It was only a little over ten years ago that everyone seemed to be talking about the dustup in the late night talkshow world with the Conan O'Brien/Jay Leno transfer at NBC. It hinged on the (forced) retirement of Jay Leno, and Conan taking over the coveted Tonight Show slot at 11:35 weeknights. About twenty years earlier a similar dramatic story unfolded with the retirement of Johnny Carson (the reason the Tonight Show was such a valued seat) and the rivalry between Leno and David Letterman.
Conan mentioned the events recently on his podcast and it struck me that there was all this high-stakes wrangling over a time slot and show, and now, ten years later, time slots on TV are all but meaningless. Even at the time, plenty of people were thinking “what does it matter?” Of course, it mattered to Conan and to Leno.
It's interesting how the stakes of even a recent time in history can become so alien to modern experience so quickly!
I'd say the Pam and Tommy series shows how much things can change in just a few years - and also that there's plenty of interesting stories to be told in the world of “recent history” period stories. Our culture and technology in particular, changes at blinding speed in modern times.
I've got a few articles in mind for this topic.
See you next time!
Banes at 12:00AM, July 14, 2022
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