Wow, we REALLY didn’t know what the Internet was.

This video of Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel discussing the internet in 1994 could probably best be described as astonishing.  I mean, I know it was all new and changing very quickly, but really, Bryant?  You don’t know what the @ symbol is?  Did the internet invent the @ symbol?

I find it jarring to hear them talk so ignorantly about the internet.  Jarring!  Can you believe we all used to be like that?  Also, can you believe how insufferable Bryant Gumbel seems?  I bet Katie Couric hates him.

[All over the place today, but I first saw it at io9]

Update: And the guy who uploaded this originally has been fired.  This man should be celebrated, not punished!  Also, I don’t know if he works for NBC or not, but if he does, and they’re the ones who fired him, they’re idiots.  It’s much easier to capitalize on something like this than it is to run from it, not that there is even anything to run from here.  They should have thanked him.  Plus, the only people who really look even slightly bad in this are Couric and Gumbel, and they both work for different networks now.

Another Update: Yup, it was NBC. Sigh.

Revisiting Jenny Slate

Hey, remember Jenny Slate?  From Saturday Night Live?  Most famous for dropping an F-bomb in one of her first sketches?  Unfortunately, she didn’t get to do much else during her short tenure on the show.

It’s too bad that she didn’t get much of a shot.  She’s funny and charming, and I was excited to watch her on the show after seeing a bunch of the videos she made with Gabe Liedman before being added to the cast.

Well, she appears to be doing quite well post-SNL.  She co-wrote the adorably hilarious (hilariously adorable?) short film “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (and voiced Marcel), which got some ink in Entertainment Weekly.

And now she’s making more videos with Gabe Liedman!  Here’s the first of their “Bestie x Bestie” series, of which there are currently three, all well worth watching.

I’ve long been of a defender of Abby Elliott, but even I must admit that if SNL only had enough space for one of them, Ms. Slate deserved the paycheck.

[Bestie x Bestie videos via a ton of sites, notably Videogum and Best Week Ever]

I’m actually excited about streaming something on Netflix!

Netflix Instant Queue

Don’t let the title of this post fool you.  It’s not that I’ve never enjoyed streaming something through Netflix; that’s a feature I use regularly.  It’s just that it seems like nothing I’m ever really, really excited about watching is available.  I always decide I want to kill some time by streaming something and then struggle to find something worth watching, as opposed to deciding what I want to watch and then being pleasantly surprised by its instant availability.

That changed today with NBC Universal’s announcement that they’re going to allow Netflix to stream a ton of their content, including Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock, The Office, Friday Night Lights, and, the kicker…

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The Office Lipdub

Excited for tomorrow’s return of The Office? Not even a little bit? Man, you guys are a tough crowd. What about after watching this video?

[Update: The video I put up from Hulu expired, like, immediately after I posted it. And I can’t figure out how to embed from So here is a basic link to a worse, shortened version on their website. This is what failure feels like.]

[Second Update: I finally figured out how to embed video from places other than Hulu and YouTube!  So the video is now available below.  Plus, NBC put up the full version.  It’s like a pot and pan set double bonus!]

Vodpod videos no longer available.I have to admit that it makes me feel sort of sad and out of touch when The Office parodies an internet meme that I wasn’t even aware existed. At least with the wedding dance I got the reference.

Conan O’Brien on 60 Minutes


So, as you might have heard, Conan O’Brien was on 60 Minutes .  The whole thing is available on YouTube, I think.

Let me start by saying that it’s always weird to see Conan O’Brien being a normal human being.  He can be hard to take seriously, and during the interview he slips into his “character” occasionally, which leads me to believe that he might have a little bit of trouble taking himself seriously, too.


This wasn’t the most revealing interview.  I actively avoided all of the pre-show press about it, because I knew that would make actually watching it sort of redundant, but I still didn’t really feel like I learned anything new.  That’s what happens when someone is legally prohibited from badmouthing his former employer/colleagues, I guess.  I did learn that Jeff Zucker went to Harvard, too, and he and Conan actually knew each other.  That’s sort of weird.  Wikipedia even claims that Zucker was president of The Harvard Crimson at the same time that O’Brien was president of the Harvard Lampoon.


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The Office, Steve Carell, and Viewer Fatigue


News broke earlier in the week that Steve Carell is considering leaving The Office when his current contract is up at the end of next season, presumably to make more movies.  The reactions were swift, numerous, and oddly full of surprise.  Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch blog called the possible departure “notionally earth-shaking.”  I don’t really understand this.  The Office had only aired six episodes when The 40-Year-Old Virgin came out in 2005; I’m surprised they’ve managed to hold on to Carell as long as they have.  Whether or not he should leave, career-wise, is a different argument, but I’ve been anticipating his departure since season two and feel lucky to have gotten six seasons with a seventh to look forward to.  But this does raise a few questions.

If he leaves, will the show go on without him?

Short answer: without a doubt.

Alan Sepinwall has a great post about the situation, in which he points out that The Office, relatively modest hit that it is, is one of the few things NBC has going for it at the moment.  We all love the rest of the Thursday night NBC lineup, but those shows just don’t consistently pull ratings, and would be doing even worse if they didn’t surround The Office.  Take a look at NBC’s primetime schedule; it is pretty bleak.  They will milk The Office until it absolutely can’t go on.

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The (Last) Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien


Some might say that The Tonight Show, in its mythical, beloved form, ended years ago, when Jay Leno bashed it down into a formulaic, unfunny pulp.  But at the very least, I think we can all agree that going forward The Tonight Show no longer really exists.  The brand is sullied.  No one cares anymore.  And probably because I’m not old, and I never watched Johnny Carson, I don’t really care all that much, either.  It never meant anything to me, really.  The scene has splintered, and while some bemoan the loss of a cultural institution, all I know is that now I can watch Letterman, Stewart, Colbert, maybe even a bit of Kimmel or Ferguson or Fallon here and there.  And in a little more than seven months, I’ll probably be able to watch Conan again.  I have a computer.  I have a DVR.  The more the merrier, guys.

That doesn’t mean that what happened to Conan was fair.  Considering that NBC has seemingly done everything possible to undermine his ability to produce a successful show, I think he’s handled himself well throughout this.  And so has Leno, in his own way; I mean, I think he’s kind of a scumbag, but I wasn’t going to watch him anyway.  He’s portraying himself as a victim, and his is audience is still on his side.  I have no doubt he’ll pull ratings that are higher than what Conan was getting prior to all of this mess.  But his audience will just keep getting older, and advertisers won’t want to advertise for them, and the death of traditional late night television will be accelerated even more.  Oh, NBC.

Anyway, I thought I would do another not-at-all-live live blog with my thoughts during the last night of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.  Also known as probably the last night of late night television as we once knew it.  I’ll put in some Hulu clips if they get posted; since NBC has continued to somewhat bafflingly put this stuff online, I have to assume they will continue to do so.  I’ll also disperse a few photos I took throughout.

Update: Not surprisingly, NBC has taken the videos below off of Hulu.  I’m leaving the dead remnants up, though, because it seems appropriate.

11:35 – Our last time hearing this theme song, I would imagine; NBC surely owns it.  My favorite Conan opening was the Late Night one where he was running around New York and eventually jumped into the river.  He comes out to a standing ovation and Johanna and I both feel very sad.


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