A letter to NBC

By Ryan Pike

Dear NBC,

The past few years have seen your stock fall in the eyes of television viewers. Your once-proud network now boasts only a single block of solid programming — Thursday’s line-up of Parks & Recreation, The Office, Community and 30 Rock — after a series of poor decisions.

And let’s face it, you really lucked into having any of those shows in the first place: The Office was originally jettisoned onto the craptacular Tuesday night timeslot while the horrid Friends spin-off Joey dragged Thursday nights down. Yet, all four shows were allowed time to find audiences and managed to survive.

That brings me to Conan O’Brien.

People in my age group seem to hold Conan in high esteem. He wrote for The Simpsons during what’s generally considered to be the show’s best creative period — his run from 1991-1993 saw him write such classics as “Marge vs. the Monorail,” “Homer Goes to College” and “New Kid on the Block,” where Bart Simpson fell in love.

O’Brien’s particular brand of comedy struck a chord with audiences because it assumed that we all had brains that worked. Similar to David Letterman, O’Brien never explained every aspect of a joke to ensure that we got it. His jokes weren’t based on making people look stupid nor were they simply finding typos in newspapers.

O’Brien’s brilliantly surreal, absurdist style of humour was never given a chance on NBC. It’s obvious to me now that the success of unique shows on the network is entirely accidental and that quality programming is, at best, an aberration.

I hereby submit my resignation as an NBC viewer, effective January 22.

Yours truly,

..Ryan Pike


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