Set the DVR’s! For the first time in thirteen years, Conan O’Brien will be visiting David Letterman. The reunion takes place on Thursday, May 17.
Brookline native O’Brien, who had been a writer for both Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, began his talk show career in 1993, taking over hosting duties when Letterman left Late Night on NBC. Letterman’s not so amicable exit from NBC came about when the network passed him over and instead hired Jay Leno as Johnny Carson’s successor to The Tonight Show. Letterman jumped to CBS and went head to head with Leno in the late night ratings war until Leno left The Tonight Show in 2009.
When Leno left the show to move to prime time, O’Brien became the new host and he and Letterman vied for the same viewers. But in another not so amicable move, NBC bumped O’Brien and The Tonight Show from the 11:35 pm. time slot to 12:05 a.m. when Leno decided he wanted to return to late night because of his less than impressive prime time ratings. O’Brien, unhappy with the network’s plan and what he felt would be the demise of the show, walked away, leaving Leno to take the helm again.
This will be O’Brien’s fifth time as Letterman’s guest. Given the common bond the two share in their experiences, the audience should probably expect a barb of two to be thrown in Jay Leno’s direction.
It’s no secret that Boston is a great city for sports. With all 4 of our major league teams winning at least one championship in the past decade, many have taken to calling our Hub “Title Town”. As local sports fans become increasingly accustomed to attending championship parades, it’s natural to expect that many celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon.
Many of these stars long-time, hard-core, Boston sports fans, most of them with long-standing roots in the area. Brookline’s Conan O’Brien, Medford homegal Maria Menounos, and of course Ben Affleck, Matt Damon are all fans of all four of our championship winning teams. Any of them are likely to be spotted wearing their green at a Celtics game, grabbing a Fenway frank for a Sox game, chilling at a Bruins game, or kicking back at a Pats game.
Our most storied sports team, the Red Sox can claim many celebrities among their fans, including the likes of Jennifer Garner, Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Stephen King, Denis Leary, Kenny Chesney, Stephen Tyler, Arlington’s own Dane Cook, Neal McDonough (who hails from Hyannis), Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and Mark Wahlberg.
Up until June of last year, Bruins fans felt a bit left out of the Boston sports championship frenzy. Then, thanks to the first Stanley Cup in 29 years this past June, famous fans like Dropkick Murphys’ frontman Ken Casey, celeb chef Ming Tsai, “Superbad” star Chris Mintz-Plasse (you may remember him as McLovin), “The Office” star Mindy Kaling, Newton-bred actor/director Eli Roth, Dane Cook, Denis Leary, Jim Gaffigan, and former Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, all suddenly had something serious to cheer about.
With their 2008 champhionship win, the Celtics brought the luck of the Irish back to Boston, harkening back to the days when the likes of Larry Bird helped us hoist multiple banners years after year in the Garden. These days, famous faces like Everett’s Ellen Pompeo, Gisele Bundchen, Watertown’s Eliza Dushku, Dane Cook, Steven Tyler, Mike O’Malley, Jay Leno, and Dorchester’s Donnie Wahlberg all were seeing green. Wahlberg in particular has definitely waited for his chance to celebrate with the team, supporting them by being spotted in the stands going all the way back to the mid-90s, long before Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Shaq ever put on their clover leaf apparel.
Famous Patriots fans are a little harder to find. It seems with all their championship successes, the team causes a lot of controversy, even amongst the most stalwart and staunch Boston sports supporters. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who of course is our famed quarterback, Tom Brady’s, wife, is at every game. Donnie’s brother Mark Wahlberg also roots for his Pats, as does writer Steven King, who originally hails from not to far off Maine. Aerosmith frontman and former Brighton resident, Steven Tyler not only sang the Star-Spangled Anthem at the AFC championship game, but showed his love for his home team by sporting the sparkliest Patriots scarf this side of Michael’s Craft Supply. With the Pats defeat of the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC championship, sending them to yet another Superbowl showdown, maybe we’ll see a few more famous faces pop up at the next game!
★ Leno leads in ratings once again, but no one looks for him on the ‘net.
★ Check out the yearbook photos of some New England stars Ellen Pompeo, John Mayer, and “Bachelorette” Ali Fedotowsky.
