The rivalry between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien has been going ever since O'Brien was named as the new host of "The Tonight Show" way back in 2004. The controversy hit its peak when NBC announced that Leno would be getting his own primetime show that would air before "The Tonight Show," and now the latest shot has been fired: Reports say that Leno will be moving back to 11:30 after the Olympics are complete, and O'Brien's future is unknown.
NBC released a statement endorsing O'Brien and Leno joked about it last night on his show, but so far, nothing is set in stone. However, some think that Conan may be moved to the slot after Leno, which means that the late night lineup for NBC would be four consecutive hours of talk shows: Leno, O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon and Carson Daly. The ratings obviously degrade the later the hour gets, but which of the hosts do you prefer?
Here are the pros and cons of each in case you need a refresher.
Pros: Leno is a likable guy (on camera, anyway) whose combination of broad comedic strokes and Hollywood clout makes his show an attractive stop for A-listers.
Cons: Behind the scenes, Leno has a reputation for being a big of a jerk, and the knock on him is that his comedy appeals mostly to old and boring people. He plays with kid gloves with just about everybody.
Pros: The extremely tall former writer for "The Simpsons" has a manic, sometimes otherworldly sense of humor, and he's got a great enthusiasm for edgy comedians and indie rock.
Cons: Interview segments on Conan's shows have always been sort of weak, and his "Tonight Show" run has been often weighed down by middling guests or too much rehearsed pap.
Pros: Fallon is phenomenally charming and has built up a number of funny franchises on his show (like his ongoing beer pong competitions). Plus, he has the best band in talk show history in the Roots.
Cons: His scatterbrained-ness, which is a big part of what makes him charismatic, also leads to his undoing (roughly four in five of his monologues completely fall apart).
Pros: Daly was always a pretty great interviewer on "Total Request Live" because he made superstars feel comfortable. He brings that same vibe to his own show, and presents his bits in an inventive style that often sees him visiting with people on their own turf.
Cons: Man, this show is on late.
Pros: He's on rival CBS (after Letterman), but Ferguson is beloved by many for his sharp sense of humor and his show's inventive approach to booking.
Cons: Ferguson sometimes makes the show too much about himself, which is great if you already adore him but a nightmare if you don't).
Pros: Kimmel doesn't take himself (or his show) too seriously, which gives the whole affair a casual feel that goes down smooth. He also tends to have excellent musical guests and great theme episodes.
Cons: His monologues aren't great, and the writing of most of the skits (save for extremely rare circumstances like "I'm F---ing Matt Damon") is stilted and flat.
So which one do you prefer? Or do you just watch "The Daily Show" and then fall asleep? (You'll also notice we left out David Letterman, because he is an untouchable dominant force who remains a step above everybody else.) Cast your vote to let your voice be heard and leave your thoughts in the comments.