The Ubiquitous Conan O’Brien Promos on TBS

Normally when a network promotes an upcoming show excessively with commercials I develop a revulsion for the show before it even airs. Examples from the past couple of years include Frank TV and the George Lopez Show (I have not watched either, I decided I did not like them based solely upon the barrage of promos). Most of my television viewing is baseball related, which is new-show-advertising-blitz free during the regular season. Then the postseason arrives and things change. TBS and FOX will do their best to make me hate a new show.

This year I have found the Conan promos to be much different from previous campaigns. First of all, there is a large variety of them, which means individual clips are not seen with mind-numbing frequency. Second, many of them are legitimately funny. Third, Conan O’Brien introduced me to the song Missing You by John Waite through one of the promos.

I can’t believe I had never heard Waite’s Billboard #1 hit from 1984 before. I thought I was familiar with the 1980’s pop and rock scene, but somehow I had missed Waite’s solo work (I only knew him from his brief Bad English days). When I heard the chorus of the song in the Conan promo the voice sounded familiar, but I didn’t know the song. A quick YouTube search led me to the music video.

There is so much to like about it. The song has a classic eighties feel with a muted guitar, a big snare , and some kind of synth among other things. The melody is pure musical genius. I love the space Waite leaves around the chord changes. He uses silence and rests perfectly. It really amuses me that Waite would later form a band called Bad English, because his grammar in this song has a few rough spots (“I ain’t missing you at all, since you been gone away”).

A few quick thoughts:

  • That dangling earring screams rock star, eighties rock star.
  • I fully expected him to remove his hand and be bleeding at the 0:43 mark.
  • Did anyone else immediately have to identify the flowers in the art gallery at 0:52? It might just be a horticulturist thing.
  • Based upon the line “I’m lying to myself” towards the end of the song and the behavior of the protagonist I’m assuming he really does miss her a lot. But then he misses her returning because he’s listening to a song about trying not to miss her while missing her. It’s actually pretty sad.

TBS is almost finished televising postseason baseball for 2010 and I don’t hate their new show. That’s a first. I watch very little late night television, and when I do it’s usually Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, so I doubt I’ll watch Conan very much. Odds are I’ll look up highlights and excerpts on TBS.com or Hulu.

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