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Dear Conan,

Remember last year when you were on your way out west, you said something about taking all the pieces of your show, shaking them up, then tossing then out again to see what comes of it?
On a larger scale, isn't this sort of what the network has been up to lately? Does life ever seem like an ongoing chain reaction? Could what may appear as a fiasco for some, end up creating opportunity for others? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

With the recent experimentation, how wide a window was there to work with? As television evolves in both format and platform, when it comes to elaborating content to make the most of it, have we barely scratched the surface? My association with the network has been ephemeral at best. Remember the Anyone Can Host Contest on SNL? More than a decade before your time there, I was runner up. Was it a fluke? We may never know. More recently I started writing Lorne to bring him up to speed, but this has taken off beyond any summarization attempt. Letter 141, referring to the 'late night musical chairs', was the first of a few, sent mainly to Jay, brimming with unbridled optimism to rise to the challenge at hand. If the commercial pressures had yielded more time, would things have been much different?

While it didn't go as hoped, having reached for more, what can be salvaged from the effort? Any decision can be better scrutinized in hindsight, but isn't it better to try while coming up short, rather than never try at all? Look at all the self inflicted drama as a result, culminating in classic proportion, when you cut through the banter and spoke from the heart. Who cares about how numbers rate and which network is on top. You went out from the top of the mountain, the must see moment that night, a milestone for years to come.

In general, I'm seldom able to be up that late to watch you, and when I have, there were times I wondered why. Yet with all the brouhaha generated, don't some things still fall into place? "Amazing things will happen" You betcha! How many could ever come close to imagining  such a chunk of money? More than a million bucks a week to not do something? More than most lotto jackpots. Consider the creative potential forced to the back burner. A tiny crumb, a fraction of a percent of that could buy anyone time to experiment. Anything up your sleeve?

Words can be twisted, yet music flows. The jam ending rocked. Jimmy used your situation well to lead into the next show. In a sea of mediocrity, are there still islands of inspiration?

Let's make something amazing happen,

-183-

 24January 2010

Conan O'Brien
c/o Pariah
9744 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 205
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-2612
Cc: Lorne Michaels, Jeff Zucker, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon