The Geekery Legion of Team Conan
If you keep up with late night TV at all, then by now you’ve heard about the great NBC entertainment messup that starts just after prime-time and lasts until 1. In response to affiliate concerns, NBC has decided to move former Tonight Show host Jay Leno’s new show to the slot currently occupied by old standby The Tonight Show, currently hosted by Conan O’Brien. Jimmy Fallon, who took over Late Night from Conan, would move to after midnight. The odd man out here has been determined to be the red-haired Conan, who obviously can’t take back his old show and is losing his current slot to his predecessor. If you’re curious about a video summary of the field day all the Late Night hosts are having, check out this video compilation of the Late Night debacle.
The whole craziness of the situation has created the usual sides and factions in the matter, with some folks siding with Conan as the underdog while others think Jay’s return is best for a show that didn’t do so well under a new host. But my little note of positivity today goes to geekery in general, which has created a significant presence in public opinion using the tools in front of it – that being the Internet and its new social media.
Within hours and days of the news breaking, support from the Internet poured out, heavily in favor of Conan. Twitter has a ton of related posts under the hashtag #teamconan, with tons of real-time updaters coming out in support of what they feel is a screwy situation for the late night host. Facebook commands a Team Conan group, 100,000 members strong and going, and talented Photoshoppers are passing around a politically hilarious “I’m With Coco” pic.
Yes, online technology has spoken, and apparently, its younger, geekier audience is squarely behind Conan, with Jay’s supporters few and far between. Supposedly this is because Leno’s audience is older. Perhaps they’re still stuck trying to adjust their VCR’s to record Leno’s new time slot, let alone use Twitter to talk about it. If things pan out how they seem to be reported today, however, with Conan leaving with a big buyout and Leno returning to his former show, they might not have to do anything at all.
There are a few folks who’ve opined about the backlash against Leno, with some that were quoted for the article saying it will eventually blow over. But the Internet, and the geeks who inhabit it, have proven to be a bit long in the tooth when it comes to remembering things, and the power of online opinion is immense. Any major site who recognizes the power of bloggers and has them, is basically acknowledging that very fact. I don’t know that the outpouring of online support will hurt Leno, but it will certainly help Conan.
I’m proud of what funny little events can do to highlight the technology that people use the communicate, so regardless of what side you’re on, it’s another testament that geek media is here to stay, and have an impact. And me? Well, let’s just say I’ve been on Team Conan for a long time (since the year 2000, honestly), and have always loved his comedy over Leno’s. Here’s to hoping he ends up in a better place than he is now – because Team Conan will be right there to support him: