Conan!
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Conan, I’m glad you refused.
By your Network, you’ve sure been abused.
You’re right to be teed.
You’re a class act, indeed.
NBC’s breach can not be excused.

Update: I haven’t seen Conan’s contract. But here’s NBC’s argument, as I understand it: NBC can legally air The Tonight Show with Conan at 12:05 a.m. after a new half-hour Leno show, because O’Brien’s contract doesn’t specify a time. I don’t buy it.

Following NBC’s argument to its logical conclusion, NBC could air The Tonight Show at 4:00 a.m., or even at noon. In fact, by NBC’s reasoning, Conan could have stayed at his old 12:35 a.m. slot and Jay could have kept his original 11:35 p.m. Tonight Show slot. All NBC would have had to do would be to change the names of the shows: Conan’s to the Tonight Show, and Jay’s to the Jay Leno Show. Sorry, NBC, this doesn’t pass the straight-faced test.

One more point: Rumor has it that Jay’s contract specifies a 10 p.m. time, and that (the argument goes) this weakens Conan’s position. I disagree. Conan O’Brien was being promoted to a show that already existed in a specific time slot, whereas Jay’s show was being created from scratch. So they are not analogous situations.

Update 2: Is this a slam dunk for Conan? No. But as a “recovering lawyer” who litigated my share of contract disputes, I’d rather take Conan’s case to a jury.

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4 Responses to “Go, Conan!”

  1. debby says:

    So on target once again, not to mention articulate, entertaining and funny.
    (btw, don’t miss Maureen Dowd’s column in the NYTs today-1/13/10)- I still remember one of his first shows- Can’t believe how long it’s been—it was right after a major peace achievement with Israel and (I can’t remember now-but it was major news) In any case, his line during one of his first shows was something like…”Who ever thought I’d become the host of a late night talk show? I mean, that’s even more unlikely than peace in the middle east!”
    thanks for entertaining us with wit, humor and on-target limmericks!

  2. madkane says:

    Thanks so much, Debby. I really appreciate your enthusiasm for my humor!

    And I just checked out Dowd, as you suggested. Very interesting column about Jeff Zucker. Thanks!

  3. And Leno’s just not that funny!

  4. Catherine says:

    I’m with Coco!