Day 331: Conan’s Super German Laser Light Show

While the writers are still on strike late night hosts are trying their best to start up their shows again without writers–with varying success. Leno is pretty lame, Letterman is talented enough to pull it off half-way decently, Jimmy Kimmel actually periodically inserts re-runs of old segments in order to provide his currently unemployed writers with royalty payments, and Conan, well Conan is pretty much back to his anarchic self that initially made him famous–great to see, in fact. Refusing to shave until the strike is settled and his writers get a fair contract, Conan refuses to put on his regular skits (the ones usually written by his staff) and instead pretty much builds his current shows on completely random ideas (such as wasting time by talking about how he needs to waste time in the absence of writers) that are actually hilariously funny (well, he makes them funny). Here my favorite example: the super German laser light show Conan introduced last night and seems to want to keep in his repertoire. Tonight’s installment is not yet on youtube, hence here last night’s episode:

P.S.: just in case anyone has not heard: the Golden Globes were cancelled due to the strike–nice. If only we could now make other strikes and situations of exploitation as popular and widely supported as this one…



  1. It’s a bit like the old anarchic Harald Schmidt who was a genius in killing time. But he seems to have run out of ideas and asked Oliver Pocher on board – the have no chemistry and seeing SChmidt succumb to Pocher’s lameness is pretty annoying.

    This is already one of the better ones:


  3. They’re scabs. I mean it’s good that they mention the strike, but the more powerful gesture is to shut down and refuse to appear. Or shoot the show from the picket lines and put it up on youtube as something that somehow gets around violating their contracts. Do some pirate shit. That would be cool.

  4. skunk: true. You’re completely right and I believe Conan and Leno at least do that periodically (I also enjoy Kimmel’s ridiculous solution to making money for his writers). Generally, all these hosts seem to pay the writers out of their own pocket at the moment and refuse to put on anything writers would have been responsible for (i.e. the little writing that needs to be done is actually done by themselves). From what I hear, Conan actually had to come back on the air, as his pre-strike ratings had already been poor that an additional loss of ratings due a long interruption of the program might have resulted in job cuts. Now, this seems to me like very corporate-y logic, which makes sense if we’re talking abut NBC as such, but I am not yet convinced that this actually holds true for the show itself.
    I nice bargaining tool at this point are the Academy Awards, which, like the Golden Globes, might be cancelled if the strike is not settled by then.

  5. I like the Academy Awards strategy. Advertising revenue loss is our friend! Like yourself, I’m suspicious about the corporate logic–“had to do it to save jobs” line. That’s boilerplate boss-talk.

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