Conan O'Brien Shuts Down a Writer After He Goes on a Profane Twitter Rant About the State of Late Night Comedy
In a since deleted series or Tweets, Andrés du Bouchet — a writer for Conan — went off on the state of late-night comedy this weekend, taking particular aim at Jimmy Fallon’s brand of late-night comedy:
Comedy in 2015 needs a severe motherfucking shakeup. No celebrities, no parodies, no pranks, no mash-ups or hashtag wars … and shove your lip-synching up your ass. … Prom King Comedy. That’s what I call all this shit. You’ve let the popular kids appropriate the very art form that helped you deal. Fuck. None of the funniest stuff ever involved celebrity cameos.
Clearly, du Bouchet is annoyed with the influence that Jimmy Fallon (and to a degree, Jimmy Kimmel) has had on the late-night landscape, influence that is playing out on James Corden’s show, which is essentially a British copycat of Fallon. And I get it. I think Jimmy Fallon is a great late-night host, but he’s not a particularly good late-night comedian. He recycles nostalgia, he kisses celebrity ass, and he’s Buzzfeed-ified late night.
But he’s also very good at what he does, and he works his ass off to bring as much joy and entertainment as possible to his show (if you saw him on Lip Sync Wars, you saw him without the benefit of The Tonight Show makeup department. He looked like a guy with two kids who works 18 hours a day and sleeps four, which is to say: He looked like shit. He had that new parent deadness in his eyes). I would’ve voted for Fallon for Prom King, because I know he would’ve worked tirelessly to get my vote (and then I would’ve commiserated over his choice with the bitter nerds).
Anyway, while I do get du Bouchet’s frustration, I also understand that it’s not cool to call out late-night colleagues, especially in a landscape where all the late-night comedians are so buddy-buddy (for better or worse). It was a total get-off-my-lawn rant, although he did dial it back some before ultimately offering an apology.
Once again I’m a bonehead for tweeting as a fan of comedy instead of as a guy who earns a living doing it … @guybranum thanks but now comes the inevitable dressing down at work for criticizing other talk shows! … Sorry for being a bloviating elitist windbag last night. I know tons of talented people are making the stuff I enjoy shitting all over.
The apology, however, didn’t stop Conan himself from weighing in.
I wish one of my writers would focus on making my show funnier instead of tweeting stupid things about the state of late night comedy.— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) April 19, 2015
And that’s Conan for you. He may have also agreed with du Bouchet’s sentiment, but he’s not one to call anyone else out, and he’s sure as hell not going to encourage his writers to do so, either.
(Deleted Tweets via Jason Tabrys)