Over the weekend a writer for Conan O’Brian named Andrés du Bouchet went on an epic Twitter rant raging against the new direction that late night comedy has taken in recent years. The tweets were a not so veiled critique of one of his boss’s “rivals” Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show. The rant quickly got a lot of backlash disagreeing with him as well as those who totally agreed. The one thing we can all agree on is that late night shows …are for him to poop on!
He quickly deleted the tweets, but not quick enough that the Internet and HIS BOSS, Conan O’Brian got to read them and respond. I’m guessing this made for a way more awkward Monday morning at the office, than having one of his jokes bomb during the monologue. du Bouchet Tweeted:
“Comedy in 2015 needs a severe motherfucking shakeup. No celebrities, no parodies, no pranks, no mash-ups or hashtag wars. I’m fat.” — Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)
@dubouchet and shove your lip-synching up your ass. — Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)
Prom King Comedy. That’s what I call all this shit. You’ve let the popular kids appropriate the very art form that helped you deal. Fuck. — Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)
None of the funniest stuff ever involved celebrity cameos. — Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)
Once again I’m a bonehead for tweeting as a fan of comedy instead of as a guy who earns a living doing it. — Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)
@guybranum thanks but now comes the inevitable dressing down at work for criticizing other talk shows! — Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)
@dubouchet add games and lip synching and nostalgia and karaoke to this list.— Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)
Sorry for being a bloviating elitist windbag last night. I know tons of talented people are making the stuff I enjoy shitting all over.— Andrés du Bouchet (@dubouchet)
That face your boss makes when it’s going to be a loooong day.
You may agree or disagree with his opinions on late night comedy, however one cringe worthy aspect of this story that makes you almost feel bad for him is that he got dressed down by his boss Conan via Twitter to Conan’s 16.2 million followers:
Seems he took some of that advice and later tweeted;
If du Bouchet were discussing late night a few years ago I would agree. In the past 40 years nothing much in broadcast television late night comedy talk shows had changed. These guys were doing the same old shtick for decades and it was pretty stale. Anything would be better than Leno and even if you don’t think he’s funny, you had to admit Fallon is a talented guy who has shaken up The Tonight Show from just being a guy in a suit telling one liners, to a guy in a suit doing telling liners, impressions, singing, dancing and playing games with celebrities…
Not all the celebrities who go on Fallon play the games either. You can tell someone like Louis CK totally told them “no” when they asked him to play a stupid game. Instead Louie did a great extended interview where he tells Jimmy Fallon how he refused to hire him after Jimmy auditioned for a sketch comedy show Louie was writing for twenty years ago:
[[contentId: 2844037| | size: 75]]
Thankfully satirical genius Stephen Colbert is taking over for David Letterman, who for the past ten years hasn’t made anyone laugh, other than an accidental gurgle as his audience of elderly viewers falls asleep with the television on.
I look forward to explaining to my kids in 20 years that Stephen Colbert “used to be funny” back in the day.
So in a weird way late night television is getting a shakeup, just not in the way this guy wants. To some extent I agree that relying on celebrity cameos, lip-syncing and playing games isn’t exactly cutting edge comedy – but isn’t that the point of these talk shows? If this guy wants to do smart and subversive, edgy comedy he should write for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart… oh crap.
Do you agree with Conan’s writer? Does late night comedy need a shake up?
Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney