Solutions to NBC’s Late Night Mess

If you are emerging from a cave or a nearby Amish community, you might be under assault by the news and rumors about television network NBC’s late night shakeup. Because the Jay Leno Show performed poorly in it’s 10 p.m. (9 p.m. Central) time slot, NBC executives are canceling the show to please the network affiliates. No big deal, right? Well, said executives plan to move Leno back to his original time slot that he occupied at 11:35 p.m. as former host of the Tonight Show. Seems like a solid plan to boost ratings, eh? Try telling that to the 11:35 p.m. time-slot occupant, current Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien.

In summary, an ill-conceived plan to let Leno and O’Brien share the stage — Leno at 11:35 p.m., O’Brien at 12:05 a.m. for an hour — backfired on NBC. O’Brien refusing to sully the Tonight Show brand. And Leno alleges that he is upset about the network’s treatment of he and his buddy (you know, that buddy that you take advantage of, sleep with his girlfriend and piss on his bathroom walls) O’Brien, and may leave the network. This could put the fledgling network up the creek without a paddle.

NBC's executive office at 30 Rockerfeller Plaza

In light of the quagmire that is NBC’s late night lineup and potentially not having a host for their 11:35 p.m. anchor, Diary of a Genial Black Man (or DOAGBM, as the tweens tweet between their LOLs) has a few ideas for filling the gap. These mind-creations are from my brain bubble and may screw over other long-time NBC employees in the process. In other words, they could come from the minds of NBC execs. After all, would you want Jimmy Fallon or Carson Daly assuming the role? I didn’t think so.

  • Law and Order: Late Night (NOTE: This was written before knowledge of Letterman and O’Brien’s Law and Order late night spoofs)

In an effort to finally franchise the long-running Law and Order series, NBC taps into the seedy underbelly of sordid after-hour activities with this nighttime crime comedy. In keeping with tradition of using long-exhausted rappers and actors in lead roles, Sir Mix-a-Lot and Bill Paxton team up to keep Los Angeles free from boredom. Sultry DEA agent Fran Drescher adds spice to an explosive comedy duo with her donkey-like laugh, and TV’s Paula Abdul stumbles literally onto monologue landmines. Only on NBC.

Sir Mix-a-Lot and the Law and Order girls: Law and Order.
  • The Apprentice at Night

Wonder what Donald Trump does when he’s fired his last employee for the day and unfeathers his comb-over? Well wonder no more, person in need of a life! This reality-cum-survival comedy show is a behind-the-scenes look at The Donald on the late-night prowl. Watch “The Donald” tell stilted, uncomfortable jokes in front of a live audience! See “The Donald” interact with B-list celebrities with the flexibility of a deep-fried mummy! Peer through each individual strand of hair clinging to life on “The Donald’s” head and see that done shine in HD! Watch “The Donald” alienate his viewers and family members with his natural charisma via head-mounted camera! All this and more on Apprentice After Dark: you’ll be fired… up with laughter! Only on NBC.

  • Jay Leno’s Cars (sponsored by Taco Bell)

Just because Leno may allegedly leave NBC, that doesn’t mean that Leno’s possessions aren’t up for grabs! In a shrewd contract clause placed pre-Jay Leno Show, NBC is obligated to film Leno’s custom car collection for one hour, five nights a week.

Sounds hilarious, right? It gets better! Watch for Leno to make guest appearances as he pops up in and out of frame — and he may throw a passive-aggressive tantrum at the cameraman if he doesn’t profile the cars right! Leno’s (former) bandleader Kevin Eubanks, bound to his slavemaster until the grave, chuckles at heavy-handed jokes and awkward pauses, occasionally making a phone gesture with his hand in a last-ditch effort for his freedom. You’ll delight at the roar of engines — and laughter! Only on NBC.

  • Friends After Dark

Remember that ’90s NBC show Friends? What better way to remind viewers of NBC’s good times and draw ratings to their late night programming than by having five of the six funniest fictional characters of New York City? (Courtney Cox Arquette is gainfully employed on Cougar Town.) Join Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer in reminiscing about when the economy was good and the Counting Crows were a great rock band (Aniston knows!).

Drink in the nostalgic goodness, America!

Hear the sordid behind-the-scenes details of that one time when “The Aniston” hairdo was still a hair-do! Laugh uncomfortably as Matthew Perry recalls how he worked while high out of his mind! Recall that one about Matt LeBlanc saying something Italian-like! With the set of Central Perk as a backdrop and co-starring TV’s Fran Drescher as Monica Gellar, you’ll laugh, pause and laugh some more! Only on… you know.

  • The Jay Leno Memories

Old people and the comedically challenged may mourn the loss of Leno on their magic talking boxes, but NBC can bring them the next-best thing: Leno soundbites! Baby boomers will be able to nod off to sleep once more, thanks to the white noise of classic Leno monologues — delivered through a static image of Leno’s face with moving lips to simulate humanness. Catch the latest news on O.J Simpson, Monica Lewinsky, Michael Jackson and Bill Clinton while drifting off to slumberland — sprinkled with forced chuckles from indentured servant Kevin Eubanks. Best of all, it’s cheap to produce — because NBC is concerned about costs! Only on… yeah.

Jay Leno, about to make a Kenneth Starr joke.

So cheer up, America! Just because NBC’s late night lineup is shakier than a drunk Mariah Carey during awards season, that doesn’t mean that the problems can’t be solved. And they sure as sugar will be with the NBC execs at the helm. After all, it is nearly impossible to mess up something that works well, right? RIGHT?


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