Has this been a week of bold moves? Conan boldly telling NBC to get lost when they tried to take his time slot and replace it with a geezer unable to hack it at 10 p.m. quitting NBC when they tried to move the spot he's been waiting for. The tectonic plates, bodaciously scraping against each other in such a way to fashion a monstrous Haitian disaster out of the whole thing. Finally, your own weekly columnist made a move across the newsroom to the Lifestyles desk, where I've been slaving away for nearly 12 hours today. That's why I'm keeping it relatively brief today - aside from the rant below.
WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS
Jay Leno, not knowing when to take his chin and go home. Obviously, "I'm with CoCo."
Conan O'Brien has been my favorite late night host for many years and I have happily destroyed my ability to wake up at a decent hour the next morning by staying up to see the end of "Late Night." Being named the next host of "The Tonight Show" was a lifelong dream come true for Conan and it's completely unfair that his network tried to strongarm him into moving his show into a lousy time slot following a Jay Leno comedy half-hour that was sure to fail as spectacularly as his 10 p.m. attempt.
When Jay was "passing the torch" to Conan, he acted like he was being so gracious about it. What fakery! As soon as he had a chance to get his old gig back, he had no qualms about knocking Conan out of the way. He had the show for years and had a pretty good run why not let Conan have a shot? It's my opinion that "The Jay Leno Show" hurt Conan's chances of success with his "Tonight Show." When Jay's time was up, he could have gone back to collecting cars and doing some stand-up for kicks. Instead, he clung to the spotlight and decided to essentially keep doing "The Tonight Show," renamed and aired an hour and 35 minutes earlier. His show was a lame lead-in and not only did it kill the ratings for local news at 11 p.m. but it was a detriment to Conan's ratings as well probably Jimmy Fallon's ratings, too, and ... well, I don't know if Carson Daly's could have gotten any lower. Isn't it kind of sad how he hasn't even been mentioned throughout this whole ordeal? I digress. Anyway, four late-night comedy talk shows on one network was too much.
Of course, the biggest dirtbags in this situation are NBC. When Conan told them where they could stick their 12:05 a.m. time slot in the nicest way possible, they could have tried to accommodate him. Instead, they gave him an ultimatum move the show to a later slot or get lost.
My inner conspiracy theorist would still like to believe that this was all a big ratings stunt but alas, it looks like Conan is getting the boot. Loud whispers foretell that tomorrow night's show will be Conan's last. At least he's going out on top and with several million dollars in his pockets but NBC definitely made the wrong choice. If Jay takes back "The Tonight Show," I'm boycotting.
The Fredonia Opera House is showing two movies this weekend. "Old Dogs" will be shown as part of the One Night Only feature on Friday at 8 p.m. and the Coen brothers' latest, "A Serious Man," will be screened Saturday and again on Tuesday, Jan. 26, both nights at 8 p.m. "A Serious Man," which is about a Midwestern physics professor whose life unexpectedly falls apart, opened in October 2009 with a limited release and has garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews so far.
41 West will have live music by Side Effects on Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight. Tara Graves will perform Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. Mark your calendars for the Super Bowl party on Feb. 7.
Rookies Sports Bar will feature Big Tone on Saturday at 9 p.m.
If you've often contemplated a career as an improv comedian, here's your big chance. Auditions for the Jamestown-based improv comedy troupe The Unexpected Guests will be held in the Wright Conference Room (Arts Council Office in the Reg Lenna Civic Center building, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown) Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. Prior performing experience is preferred but not required. Comedic hopefuls must be over 18, should wear comfortable clothing and it would probably help if they're funny. I spoke to one of the members after the last show and was told there is no set number on how many new Guests they might accept. Good luck!
Giving some much-needed support to the people of Haiti and enjoying delicious baked goods while doing so it's a win/win. A bake sale, with all proceeds donated to Doctors without Borders, will be held at Wish Berry in downtown Fredonia on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m.
Do you remember the news story in June 2008 that blew up about the Gloucester High School girls who were rumored to have made a "pregnancy pact?" The Lifetime Network has spun it into a movie, cleverly titled "The Pregnancy Pact" which will premiere on Saturday at 9 p.m. Surprisingly, "American Beauty" star Thora Birch has a role in the made-for-TV movie, which either means that Lifetime provides a substantial paycheck or that her career is in a slump. This should make for a delightfully melodramatic couple of hours in front of the television.
My plan for this week was to see "The Lovely Bones" in order to compare and contrast with the fantastic book by Alice Seybold upon which it is based I've been anticipating its release for months because the book seems like it would be so difficult to translate to the screen. On the only day I had time to go to the theater Monday, after ghost-hunting at the White Inn (more on that in an upcoming Sunday feature) I raced to the Movieplex and arrived nearly 15 minutes late, hoping to make the 9:15 p.m. showing just after the previews. "No one else showed up for the movie and we won't start it after 10 minutes past the showing time," I was told. Keep this in mind the next time you're running late to a Plex movie. Anyway, look for my review of "The Lovely Bones" in next week's column (unless I'm late to the theater again, and there's a 94 percent chance that I'll be late regardless of the destination or occasion).
Also for next week's column do my readers have any suggestions for alleviating cabin fever? If so, send ideas to email@example.com.
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles Editor.