Saturday, March 23, 2013
Just reading this week that NBC is looking to dump the Tonight Show's Jay Leno when his contract is up next year. The pointy heads at NBC programming, yeah those guys that sleep with those demographic numbers, have decided they can draw a younger, more affluent and suggestible audience, by placing Jimmy Fallon into Leno's Tonight Show chair.
NBC is worried about Jimmy Kimmel and Letterman capturing the very audience they pursue each late weeknight.
I have news for those pointy head demographers. I know a guy that could whip the ratings ass of all them..and he's been dead for a good eight years or so. Yeah, Johnny Carson.
If I were running CBS I'd buy out Ms. Carson's ownership of all of Johnny's show tapes from the 70's, 80's and 90's. I would synch those old shows to correspond to the day of the week of current broadcast and just start showing them in "re-run" mode, just as if Johnny was still around.
Doc Severinson and the band would start playing "Johnny's Theme", Johnny would come out of those rainbow colored curtains and offer up that timeless and topical monologue that poked fun at everyone equally. Smiles, smirks and a tapping of the overhead microphone when a joke bombed would play as well today as it did back then.
Gone would be all the snark and snigger of today's late night hosts, replaced by a highly intelligent, well read man who hosted Carl Sagan as often as the hottest movie star. Far more amusing than a drugged up starlet of today flashing her boobs, would be the fellow from the midwest that encased cow poop in plastic and sold it as jewelry...or the potato chip lady who collected potato chips with the profile of a dog, or Elvis Presley.
While today's hosts are more comfortable leering at Kate Upton's cleavage, Carson would elicit oohs and ahhs by having miniature monkeys peeing on his head...or kung fooing a tiger cub.
One time Federal Communication Chief Newton Minnow called television "the great wasteland" for TV's failure to bring education and culture, and yes, entertainment, to the masses.
Today's television program is far worse, headlined by reality shows, trailer trash talk shows and a gang of "little smirking boys" occupying the late night talk show chairs.
Johnny Carson was known as King of Late Night from 1965 right into the 1990's. The other networks trotted out Joey Bishop and Merv Griffin and Jerry Lewis and a stable of other comedians and Johnny trounced them all in the ratings.
Bring back Johnny. Just start showing all of those old great Carson shows in the same time slot as the current pretenders. Johnny, in the grave for years now, would kick ass and take names. Might even get me to stay up late and watch!