April 4, 2004
Metaphorically Piquing

conan_metaphor_helicopter.jpgIn "Conan's Late Start", which appeared in the April 4, 2004 New York Times Arts & Leisure section, author Bill Carter examined Conan O'Brien's as-yet-unfulfilled late night legacy, particularly his concerns and those of his agents in regards to his 11:30PM time-slot destiny. Not much is revealed, however, save for the fact that comedians and their agents confine themselves to describing their lives exclusively in the context of a torrent of metaphors. Documentation of a funnyman's feelings is best kept to a minimum, apparently, unless filtered through the detached voice of an analogous narrative. To wit:

Conan on returning to Rockefeller Center after taping in Toronto: "It's like when you go back to third grade and suddenly you notice the water fountain is like 4 inches off the ground."

Conan on his future: "It's the elephant in the room that no one is talking about."

Conan on comparisons to Letterman's circumstances a decade ago: "With me at 12:30, you can still feel there's order in the heavens somewhat."

Conan on late night as his true passion: "I've got the bit in my teeth with this show and I'm very determined to take it as far as it will go."

Conan on easing out Leno: "My agents can say that and they do. But I have no control over them. They're Rottweilers that I bought. Their job is to attack."

Conan on the NBC executive who nearly cancelled his show: "But if John Agoglia somehow fell to the bottom of a coal mine and I was the only one who knew about it, I'm not saying I wouldn't alert the authorities, but I might take my time about it, maybe wait a week or two provided he had plenty of fresh water."

Conan on his legacy with American youth: "You make an emotional connection, sort of the way Led Zeppelin made an emotional connection with people at a certain age, and for the rest of their lives all they want to do is put on a Led Zepplin record."

Gavin Polone, Conan's manager, on the crowded late night marketplace (while indirectly indicating why he's a manager and not a writer): "You might have three companies that need new jetliners at the same time, and we'll be the only company actually building a jet," Mr. Polone concludes. "Other people may be building washing machines. But why go to a company offering washing machines when you need a jet?"

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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