Doug, the facts don't back you up. The facts show that Conan had horrible ratings long before Leno ever started his 10pm show (in Sept)
This is from mid July and it's headlined "Conan Continues to Hemorrhage viewers"
Fallon is booooorrrrrrring and not the least bit funny. He's totally out of his element. It's like watching Chevy Chase's attempt at a late-night talk show. Chase had Goldie Hawn as his first guest figuring that would be a slam-dunk for interviewing, and even he knew that his career was over the first night half-way through the show. Now, that was funny. Sad, but funny.
Conan can be funny with the right guest if you only catch him a couple times a year, but his acting like a 5-year old without his Ridalin gets old really fast. A great writer, a poor comedian.
Kimmel is funny, but he has crappy guests and his "side-kicks" are stupid.
Letterman hasn't been funny in the last 20 years.
Leno's "Headlines" are funny, and his interviewing of "dumb people on the streets" is funny.
Ferguson isn't funny.
Carson Daly is too "hip" for his own good and he's not funny at all.
The main competitor of The Late Show is NBC's The Tonight Show, for nearly 16 years hosted by Jay Leno, but since June 1, 2009 hosted by Conan O'Brien. In 1993 and 1994, The Late Show consistently gained higher ratings than Tonight. But in 1995, ratings dipped and Leno's show consistently beat Letterman's in the ratings; Leno typically attracted about 5 million nightly viewers between 1999 and 2009. The Late Show lost nearly half its audience during its competition with Leno, attracting 7.1 million viewers nightly in its 1993-94 season and about 3.8 million per night as of Leno's departure in 2009. In his final months as host of The Tonight Show, Leno beat Letterman in the ratings by a 1.3 million viewer margin (5.2 million to 3.9 million), and Nightline and The Late Show were virtually tied. Once O'Brien took over Tonight, however, Letterman closed the gap in the ratings. O'Brien initially drove the median age of Tonight Show viewers from 55 to 45, with most older viewers opting to watch The Late Show instead.
I think we know where the Leno viewers are now. Thanks Roy
There are so many people that will watch anything just to have the TV on, so many ratings will have viewers for that reason. But when you show comparisons as you did, it's the comparisons that shows valid increased and decreased interest.
I was just more blunt, which I will always be.
I watched Conan the other night because John Kraszinski was on. It was funny, as was Conan's mixology segment. But, that 5-year-old-without-his-Redalin humor of his is good for about once every two months or so.
Good humor is good humor. It usually comes from the writers. It takes only "capable" actors/comedians to pull it off. Shows like "The Office" still put out great humor. "My Name is Earl" was hilarious, but it, too got stale. "King of Queens" had less funny moments, but it had some, if you liked it's type of humor. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. Over the last 20 years, I rarely watch anything that's on ABC, NBC, or CBS until it's 3rd Season or so, as the chances of getting anything worth my time is about a 50-1 shot. I end up accidentally catching something and it's pretty obvious right away if it's any good. That's how it was with "My Name is Earl" and "The Office", though I caught the former at the end of it's first season, but not "The Office" until it's 4th. The same is with "Scrubs", where I didn't watch one of it's shows until maybe it's 5th or 6th season, and that's because I liked Zach Braff's movie at the theater he made where he wrote, directed, and acted in it himself.
One thing I hate about Conan O'Brien: the way he makes each and every single interview about himself.
He one-ups every guest anecdote with some put-down on Conan O'Brien.
Self deprecation is fine, but at some point it starts to sound like you're fishing for compliments.
We get it, you have red hair and you're Irish. You don't tan well. You're pale. It gets old.
I do think his humor worked better at 12:30, though you do have more freedom in that time slot, in his defense.
I'm still scratching my head as to why you would take a show that was number one and then replace the host.
I get the annoying factor of Conan O'Brien, however, when has Jay Leno ever been funny in the past 15 years?
When he interviews a guest he sits there and gives a cold, disinterested "Oh yeah" and "Alright" in the middle of their sentences. He never responds or even reacts to anything a guest will say and when a guest says something that gets a lot of laughs, he always squirms in his seat awkwardly waiting for the audience to stop so he can ask the next question. For that matter, watch any interview where the guest is getting a lot of laughs, Jay Leno will ALWAYS interrupt their flow by saying "OK..." and "Well..." in the middle of what they are saying, it never fails. It's like he is saying, "Ok, that's enough". And yeah, while Conan's witty comebacks steal focus and are predictable, Jay Leno's 'witty' comebacks make no sense at all. A female guest will say "The film crew was really glad to find out we were shooting a love scene that day", the audience laughs, then Jay Leno will lean forward and say "They're probably not as glad as the film crew here!". I get that his show was #1 but he is a very bad representation of what "comedy" or "funny" is. Take all those old folks who adore him and have them watch a mid-level stand up show at their local Improv and they will see 4-5 comics who are funnier than Jay Leno on the Tonight Show.