Leno-Conan fire still flaming

Stay off those roads if you can!

You’d probably feel bad for Conan O’Brien until you remember that he’s being paid a hefty sum to stay away from television. Good for him for figuring out how to get to his fans, and shame on NBC for not adding a social networking clause to the agreement it had with O’Brien to stay away from the world. That just seems to be indicative of the way NBC does business — haphazardly, short-sighted and like they were living in 1965.

Wow, Ben Harper, that was fast! Just a couple weeks after joining in Conan O’Brien’s farewell show — what seemed like a show of solidarity against the Jay Leno takeover — you’re signing on the dotted line to appear on Leno’s version of The Tonight Show next week. Harper can’t even wait til the body is cold! If Jay Leno went to Will Ferrell, who sang Free Bird in the all-star band to end Conan’s last Tonight Show and is a Conan buddy, and said, “Look, Will, we need you. We need you to come on the show early so people can see there are no hard feelings. Whaddya say, buddy?” Ferrell would pull down his pants and fart in Leno’s face — twice. But Harper is cool jumping right on the bandwagon. That’s distressing. But it was still a great way to end the show:

What’s even dumber than not banning O’Brien from social media? Not banning a live tour. When they were drafting up this agreement, it was probably the wine-drinking scene in Princess Bride. As O’Brien’s team was laughing under their breath, the NBC people got scared and said, “What’s so funny?” Conan’s people probably hit each other under the table and said, “I’ll tell you in a minute” before NBC ripped up the contract.

A couple summer concerts already have started selling tickets when they usually don’t even announce their lineups until the middle of March. But in this economy, you better get people’s hard-earned money before anyone else does. That’s what Dave Matthews is doing — tickets are going on sale tomorrow for his Scranton, Philly (two shows) and Hershey shows. At the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, there already are seven major summer tickets on sale now.

Proof that when there is money to be made in the music business, someone is going to make it — Aerosmith will tour with Steven Tyler this summer in Europe. A money machine like Aerosmith knows not to say anything bad about each other, but they did anyway for the last couple months and even kicked Tyler out of the band. They were set to tour without him. Then some sniveling accountant got a hold of them and showed them revenue projections with and without Tyler — and I’m guessing they weren’t too good. So hello, Steven! Feel free to drink your way through the tour, now you know they need you.

Still not down with the dual Oscar host thing. Why bother? Steve Martin has done a well-received job a couple times, so you’re telling me he needs help? From Alec Baldwin? It would be much easier to understand if they brought in a younger comic to host with Martin in a changing of the guard type move. You can even make up some kind of skit with Martin passing the torch to the younger comic, maybe Jimmy Fallon or something. But instead, the Oscars somehow believe that bringing in Baldwin — known to anyone under 25 as a TV star, not the star of Beetlejuice I know his as —

— is the right move. This is the year the Oscars needed to make a splash to keep people coming back, with audiences expected to be huge because of the 10 best picture nominees and Avatar fans all tuning in. So Baldwin is who they came up with? Do they think Avatar fans are over 45 or something? Last time I checked, I don’t think they are.

It’s easy to pile on NBC these days for the ridiculousness in how the network does business. But give them credit — their Olympic coverage has been pretty good. Yeah, tape delay sucks, but what would you like, exactly? Everything be carried live? How would that even happen? What they have carried live has been pretty good. They’ve already arranged it so that the big sports are on at East Coast friendly times, which means the big events like ice skating start at about 5 p.m. Vancouver time when they’re supposed to be at 8 p.m. Hockey games are starting at 10 a.m. so we can at least catch them live if we wanted to. That’s insane. And of course NBC wants the Olympics past 2012. It’s going to be the showcase for Versus, the Comcast-owned station that will be part of the NBC family when the Comcast-NBC sale is completed. No way DirecTV keeps Versus off their system if it has the Olympics.

I always wondered why Comic-Con was still being held in San Diego. That doesn’t exactly jump out at you as a place where dorky cool guys hang out. You might even think dorks would be a little intimidated in San Diego, the town with is believed to be some of the hottest women in the world. Disneyland seems more appropriate for these people. I’d be scared of the Disney influence at something like Comic-Con though, instead of seeing clips for the new Batman, you’d get a panel discussion on the ABC fall lineup. Let’s just keep it in San Diego.

steve carell as the red skull?

steve carell as the red skull?

You can safely argue that the character Jim Halpert is the idealized version of the American working man in 2010. Brash, able to move up in the company, puts up with a douchebag boss he knows more than, but still self-deprecating¬†enough that at 30 he already knows his life is over. So then maybe it isn’t as clueless as you think to put him on the Captain America list. He went against type in Away We Go and knocked it out of the park, but it’s yet to be seen whether he can bring a tentpole type movie to a mass audience that knows him only as Jim Halpert.

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