They took him out of our local market for a time, I remember clearly. I was kinda bummed because he was funny in spurts, despite his experimental construction.
His sidekick, Andy Richter, eventually developed from what was a terrible McMahon-esque clingon, and I was sad to see him leave.
At this point, Conan is a badass, and I much prefer his style to that of Jay Leno.
I like Jimmy Kimmel, and I've attended a couple of his tapings.
I have a soft spot in my heart for David Letterman, although I admit that he's pretty dry at times.
Craig Ferguson is okay. His jokes are above-average, and his energy is always a plus, but sometimes his accent makes it hard to understand him.
Edited at 2009-03-03 08:23 am (UTC)
I've only been watching Late Night shows for 3 or 4 years, but from what I've seen Conan is hands down the best one. Leno has awful timing. His monologues are pathetic. Letterman is funny, but he comes off as condescending more often than not. Not to mention his awkward pauses get tired after you watch him a dozen times. Conan is just so amiable, at least on his show, that it's impossible not to love him.
The 80s shows ... "Late Night with David Letterman" ... he was fucking awesome. I'd stay up to watch them on Friday nights. "Miami Vice" ... Dave ... awwwww yeah. :D
Conan's amiable nature was present from the beginning of the show. That's what saved his ass, I feel. He had a lot of flaws that woulda killed most guys. He relied on too many of his blank stares at the beginning, and he was really fucking stiff ... also too many nervous pompadour-bobs with his head. He was a breath of fresh air, though, because Leno was generic, and Letterman was pissed off. Watching him squirm up there was plus-entertainment, because he was self-aware that he wasn't used to whatever was happening, and he let the audience know it.
Thinking back, I think it's amazing that conan lasted even past the 1st season, not this long. He was amazingly stiff, sort of a why the fuck did they let this guy on tv sort of thing. i can't imagine nbc giving him so long to get his shit together now, not with 500 channels.
The only thing I think that saved him ... WAS that he was on NBC. They run with shit the longest. If they didn't do that, shows like "Seinfeld" woulda been canned ... they're the opposite of the other three networks, especially Fox.
Compared to like, Chevy Chase, or Magic Johnson, man, Conan wasn't too bad in his badness back then. That might have also helped ... the fresher memories of the other failures.
I can't imagine NBC giving Jimmy so long to get his shit together, for real.
I never found Kimmel all that funny. I can't explain why, so it's probably just for something small, but he comes off grating as hell. When he laughs, it doesn't ever seem sincere. Conan can do the most obnoxious laugh and you still find it genuine.
Craig is good, but his show is so bare bones, he really can't even be mentioned with the big boys. Usually subpar guests and no real skits. He just kind of talks. His only escape from that is reading emails and I mean, if you have to resort to that, you know you're not working with much.
Carson Daly is okay I suppose. He's just too trendy for me, though.
When he laughs, it doesn't ever seem sincere ... re: Kimmel, he is a straight up entertainer, and that coldness is ever-present.
Yeah, Carson, I just don't ever watch.
Johnny Carson, however, was a true HOFer.
That guy was, for the most part, comfy/mellow during my childhood years, his twilight era ... but he was such a badass at the business that his generic lukewarm twilight years were like what Jay Leno would only dream of having. I always liked Carson's personality, and you see some similar behaviors in David Letterman to that of Carson.
David really loves interviewing the people, and I also think that's why they go fucking crazy on his show. See Madonna, Joaquin Phoenix, and a laundry list of others.