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The Hobby Shack => Books => Topic started by: Chiprocks1 on July 21, 2011, 07:21:03 pm

Title: The War For Late Night - Bill Carter
Post by: Chiprocks1 on July 21, 2011, 07:21:03 pm
The War For Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy (2010)


After reading The Late Shift, I was hopeful that The War for Late Night by Bill Carter would be just as crazy and nutty, especially with all the other late night hosts involved with the chaos surrounding the impact of what happened when NBC moved Jay to the 10pm slot. Surprisingly, The War for Late Night never reaches those ungodly heights as seen in The Late Shift. It's not until the last 1/4 of the book does it come close to getting there as we follow Jay Leno and NBC manuervering to take The Tonight Show away from Conan O'Brien.

But what about the first 3/4 of the book? It was a very good read, but there really were no earth shattering reveals here. What we get instead is literally a mini-bio of every single host that was directly affected by the 10pm shift. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson all get their own spotlight here. We hear where they came from, how they worked their way up the talk show circuit, where they ended up and the results of how the shift affected them. And in each case it's pretty good. But as good and interesting as this was, it was nowhere near that of the all revealing The Late Shift, because most of the stuff during this second go-around was played out in the press and on TV for our benefit.

The best part for me while reading both books has been the ability to run to YouTube and pull up which ever clip is being dissected. And there are plenty here to keep you entertained. Everything from Jimmy Kimmel's infamous 10 at 10 segment to Conan's People Of the Earth speech and of course the Superbowl commercial get there 15 minutes. The biggest shock for me was in hearing that David Letterman had actually reached out and invited Conan to be a part of it. His response: "No **** way I'm doing that. This is not a joke to me - It's real".

I watched old clips and new clips and a whole hell of a lot in between. I've had my fill of monologues and skits to keep me busy for a long time. And one thing I can say with certainty is this: Jay Leno still sucks in my eyes. I know there are Pro-Jay supporters here and will go to the ends of the Earth rattling off why they think he is the best. That's fine. You have your opinions and they are valid. But to me, I don't like his style of comedy. I never have and I never will.

We all have our favorites that we would have liked to see carry on the name of The Tonight Show, but Jerry Seinfeld said it best, "There is no institution. The moment Johnny Carson called it a career, the institution went with him." QFT.

Regardless of who should or shouldn't have gotten the keys to The Tonight Show, one thing is for certain, the viewers were treated to some of the best late night moments in years. It was like watching WWF taking on the WCW on Monday nights with the constant volleying back and forth. Great stuff indeed.

I can definitely recommend The War For Late Night. This is a good, even keel read all the way through. It's just not "dish worthy" as it's predecessor. Personally I can see myself reading this one along with The Late Shift again.

Conan O'Brien On 60 Minutes Part 1

Conan O'Brien On 60 Minutes Part 2

Can't Stop (Trailer)

Jimmy Kimmel 10 at 10

David Letterman's Views On The Debacle

Title: Re: The War For Late Night - Bill Carter
Post by: Chiprocks1 on August 09, 2011, 11:13:25 pm
Bill Carter Promoting The War For Late Night (The Joy Behar Show)