Seems Jay Leno now feels he was "sucker-punched" by Jimmy Kimmel when Kimmel was a guest on Leno's soon-to be-history 10 p.m. show. Which got us thinking about TV's other sneak attacks that made us feel less oxygenated.
Kimmel told Leno that he should go away. Kimmel said he and O'Brien have families to take care of, that Leno only has a couple of garages full of roadsters to feed and oil.
Leno says he was caught unaware -- sucker-punched, like running out of gas a mile from his home.
Consider the bigger picture, though -- all the times viewers and advertisers have been sucker-punched. This happens continually to short-lived, low-rated shows that somehow get a following of devoted fans, with well-meaning sponsors in tow. The list now includes Leno's 10 p.m. show.
TV networks may market these shows heavily -- and then they're pulled with little public explanation.
Seems like TV is the only consumer product that does that.
Toyota is recalling -- and halting sales on -- a number of its vehicles because of gas pedal/car mat issues. No, TV isn't a life and death situation. But lessons are not always about those of dire consequences; all consumer products need better customer service.
TV advertisers get sucker-punched all the time. Shows they buy before the season starts most often don't get out of the starting gate. Then advertisers are offered a "replacement" in the form of a reality show, an older and soon to be cancelled series, or a hodgepodge of other stuff.
Marketers going in know these are the rules of the game. Still, some are getting tired of this act.
In part, Leno feels sucker-punched because he comes off as a good guy -- and he feels Kimmel shouldn't have gone "off-script" and improvised.
But consider this: Has David Letterman ever complained about being sucker-punched -- or going off in a weird direction? (Hello, Cher!) He also picks the fight, heading off into improvisational late night nether-land. But he never complains, and rises to the occasion on-air.
Viewers like unexpected stuff, and they're smart. Kimmel was just feeding into that. And hey, even Leno gets another chance. Feels like a big roundhouse left hand.