★ Boston Common Magazine talks to twice Emmy-nominated Samantha Harris.
★ Kings Back Bay hosts an Oscar viewing party on February 27th.
★ Newton’s John Krasinski stars in a new movie with Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin.
★ Connecticut’s John Mayer sports a new goatee at the Grammys.
Just days ago, New England native and Emerson College grad Jay Leno hit up Harvard yard celebrating the 2011 Hasting Pudding Man of the Year award.
According to the Associated Press, Mr. Leno was selected because he has “entertained millions of people over his long and accomplished career in comedy,” The Hasty Pudding drama troupe stated, and he continues to do so.
Leno who not only wore his signature smile but of course his classic gray do to boot, was all laughs as the Pudding Cast roasted the “Tonight Show” host, not shying away from any present day gossip.
In keeping with the comedic Hasty tradition, Leno was given a choice between signing a contract which was another jab at his conflict with Harvard alumni Conan O’Brien or completing three tasks.
Leno opted for the three tasks which involved facing his TV rivals including David Letterman, Ellen Degeneres, Joan Rivers, Oprah Winfrey and Conan O’Brien — all played by Hasty Pudding cast — before he received his golden trinket.
Hasty Pudding Theatrical Society is the oldest undergraduate drama troupe in the United States. The pudding award is given to performers annually who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment.
On Monday evening, Brookline native Conan O’Brien’s anxiously anticipated return to television kicked off in grand fashion on his new home at the cable network, TBS. The late night funny man had his first time out in the 11PM time slot, one half hour earlier than Andover’s Jay Leno, who took back his old post at “The Tonight Show” earlier this year after O’Brien spent less than 7 months as host himself. The NBC debacle turned publicity nightmare meant O’Brien got booted, and Leno was reinstated at his former post. Since the kerfuffle, O’Brien and his crew received a multi-million dollar payout, and the comedian was forbidden from appearing on any new television shows until the fall.
The show was filmed on the Warner Brothers Studio lot, and featured guests Seth Rogan, Lea Michelle, and musical guest Jack White–whom O’Brien actually performed with at the close of the show. His first official guest was actually winner of first guest contest, Arlene Wagner, founder of the Leavenworth’s Nutcracker Museum in Washington, who beat out the likes of Justin Bieber, though she did only make a brief appearance. Familiar faces filled the spacious set, such as Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, and announcer Andy Richter.
Then lanky red-head took to the stage in what was titled “Episode: Baa Baa Blackmail”, doing his trademark string dance amidst rousing cheers of “Conan! Conan!” to which he quipped: “Sit down, we don’t know how much time I’m gonna get here. That lasted longer than my last job.”
Not one to shy away from the subject of his departure from NBC, he went on to joke:
“Welcome to my 2nd annual first show! Its called ‘Conan.’ People asked me why I named it ‘Conan,’ its so that I would be harder to replace…I want you to know, I have dreamed about being a host on basic cable since i was 46.”
After taking his seat behind his new desk, O’Brien showed off some of the features of his new digs; a remote controlled moving moon on the background scene painting. With Richter seated in a guest chair next to him, the two talked about one of O’Brien’s lowest points in the months since he’s been off the air–finding out that a Halloween mask was being sold in his likeness and labelled as an “Ex-Talk Show Host.” After each donning the masks, Richter quipped, “These are very authentic–the inside smells like tears.”
Later on in the evening, now in his new time slot at midnight, George Lopez of “Lopez Tonight” welcomed his new lead-in.
“Sixty years ago, a redhead and a Latino made history on “I Love Lucy,” history repeats itself tonight with Conan O’Brien and George Lopez! Team Coco, meet Team Loco!”
Reports show that “Conan” was watched by 2.45 million adults 18-34; 3.28 million in the 18-49 category and 4.155 million total viewers on its opening night, with a projected median age of 30.
★ Actress Jill Clayburgh died at age 66 at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut.
★ The show “The Whole Truth” staring Mass. native Maura Tierney has been axed by ABC.
★ Brookline’s Conan O’Brien prepares for his return to TV, and opens up about the shake-up with fellow Mass. native, Jay Leno.
