With Talks Ongoing, Late-Night Gets Personal and Strange

By Andrew Gauthier 


With talks between NBC and Conan O’Brien reportedly held up over the issue of “Tonight Show” staff severance, the public was able to indulge in yet another day of the Late-Night Wars. Tuesday saw late-night kings Jay Leno and David Letterman renew their decades-old feud, O’Brien finding clever ways to skirt NBC’s alleged mandate on network criticism, and a very strange summary of NBC’s late-night mess by the Taiwanese newspaper that created the infamous Tiger Woods animation.

Leno vs. Letterman:
Things got personal on Tuesday evening between the longtime rivals. On his show, Letterman called the situation “vintage Jay” and declared, “You get fired, get another gig. Don’t hang around waiting for somebody to drop dead.”


Leno lashed out at Letterman on Tuesday, poking fun at the recent revelations of the CBS host’s infidelity. In a Bing-sponsored segment, Leno typed the words “infidelity,” “viagra,” and AARP” into the search engine, producing a photo of Letterman. More via Gawker…

Conan Finds New Ways to Criticize NBC:
O’Brien is taking comedic advantage of recent reports that part of his negotiations with NBC is a mandate not to criticize the network. On Monday, O’Brien laughingly skirted the alleged mandate by singing his criticism and on Tuesday he spoke it in Spanish. With the aid of subtitles, OBrien said, “NBC is run by brainless sons of goats.”More via Gawker…

Late-Night Wars, Animation Edition:
The Taiwanese newspaper Apple Daily has discovered a quick and strangely entertaining way to summarize popular news stories: they create short animated videos in which high-profile events, most commonly crimes, are recreated through video game-like characters. Apple Daily’s video of the Tiger Woods scandal became an internet hit in December and now the paper has taken a crack at telling the story of NBC’s late-night debacle. (Video here)