Open Thread for January 15, 2010

Good morning, Overthinkers! We have had one hell of a week, let me tell you. And I will tell you. Leading the headlines this week is the continuing battle over the fate of The Tonight Show. As of this writing, … Continued

Good morning, Overthinkers! We have had one hell of a week, let me tell you. And I will tell you.

Leading the headlines this week is the continuing battle over the fate of The Tonight Show. As of this writing, rumors – but nothing solid – say that Leno will be taking over The Tonight Show again and that Conan O’Brien will get the boot (with an eight-figure severance package). So if Leno moves to 11:30, who takes the 10:00 slot? Well, we’ve already informed NBC that the smoky-voiced Mark Lee lives in the tri-borough area and has extensive broadcasting experience. Just waiting on that phone to ring.

Question: Where should Conan O’Brien go if he leaves NBC?

Are funny newspaper headlines no longer a draw?

In other sinking-ship news, Simon Cowell announced that he is leaving American Idol following this season in order to host an American version of his British show The X Factor. The X Factor boasts a wider range of contestants, more control by judges, and fewer singers who drop their pants during auditions.

Question: Who should replace the legendarily cold Cowell on the American Idol panel?

A lame reference to this week's auditions? Not impressed, OTI.

On a more serious note, a 7.0 magnitude quake has left (possibly) thousands dead and (definitely) millions stranded in Haiti. Fortunately, the international response has been overwhelming: Wyclef Jean’s Haiti foundation, Yele, as well as the American Red Cross, have been collecting donations via text. We urge every Overthinker to pitch in somewhere, as the extent of this tragedy can’t be overstated.

Question: donating via text seems to be the “new media / crowdsourcing” response to the Haiti crisis. How else could the First World use the global internet/telco backbone to bring aid where it’s needed?

Seriously, there might be one hundred thousand people dead.

Ending on a real downer: the entertainment world said goodbye to punk rocker Jay Reatard and R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass this week. Reatard, 29, born Jimmy Lee Lindsey, was a dynamo in the Memphis punk scene, while Pendergrass, 59, produced several soulful ballads like “Turn Off The Lights.”

Question: Reatard left behind a discography of 22(!) albums, while Pendergrass kept producing hits even after a car accident paralyzed him from the waist down. What excuse are you using to not follow your dreams today?

Anything we forgot? Anything cheerier to add? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

11 Comments on “Open Thread for January 15, 2010”

  1. RiderIon #

    Conan O’Brien’s position is all the more difficult because of the rumors I’ve heard about his contract. I’m not sure what all is true but I have heard that on top of his large cash settlement, Conan also cannot host a late night talk show on another network for a year. That immediately snuffs out the possibility of Conan ending up at Fox and throwing his show up against Leno ASAP.

    If Conan COULD immediately start a new show, Fox has a place for him. Our local Fox affiliate does our local news at 10 and then we have syndicated programming from 10:30 on. Fox putting Conan on at 11 would keep everyone happy as the affiliates still get their popular lead-in to the news at 10 and Conan gets compete against Leno in that late night spot.

    The only problem with this set up is who else is on in that time slot on cable: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. While the 40+ demographic does not make up a huge part of Stewart and Colbert’s viewership, the 18 to 25 demographic does. Which in my opinion, Conan needs to succeed on another network. I don’t see Conan grabbing a significant portion of that audience from Comedy Central but that’s just speculation on my part.


  2. Greg #

    I would watch the crap out of Conan on American Idol. (2 Questions, one answer!!!)

    (What follows may seem incredibly offensive, and it is. But I do think it could work.)

    As a citizen of the internet, I know that some people will buy anything that has a ridiculous story behind it. Therefore, someone should sell debris from the city on the internet to fund relief efforts.

    And I swear I am working towards my dreams. I swear!


  3. Victoria #

    But if Conan were to replace Cowell, there’d no longer be any ridiculous judges.. Randy’s always been the normal one, so he’s not interesting. I haven’t seen Ellen yet, but certainly she’s more stable than Paula Abdul was, so that particular reason to watch is out, too. Conan is funny, yeah, but he’s not “let’s make fun of him on The Soup” funny.

    Did anyone else see Jimmy Kimmel completely bash Jay Leno on his own show last night? It was glorious.


  4. Megan from Lombard #

    (I had a nice good comment and then the site decided to eat it…)

    Conan took part of his show last night to say that the media to-do between him and Jay wasn’t that important when it came down to everything else that was going on and promoted Ben Stillers charity that helps out the island. Colbert did the same thing when he had the Director of Health and Human Services on his show.