★ Massachusetts and Connecticut could be possible contenders for landing a new TV show on HBO.
★ Ben Affleck aging over the years; a timeline.
★ New England Patriots star Tom Brady gets a raise, but is it enough to compete with his supermodel wife?
★ Car-tastrophes all around; Patriots star Tom Brady was involved in a car accident in downtown Boston, and Andover grown Jay Leno’s super rare antique car breaks down.
★ ‘Body Snatchers’ actor Kevin McCarthy dies in Hyannis at age 96.
★ The Improper Bostonian features cover model, “Grey’s Anatomy” actress, and Boston University graduate, Kim Raver.
★ Ben Affleck reveals he’s been dying his hair since movie directing turned him gray. It was worth it though; The Town opened to take the number one spot at the box office in its first weekend.
★ Connecticut born John Mayer talks about why he quit Twitter.
★ Ex-super model Stephanie Seymour calls off her divorce and reunites with her husband in Connecticut.
★ New Celtic Shaq makes his presence felt in Beantown already and crashes a Boston wedding.
★ Lady Gaga holds a rally in Maine to support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
★ “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” receives its first and only Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series category, while Andover, MA’s Leno is left out of the running and posts its lowest ratings since its first season on the air in 1992.
★ Currently covered in a slew of allegations of abuse, Mel Gibson sells his Connecticut estate for $24 million.
★ Naked shots from the set of What’s Your Number, currently filming in Boston, are of a body double and not Anna Faris.
★ Lexington, Massachusett’s native, and former SNL star, Rachel Dratch is pregnant.
★ Newton’s John Krasinski weds The Young Victoria actress Emily Blunt at George Clooney’s place in Italy.
★ Movie pioneer Douglas Trumbull plans sci-fi film to help jump-start the western Massachusets side of state in movie-production.
★ Originally of Concord, Massachusetts, Steve Carrell’s voice stars in the new animated film, Despicable Me.
The now infamous NBC late-night bru-ha-ha that happened months ago, which led to Conan O’Brien being released from hosting duties of the “Tonight Show” only to have Jay Leno reclaim his former post after his 10 o’clock comedy/variety show experiment failed is still not quite finished. On May 2nd, Conan O’Brian appeared in an in-depth interview on “60 Minutes”. The show aired on the night after he was no longer contractually banned from appearing on television in accordance with his agreement with NBC for leaving “The Tonight Show”.
Choosing his words carefully, per the stipulations of his agreement not to publicly disparage NBC, O’Brien told correspondent Steve Kroft that he did not agree with how Leno handled the situation, and purported that had he been in Leno’s position, he would have handled things differently.
Meanwhile, on May 1st, Jay Leno headlined the annual White House correspondent’s dinner, where the President himself poked fun at the North Andover native, asserting that, like Leno, his approval ratings had also dropped in the last year. Obama, who introduced Leno, likewise exclaimed his relief at the order in which they spoke, saying “We’ve all seen what happens when you take the time slot after Leno.”
Just a few nights later, Leno slipped in a slight jab at O’Brien, his former late-night follower when Conan occupied the time slot after “Tonight”. In a joke about Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of the recent attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square, Leno displayed a fake Facebook profile of Shahzad. Among the things displayed on the faux page, Shahzad was listed as a member of “Team Coco”, the name of the group of fans who rallied behind O’Brien during the original late-night show shake-up.
O’Brien’s “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour“ will keep him busy into the summer months before he turns his attention to his new late-night show on TBS, set to debut in November.
★ Last Saturday was a busy day in Boston for celebrity events; Chelsea Handler had a book signing in Brookline, and Tinsley Mortimer of “High Society” on the CW made an appearance at The Estate.
★ Our own Matt Dolloff interviews Emmy award winning Northeastern U professor.
★ Conan O’Brien announces plans to team up with George Lopez to create all-new late-night line-up on TBS.
★ New Hampshire Film Office survives first round of state budget cuts, what happens next?
★ Matt Damon receives mid-career achievement award from American Cinematheque.
★ Connecticut’s Chloe Sevigny talks about her recent Golden Globe win.
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