Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Team Conan

I was a big fan of Conan's 12:30 show - his skits were hysterical. Sure, everyone wets themselves when Triumph crashes some party somewhere and starts asking all of the questions that no one should ask... but the Masturbating Bear and Pimpbot and The Year 2000 and that evil puppy and Abe Vigoda and Mr T and all of those other crazy skits were gold. When he took over the Tonight Show, the powers at NBC made him give up the skits they thought were too crass for 11:30... and I think the show has suffered because of it.

Now it seems Conan is getting the boot so that Jay can have the Tonight Show back... and here's what Jay had to say about that in 2004... when he announced his retirement:

The real tragedy of this whole thing - NBC has decided that the Masturbating Bear is their property (they did the same thing with Letterman when he left) and none of the skits created by Conan's writers for Conan's show can ever be used again by Conan. See, all of that stuff was "work for hire". Now, the pisser is that NBC has no plans to ever use any of that stuff - there is no 10pm Masturbating Bear Show in the works to replace Leno - so we will never see those skits again. They go into that RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK storage facility... warehoused forever.

Those skits were written by TV writers... just as some script for a movie you might write as "work for hire" that you put your heart and soul into... but may get shelved forever. That's a pisser. Especially a pisser if you have worked hard on a script that's a work for hire, and the producer scraps your version of the story for some other version by some other writer that sucks. The sucks version gets made and your good version will never be seen by anyone. Studios sometimes have several different writers working on different versions of the same script, and then they pick the one they like and shelve the others. Frustrating. Too bad we can't at least keep our work and try to find another producer or studio... but a work for hire is a work for hire (even if it began with your pitch).

We will never see the Masturbating Bear again.

I'm going to miss him.

- Bill

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Edgy Scripts - and four guys in two canoes.
Yesterday's Dinner: Panda Express.


Emily Blake said...

And I will mourn the loss of the Walker Texas Ranger lever, even though he hasn't used it in a while.

Hey do you think if he makes a masturbating lion he could get away with that? Or a 24 Lever?

Scott the Reader said...

I'm pretty sure I can hire the guy who played the bear to come to your house once a month and entertain you. Or at least entertain himself.

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