Judging by the comments in the OMG comment-sack, our gentle readers (always ones to eschew conventional wisdom!) seem torn as to who they should side with in the currently escalating Conan-Leno war. After all, Jay Leno seems like such a nice man, and he sure does tickle that funny bone without causing any undue offense or confusion. On the other hand, despite the vague, suspicious smell of the Ivy League/Fake America, Conan O’Brien seems like a nice enough fellow too! WHAT TO MAKE OF ALL THIS?
Luckily, Felix Gillette at the New York Observer comes to the rescue, handily explaining exactly what’s so gross about smiling, unthreatening Jay Leno: he’s the Gollum of the airwaves. How did I not notice this before?
…Mr. Leno sounds less like a fuzzy fellow worthy of Middle America and more like a dangerous beast from Middle-Earth–not unlike, say, Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale, Gollum is a once noble animal who (like Leno is his early days as a stand-up comic) was beloved by his peers. But then Gollum takes possession of an incredibly powerful ring, which not only extends his life but also gradually saps him of his humanity. Alone with no family or friends, continued possession of the ring becomes Gollum’s only purpose in life. Gradually, his proto-self “Smeagol” disappears and is replaced by a nasty, treacherous personality, which leaves him two-faced to the world. In “Slinker” mode, he comes across as servile, toothless and eager to please. But as “Stinker,” he lurks quietly in the shadows, hiding in the closet, ready to bite off the finger of anyone who tries to get between him and his “precious”–a.k.a. The Tonight Show.