Conan O’Brien doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who gets pissed very easily but this weekend the cardinal-headed talk show host saw fire engine red after one of his writers went on a Twitter rant about “the state of late night television.”
Andres du Bouchet let off some steam last Thursday and fired a few shots at several late night talk show hosts. While Andres didn’t name names, his comments are specific enough that a person would have to be dense to not connect the hosts to du Bouchet’s barbs.
“Comedy in 2015 needs a severe motherfucking shakeup. No celebrities, no parodies, no pranks, no mash-ups or hashtag wars. And shove your lip-syncing up your ass” du Bouchet wrote in his first tweet, his guns aimed at Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel of Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“Prom King Comedy,” du Bouchet continued. “That’s what I call all this shit. You’ve let the popular kids appropriate the very art form that helped you deal. Fuck.”
In another tweet, du Bouchet noted that “None of the funniest stuff ever involved celebrity cameos.”
Before du Bouchet’s bosses forced him to take the tweet down, he realized the error in his ways and deleted the comments, apologizing for his “boneheaded” move and labeling himself an “elitist windbag.” He also apologized to his friends who happen to be on the writing staff of those shows creating parodies and pranks.
Conan O’Brien responded to his writer’s tirade with one simple tweet that not only called out du Bouchet for his ill-advised comments but challenged the contributors to basically put his money where his fucking big mouth is.
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
The job of the writing staff of any late night show is two-fold — create something funny that will work at 11:30 at night and at 10:00 in the morning. That’s not an easy or enviable task. The material put out by The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live isn’t groundbreaking, thought-provoking, humor pieces that will be discussed by fans of comedy for generations. But it’s not supposed to be. They’re supposed to be consumable as stand-alone pieces, funny enough and short enough to go viral the day after airing and discussed in offices and on websites like this very website.
While I don’t agree with the way du Bouchet aired his grievances, I understand where he’s coming from as a humorist (and I hate that fucking word) and a consumer of comedy. From the sound of it, du Bouchet could be frustrated because his high concept ideas aren’t making it to the 11pm Conan broadcast. A beef du Bouchet probably should have kept in house and off social media. To make matters worse, Friday morning was probably incredibly awkward for the writer. Now comes the pressure of atonement for his tweets and putting the funny where his mouth is.
On a related note, if du Bouchet can’t hack it, I’d be more than happy to take his gig. I promise to work hard and probably delete my Twitter just in case.
Follow @chrisilluminati on Twitter.