    And I have to agree with Conan, when you put everything in perspective the whole situation is not that important when you have thousands dead and millions homeless in a country where little of the money is going to get to the people because of the corrupt government system that is in place (IMO).

    @Victoria; I watched it when the show aired and it was freakin’ hilarious. You could tell that Jay wanted to end the interview but couldn’t if he didn’t want to get slammed even more.


  5. Trevor #

    Conan should come hang out with me and my friends in SC, we’ll take good care of him (cue banjo music).

    I’m not sure how I feel about Conan possibly going to Fox, as it seems to be a cultural graveyard in terms of late night. MadTV was on the air so long not because it was good but because no one noticed that it was still on the air (I recycled that joke from somewhere, so yay me for saving the earth). Conan might be the one to break that curse, but it’s a hard road ahead.

    Speaking of curses, Pat Robertson wins the “douchebag of the year” award and we’re only sixteen days into the year. Congrats, Pat, and remember to thank the little old ladies who made you what you are today. Why is this man not on Fox News already? He’d be a perfect fit.

    Here’s to hoping that someday in the near future, the only thing Haitians will have to worry about is who takes over the 11:35 spot.


  6. Trevor #

    @Valatan: This means Glenn Beck might own his own network someday (a thought which alternately terrifies and amuses me)


  7. Gab #

    My knee-jerk response to the first question was, “Hell.” Does that mean *I* should go there? Ahem.

    I may not like Conan much, but I’m with Megan in that I think highly of him for pointing out the frivolity in focusing on what’s going on with TV right now.

    I’m not sure how it would work, but what about some sort of application that’s universal for all fancy-pants phones to somehow auto-donate to charities? Maybe they are set to send money (added to your phone bill) to whatever charity you pre-program, or they set themselves whenever a crisis pops up. I’m bad at details, so I realize there are almost certainly all sorts of problems with and ways to debunk this idea, but unless there was some way to click one button on the computer to donate, and from any screen or page, that’s the best I can come up with. The reason the texting thing was/is so successful is because of how simple and easy it is. Find another way to make it just as easy, and you’ve got another successful method on your hands.

    How about Lou* Pearlman to replace Simon Cowell? He can do it from jail.

    My excuse for not following my dreams is I’m stuck in Limbo for a few months. I’m physically stuck due to outside forces over which I have no control. So I’m not a slacker, promise. ::whimper::

    *I typed “Ron” there first. SO NOT THE SAME PERSON. Not that Ron Pearlman isn’t awesome, but I don’t think he’d really fit on _American Idol_. And he’s not in jail.


  8. Victoria #

    @Gab Ron Perlman WOULD be great on American Idol, provided that he played it like he did Hellboy.

    On donating to Haiti: I was at H&M today and they’ve just begun this campaign where they will match any donation you make to the Red Cross, and they’ll accept absolutely any amount. I don’t get out much, but I’ve never heard of a clothing store doing that, ever. I’ll probably donate to Yele or another organization as well once I research further, but kudos to H&M.

    What’s really sickening about Pat Robertson is not only are his facts about the uprising myth completely wrong (the revolution began years before Napoleon III took the throne, and supposedly the pact made was only to last 200 years, so even if Haiti WAS under the control of any kind of spirit, voodoo OR satanic, that control would have ended in 1991 and could not have caused the earthquake. You know, if you pretend that earthquakes are caused by angry deities), but that he probably intended his words as ENCOURAGEMENT for Haitians to “turn to God.” Ironic, because I don’t think even the idea of Satan convinces as many people to turn AWAY from God as Pat Robertson does.

    My excuse for not following my dreams is that unlike Pendergass, I’ve had very little adversity to overcome. If I ever did anything of value, my autobiography would be intensely boring. I like to think I’m saving paper.


  9. Megan from Lombard #

    @Victoria; I agree with you on Robertson, what really grinds my gears is when people preach one thing and then do the other. That and when they try to shove their religion down another persons throat. I’m from the ‘live and let live’ school of thought (my parents blame the fact that I went to public school and attend a liberal arts college) but I see no reason to condem someone because of their religion/sexuality/whatever.


  10. Victoria #

    Re: H&M and Haiti – my mistake, they’re matching donations to UNICEF, not Red Cross. Still a great organization.


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