Who’s Smart Enough to Pick Up Conan O’Brien?Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:05
What I always found interesting about Conan leaving Late Night was that he broke Late Night comedy for millions of people around the world. This is huge! What I mean by breaking Late Night was that there were millions who tuned in just to see Conan. But not anymore. Late Night is broken without Coco. The last time I remember an individual breaking something like this was with Howard Stern.
When Stern left regular radio in 2006, he broke radio for millions of people. And how do you fix it? You sign up for a subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio as this is where he would now reside. Sirius knew that if they could break radio for millions of people and offer a way to fix it, many would jump into Sirius to solve their problem. Not only would they leverage the fan base of Stern but the word-of-mouth would spread and the new subscribers would be the ones pitching the features and benefits not Sirius.
So now when we look at Conan and Late Night, I see a similar thing happening. Who would be the one to step up and provide the solution to millions of viewers wanting Coco back on television? Personally, I think this is a¬†huge missed opportunity for HBO. Many would argue that they don’t have the viewership and it would be a bad move…but that’s exactly why they should do it, bring in the millions who love Conan but aren’t necessarily familiar with HBO.
Another point to consider is that moving to HBO could have been a huge move for Conan as well. Conan would be allowed to take more risks with his comedy on HBO and perhaps even reinvent himself with HBO’s programming flexibility. This is a missed opportunity for Conan IMHO.
Not sure if HBO was an option for him (I tend not follow entertainment news), but if it was it could have been a huge move for both Conan and HBO.