My feelings on who should have gotten The Tonight Show when Johnny retired are well documented in this blog. Johnny wanted Dave. Dave earned it. But Jay got it.
That's a life lesson. Life's not always fair. And true enough, as much as many of us still have a hard time imagining anyone but Johnny in that chair, NBC owns the program, and can do with it what it chooses.
And the company has been making a lot of choices lately...and as it is with any choice we make in life, we have to live with the consequences of it.
What Late Night II has brought, however, is a revisiting of Late Night I.
Letterman has said more publicly about Jay in the past two weeks than he has in almost 20 years. Whatever comic amusement there may or may not be about this whole deal, I thought last night's extemporaneous rant came about as close as anything proving life's principle that unresolved conflict always resurfaces.
But it may be something other than that. In some strange way, I'm wondering if this whole mess with Conan has been cathartic for Dave. When Whoopi came on the other night, as she was taking her chair beside Dave, she could be heard saying, "Don't you feel vindicated?" He blew it off, but you have to wonder.
Here's last night's take. To keep the clip down to about 5 minutes, CBS edited out about 90 seconds that was really good stuff in which he recalled his taking leave from NBC....he recalled the head honchos coming to his office to tell him that he wasn't getting The Tonight Show, and Dave reacting by saying that it was clear there was no longer a place for him at NBC, and then looking elsewhere. When this spiel started, you could tell he was only going to say a couple of things...start his little comedy bit and move on...but his internal editor wouldn't kick in...and just when you think he's done, here come's some more.