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Archive for January 24th, 2010

Industry Primer: Conan Seeks Satisfaction Elsewhere, or The Bugatti Veyron Mouse That Roared

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Light years away from the world of back catalogue music projects, the entertainment press has been abuzz with the recent furor over the late night talk show lineup on NBC. This past Friday, Conan O’Brien exited The Tonight Show after a too-brief seven-month tenure, leaving Jay Leno able to leave his low-rated primetime show and take back control of the show he agreed to cede to O’Brien almost six years ago.

One of the delights during the whole mess was seeing O’Brien – in my opinion, one of the funniest guys on television – skewer his now-former network in as many ways as possible. In the last week of his show, one particularly biting running joke was the wasteful use of NBC’s budget to create inordinately expensive characters for the show. The first and arguably best was the Bugatti Veyron Mouse, a hybrid of a wildly expensive car and a cheap set of mouse ears and whiskers. To add expense to insult, the “character” had a theme song – the original master recording of The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The total price tag for the bit, said O’Brien? $1.5 million.

Now, Conan admitted on Friday’s show – his last for NBC – that the bits were fake. (That night’s idea of a Smithsonian-owned skeleton spraying beluga caviar onto a Picasso painting was probably a dead giveaway.) And hard-nosed journalists have uncovered that the car part of the mouse was on loan from the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. But what about the “Satisfaction” part of the joke? There’s been a lot of rampant speculation, and I’d like to dispel a few myths based on my research.

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 24, 2010 at 00:53