Many of you, particularly those of you who watch late-night television, are aware of what is being called "the mess" at NBC-TV, in regard to the Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien shows.
I'm not going to go into the situation any further because it would take up my whole column, and I'm not here to re-hash the whole situation between the selfish, spoiled Jay and the wounded Conan. No, I'm here to solve problems. And I think I have a solution for this problem which will benefit many people, including a lot of Cherokee area businesses.
Step one - If they don't really care about ratings or sponsors' revenues, let NBC give Jay whatever he wants. Prime time, late night, afternoons, mornings, weekdays, weekends, whatever. He's going to do the same tired schtick wherever he lands. I'm not sure what Jay has on the folks at NBC, but they seem to think he's another Johnny Carson. He's not.
Having thus disposed of Leno, the next step is for his may Cherokee friends to talk to Mark Pender, who is a member of Conan's Tonight Show Band, and have him (and Richie LaBamba, who's also a band member) convince Conan what a terrific place Cherokee, Iowa is. Bring him out and he, too, will be won over.
Then, bring the entire show out here to Cherokee. Pender, Labamba, Max Weinberg, Andy Richter and all the Conan family. Build them a studio and broadcast the show from right here in beautiful downtown Cherokee. If NBC doesn't want Conan and his gang any longer, I guess they'll just have to call it something other than The Tonight Show.
Think of all the people who would benefit from this move? First and foremost are the millions of people who have watched Conan and his TV family for many years - first on 'Late Night' and then for a brief seven months on the show he has wanted to do for years and was promised five years ago. But also, on the local level, Cherokee area realtors will benefit from all of the people on the show purchasing homes in Cherokee, at a much more reasonable price than a similar home in L.A. or New York would cost them, by the way.
The Cherokee School District would probably also gain a few new students. The Cherokee airport would probably be happy to welcome all the private aircraft which would bring guests on the Conan Show to town, and local restaurants and motels would also be glad to show everyone good old fashioned small town Iowa hospitality. Soon everyone will be happy. The Cherokee economy will be flourishing, especially as word about the wonderful world of Cherokee spreads throughout Hollywood, New York, Chicago, London, et al., and, in the words of James Earl Jones in the film "Field of Dreams," 'they will come.'
Among the many local people who also stand to profit from this miraculous event are the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation, which will not need to work so hard to get new businesses to come to town, and the organizers of the Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival. For one thing, they would be able to save the travel expenses for Pender and his band, because they'd be right here. And if, throughout the year, Mark or anyone else wants to jam at any of the available local establishments, I can reasonably assume that they would be welcome anytime.
And if drummer Max Weinberg, who splits his time between Conan and the E Street Band, can convince his other boss - "The Boss" - to stop by, well, again, he would be most welcome, as would performers who might be in town to perform on Conan's show.
And the best news for all of you? I am not going to charge any of you for this brilliant idea. It's yours to do with as you will.