Procrastination Nation

Things that Robert is thinking about that keep him from accomplishing anything.

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Thursday, February 03, 2005
Way to Go, Kid-o
I watched Conan's tribute to Johnny on Tuesday. I found his to be the most eloquent and effective. He perhaps had the advantage of not being as close to Johnny as the other big hosts, but I thought he did an amazing job of making his only slight personal connection to Johnny into something appropriately grand and funny:
  • A sweet story about being a goofy kid working on the Simpsons giving Carson wrong directions off the Fox lot;
  • His opening for Carson at a birthday party for NBC's Bob Wright in the weeks between getting Late Night and starting Late Night; and,
  • A brief phone conversation with him five months ago after he landed the Tonight Show beginning 2009, where he said nobody could take away that moment when Johnny picked up the phone and said, "Hey, Kid-o."

It would have been the perfect eulogy for my "All-Star Celebrity Funeral" network.

For all of Conan's quirkiness and twitchiness as a perfomer (e.g., constantly flapping his hand down on the desk and banging his wedding ring and wrist during his eulogy), there's something to be said for having somebody who's not only funny but also quite intelligent giving a speech.

Your last paragraph again captures the genius of Carson. When Conan or Jay or Letterman are performing, you can tell that they are performing - they don't talk in a conversational tone. When Johnny Carson (or Bill Cosby) is performing, they sound like they're actually talking to you.
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