My friend Ryan used to watch Conan every night in college. I spent a lot of time at Ryan's apartment late at night during my sophomore year because our roommates were dating. Ryan and I would stay up and fold laundry and watch Conan while they smooched or argued or whatever it was they were doing. And then, inevitably, Ryan would be enlisted to drive me and my Jeep and the laundry home in the freezing cold wee hours of the morning while our roommates road back in the comfort of the other guy's car. This sounds weird. What was the point? I think the idea was that parking was scarce at the girls' dorms and our safety was also a concern. Why I never left early and just let the boyfriend bring my roommate home, I am not sure. I think Conan had something to do with it. Conan is even better with friends!
After college, I was married and with child pretty quick. Conan did the bit from time to time where he sang lullabies to all the babies who were keeping their parents up late at night, and it was often the case that my own children heard Conan's late night lullabies. But even without a young baby, anyone will tell you that I am a bit of a night owl. And again, I tend to think Conan has something to do with this. I don't think I would have stayed up so late all these years if there wasn't something really too good to miss on TV. I mean, really, I love to sleep. But I love to laugh more.
So maybe I am being a little sentimental. I know he is still alive and will probably even have another show for us to watch this September. But I am just sad that he was treated this way. I really do think he was wronged, and I have read article upon article about it online, so I do know at least a little bit about it. Even if everything leading up to the suggestion of bumping The Tonight Show back and letting Leno come on earlier was well meant and "just business," when it got to the point where Conan said no, and the network chose Leno over Conan for the show and time slot that Leno (willingly or not) had already stepped down from, that's a bad decision, an unkind and unfair decision.
Furthermore, I do know that some of this is my fault. I mean, it's all about "ratings" and I haven't been watching Conan for over a year. *GASP* But we don't have TV; it's not my fault!! And anyway, I want to raise the possibility that the Nielsen ratings are inaccurate and arbitrary. Who do you know that has participated in them? Well, me, for one. We got the little log to fill in once a few years back. But I don't know anyone else who has. And I certainly don't know anyone who has the box on their television set. What I do know is that whoever has these boxes does not like any of the shows I like. It is the Arrested Development thing all over again. But in my defense, I tuned in to watch Conan online last summer when he first started and over the past few weeks since the "debacle" started. As with most shows, the episodes are posted the day after they air on the website.
Anyway, yesterday I had a sudden fit of loyalty in which I had to watch Conan's last show in real time (even though it is taped hours before airing it). So I called George on his way home from work and he went to Dickey Bub, some hilarious country store out here that outfits country people with all things needed for country living- mud boots, feed corn, and giant antennas that no one else carries- to purchase the aforementioned humongous antenna. I kid you not, it is the size of a small car. So without proper assistance, George was unable to actually fix the antenna to the roof, and he had to just lay it in the yard! But we found that even after hooking up this gigantic apparatus, we couldn't pick up any channels! It turns out, as we had suspected earlier, that the DVR recorder we received from my parents for Christmas in 2008 which has a built in digital converter, is defective inasmuch as the digital converter doesn't work. We figured this out around supper time and decided we'd get the kids in bed and then George would head out to Walmart (*GASP*) for another converter box. So around nine o'clock, George returns from Walmart empty handed. Evidently, Walmart doesn't carry converter boxes! (Well, well, just another reason on a long list of reasons that Walmart stinks!) This is where I tend to think that George should have picked up the phone and had me look around online to find the closest open place that did. I mean, it's 9:00, Conan starts in an hour and a half!! Instead, George drives all the way back home defeated. "Oh no, no," I thought to myself, "That is not how this ends."
So I searched around online and found that Target does carry converter boxes, made sure they had them in stock (love this handy feature on Target.com - two more reasons right here, on a long list of reasons to love Target), changed back out of my PJs and drove to Target for the third time in thirty hours (different Target each time though). And I still forgot the dish soap. But I did obtain the converter box and chit chatted with the checkout lady and the girl in line behind me about the grave injustice Conan was suffering and how we had gone to great lengths to see his final show. They didn't care nearly so much as I did, and I am assuming that none of you do either. I called my pregnant sister on the way home at 9:50 because I knew that even though she wouldn't care, she would understand that I do after hearing me talk about Conan all these years. Of course, she was asleep. I hope she has forgiven me if the phone ringing woke her up. I finally got home and George hooked up the converter box at about 10:15 with only about 20 minutes to spare for the beginning of The Tonight Show.
Well, you knew it was bound to be a problem, the antenna lying on the ground was not picking up the signal we needed. George went out about six times and moved it around- no small feat when you consider it is bigger than him- and ended up balancing it on our grill on the deck! It isn't as simple as moving rabbit ears around where you just look at the screen and wait for the picture to improve, you have to rescan the channels and see if the signal was picked up and then see if the signal is strong enough to actually watch the show. And by this time I had resorted to searching out sites that were live blogging because the show had begun! In the end though, we caught the show from the last part of the bit with Steve Carrell through the end of the show. I love what this blogger for the Chicago Tribune says about the final show. "Classy" is high praise indeed where I come from, and I would definitely agree. If you didn't watch it, first of all, why? And here is a link to change that. Here's a little bit of what you'll get: Steve Carrell, Tom Hanks, Neil Young (who played a beautiful and appropriate "Long May You Run"), and Will Ferrell (and cowbell) with a whole bunch of other celebs (including Conan on guitar) playing "Free Bird." And may I make a suggestion? If you are even sort of a fan, have a little bit of Kleenex on standby, just in case :)