. . . Tuesday December 7, 2004

The Late Night Divide

Forget the blue state, red state hogwash. For many of us there is a national rift that causes much more confusion, alienation and cynicism. It is the Leno, Letterman divide.

And you don’t have to actually watch either to have a horse in this race. I watch Nightline, myself. But my backing of Dave in this battle is borderline religious. If you like Dave, ask youself this question: Could you date a person who loved Jay Leno and thinks he is really creative, funny and edgy?

See, many of us (let’s call us the smart, funny people) cannot believe we live in a society where Leno would beat Letterman on any night of their careers. Yet, he’s been doing it most nights for years. I’m guessing that to the Leno fans (let’s call them narrow, limited, goofy and unfunny), this makes perfect sense – although one important distinction between the groups is that the Letterman clan thinks about these things while the Leno crew just happens to be in a room with a talking picture box.

Now you might think that at least we have some good news in the fact that Letterman has been consistently narrowing Leno’s lead over the past few months. But wait. It has nothing to do with merit.

The reason Dave is catching Jay is because CBS primetime shows are on the rise while NBCs are on the wane.

Think about that.

A significant portion of the viewing public has switched their late night allegiance because they just happened to be on that channel anyway.

There are more of us in the Letterman corner of the world, and yet it’s more lonely than ever.

Concentration is important!