Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Conan O'Brien: Burned a Bridge or Good Comedy

It’s finally over. Conan O’Brien has exited Stage Left. Last Friday was his final day as host of “The Tonight Show” on NBC. The decision to leave was the culmination of a very public battle that involved O’Brien, NBC Executives and Jay Leno, former Tonight Show host. In the end, O’Brien chose to leave and he did it his way.

My question is after the many punches thrown at NBC during his nightly monologue, did Conan burn a bridge or was it all in the name of good comedy? I’ve heard justification for both sides of the answer. I’ve heard everything from “he should have settled the contract, given his side of the story and let it be” to “Conan had every right to ‘stick’ it to NBC for how they treated him;” but who’s right?

I agree that NBC took a big gamble on The Jay Leno Show; and when it failed in their eyes, Conan got the short end of the equation. Conan chose not to take the offer on the table [moving The Tonight Show to 12:05AM] and walk away. His letter to the “People of Earth” was heartfelt and genuine. He explained his feelings and allowed ‘earthlings’ to empathize with him and the situation. Fans – old and new – united via social media and eventually staged #TeamCoCo rallies outside NBC studios.

During the last two weeks of The Tonight Show, NBC and “situation” were the subject of many monologues by O’Brien and several guest discussions. Each time the verbal jabs were more heated and direct. The audience LOVED it. Ratings soared. The Tonight Show finally had more viewers than Late Night with David Letterman. I guess losing your job in a public manner can be good for business…I mean advertisers, i.e. ratings.  

Looking back on how Conan spent his last two weeks at NBC, did he burn a bridge or was it all in the name of good comedy? How would you leave a job you if you were relieved of your duties? 

Connect me on Twitter: Mona's Poetic Wax 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Everyone Has a Story!

As the New Year begins, it is customary to reflect on the year that was. On New Year’s Eve, I found myself sitting alone on a pew in a southern Baptist church. As the service progressed the elderly minister asked the congregation for those who wanted to share a testimony of how God has blessed them in 2009. A few members shared their thoughts and blessings. As the stories of increase, healing and prosperity flowed, I could not block the memories of 2009 from flooding my mind. So, in the spirit of the elderly minister, here is my testimony:

The year begin in nice, cozy apartment in Flushing (Queens), NY, watching Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper command the celebration in Times Square. After that, the rest is (as they say) history.

·         In February, I became a world traveler with an 11-hour direct flight to Istanbul for a career event/presentation to Turkish students. During this trip, I fell in love with the world and my cherished passport.

·         March came in like a lion and went out like a…LION. I became a statistic as I joined the other 15 million unemployed/laid off Americans, who one day had a job and the next day, they didn’t. After almost seven years with the organization, I was given my walking papers right after a hearty lunch in the conference room.

·         In April, I spent time re-assessing my professional skills and planning my next career move.

·         In May, I moved out of my apartment. It felt good to provide my furniture (all my furniture) to those that needed it. Thanks to Facebook and friends I GAVE everything away for FREE. Can you imagine how it feels to have all your worldly possessions in the back of a SUV? That was me.

·         During the summer, I moved in with a friend (and her husband & 2 cats) and learned the meaning of true friends. Friends are those who work to build you up in times of sorrow. Friends are people who provide a listening ear when you need to say a few things out loud. And lastly, friends are those folks who graciously open their hearts, minds and souls to enrich your life for the better.

·         In August, was the “Homecoming,” also know as relocating back to my home state of Arkansas. I am thankful for the meaning of family and being able to ‘always come home.’

·         The fall months lead to more professional education opportunities and interviews. I took the time to renew, review and re-dedicate my efforts to furthering my career.  I also learned to slow down. The pace in Little Rock is much slower than NYC.

·         In December, I ended the year with new friends from Twitter, new connections with Arkansas Alumni and professional organizations, and SEVERAL Holiday parties.

As we transition to a new year, I enter 2010 with new self-awareness and determination to make this year the best ever! Although there were many ups and downs in 2009, I am thankful for where I am and excited about where I’m going. In the end, I was right where I needed to be on New Year’s Eve – alone on a pew in a church with familiar faces, sounds and thoughts.

That is my testimony. What is yours? Everyone has a story. 

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