How is Late Night Punching-Bag Carson Daly Holding Up During ConanGate?
The bloodiest of battles result in casualties and this week's NBC disaster was no different. We've already honored Conan O'Brien for his awe-inspiring stand against NBC but what about the real Unsung Hero in this mess: Carson Daly. The Last Call host separated himself from the late night pack this week, not by delivering a clever monologue or diplomatic public statements about the turmoil, but by remaining respectfully quiet about the Leno-Conan standoff. Sure, Daly had few chances to say much since his show aired repeats this week, but he could have at least tweeted a hurt response to the late night peers who've been railing him mercilessly. After the jump, Movieline honors Carson Daly for his silent courage under NBC fire and investigates his mode of meditation.
[Note: Jimmy Fallon was also briefly considered for Movieline's Unsung Hero status until he disqualified himself by singing karaoke to "Living On a Prayer" on his show last Friday.]
Lest anyone forget, Carson Daly is not just the grossly underrated, over-mocked NBC personality that other hosts target whenever they run out of jokes about Jay Leno, but the face that NBC chose to represent it during the network's 2010 New Year's special. After revamping his show this year, Daly can boast interviews that are often in-depth, well-researched and insightful, and though he might be a little stiffer than his Taboo-playing lead-in, he's still a worthy late night (early morning) host that deserves some network protection. Instead, as the sky began to fall onto the peacock, NBC Chairman Jeff Gaspin dove for cover with a blanket statement that left Daly out in the cold: "My goal right now is to keep Jay, Conan and Jimmy [Fallon] as part of our late-night lineup."
A jilted Conan could have slung an arm around his fellow underdog and united in a fierce anti-NBC front, but instead, the Tonight Show host pounced on Daly too, letting writer Deon Cole call him a "freak ho" and joking that NBC might demote him even further to hosting Last Call. To a lesser man, those jabs (in addition to David Letterman's endless wonderment that NBC hosts a 1:35 a.m. program that is like the "Pluto of talk shows") would have been due cause for recourse.
Still, according to Carson Daly's Twitter feed, it seems that the DJ/host was able to resist his urges for revenge thanks to the ancient meditation art of beef jerky-making. That's right: The intrepid host has spent the better part of the new year perfecting his recipe for dried meat. He's still not there yet -- only 9 hours ago, Daly posted: "very salty!" about his latest batch.
While waiting for his products to season, Daly could have surely tapped out a quick email with greasy fingers or pieced together a ransom-note style death threat to NBC, but instead, Daly tweeted his love out to Haiti survivors and the nation's troops, 140 characters at a time.
Carson Daly did get one chance to talk though -- last Friday, during a Jimmy Kimmel Live sketch. Even then, he was careful to make fun of only one person: Himself.
Carson Daly, we salute you.