Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Amazing Race and Conan Go Bye Bye...

cape cross fur seal
This Cape Cross Fur Seal will miss Conan O'Brien at Late Night more than you'll ever know...

I don't watch a lot of television.

But, I do watch The Amazing Race on CBS, late night television (in particular, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien), the news, and a smattering of PBS shows.

Occasionally, I'll comment on how the boob tube is turning my brain into mush.

The Amazing Race (TAR) 14th edition, Episode One.

For loyal readers who live overseas, TAR is a reality show that pits 11 teams (composed of pairs of people undergoing existing relationships eg. bf/gf, mother/son, brother/sister). The object is to "race" around the world. There are 13 or so segments, one per week, where teams must overcome a series of tasks. The last team to complete each segment may be eliminated from the race. The winning team takes home a cool million bucs. As an ongoing series, I thought it'd be interesting to comment on The Race and how it relates to real life and my travel experience.

I find it amazing how efficient and integrated the transportation system is in Europe. Teams in this episode arrived in Lausanne, Switzerland as their first stop in The Race to find the train station (the required mode of transport to the next check stop in the race) located RIGHT IN the airport.

I found this to be the case in Frankfurt, Germany as well. On a stopover on the way to S. Africa, Ahmed and I just jumped on the train in the Frankfurt Airport. In minutes we were downtown scarfing down bratwurst and beers. Now that's efficiency...

Here in Calgary, the system is so disjointed. Our little trolley system doesn't even come close to connecting to airport. We don't even have proper train system in Western Canada.

There's the usual "hillbilly" couple (husband/wife) from the deep south of the USA. I found the hillbilly lady's comment, "we're real scared of leavin' the US of A", kind of amusing.

Then I thought about my own experience. Back in the day, I let my first ever passport expire (after 5 years!) blank because I couldn't even work up the chutzpah to travel to Europe of all places. What a pansy, eh?

Yep, it really takes some nerve to take that first step out the door.

Eventually, I had the audacity to travel to Nairobi on my first trip. Suffice to say I hid in my hotel room for the first 3 days.

From what I can observe, the Race requires some physical ability to complete the tasks. However, it never seeks to amaze me that so many contestants show up totally out of shape. You know... big tubs of goo. C'mon people! We're talkin' a million bucks here.

I'm note sure who the favourites are yet.

Suffice to say i'm cheering for the Chinese siblings. Ha!

Conan Go Bye Bye...

I finally had the chance to watch the final show of Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

I consider Conan one of the most brilliant funny guys not only late night television but all of show business.

He didn't disappoint in his final show.

As the show came to a close, I couldn't help but feel somewhat sad. It won't be the last we see of him but his move to the Tonight Show maybe an end of an era. You see, Conan's brand of edgy humour may be terminated as well.

Case in point, when Letterman, who I regard as the best talk show host ever at the height of his tenure at Late Night, moved to CBS and an earlier time slot he lost a lot his edge.

Apparently, the 12:30 AM tv audience is supposed to be a little more staid than the wild late late crowd. Apparently, the more mature audience can't handle characters like the "masturbating bear". Oh, how I fear the slippery slope of dumbed down comedy.

Encouraging was Conan's closing remarks, where he vowed he wouldn't be changing his "childish" antics in his new show. Let's hope not. If he grows up, we'll all be poorer for it.

Time will tell.

Here's a rarely seen Conan clip. The commentary is in Finnish but still funny in an odd way for non-Finnish people as well...

On June 1, he takes over Jay Leno's spot on the Tonight Show.


streaker said...

this was genius!

Steve H. said...

"I don't watch a lot of Television."

Oh, ha ha ha ha ha! That's a good one, BTOG!

Steve H. said...

By the way, I thought I was getting added to the sidebar of fame for my BTOG purchases. What gives?

bubba said...

qt, the boxing kangaroo, tipsy God, and leaping lemur, were just gut busting classics.

steve h., i forgot to include a couple of televised hockey games per week and curling, whenever that's on. that's about it though.

my apologies about the BTOG side bar of fame. i forgot. my bad. but thanx for buying a truckload of stuff through the affiliates. BTOG loves u and your wallet.

Dillan said...

Hey, Al! I see you're still living the life! I know how you felt on your first trip to Cairo. I felt very similar--and also very sick--on my first big trip out of the western world. Heck, so far it's my only trip out of the western world, but that is going to change very soon. Recession (depression??) be damned, Ika and I are going to Indonesia again. For her it's no big deal, of course, but for me it's again a big change. I paid for the tickets last night. I have been a complete hermit over the past couple of years. I barely leave home now except to work and shop. Everybody probably thinks I died. It doesn't help when it's -21 degrees C either. Anyway, enough about me. I see your having fun! Take lots of photos, maybe one day I'll see another of your slide shows.

bubba said...

dillan! where the hell have u been?!