We're only a few weeks into the new year and already it looks like one of the biggest entertainment stories of the decade is upon us. NBC's late-night lineup has been a fixture for over a half-century, but in the last few weeks this TV staple has been rocked to its core. Conan O'Brien, the The Tonight Show' host, is on his way out after a tumultuous few weeks filled with possible lies, mystery and definite intrigue.
And in the controversy's wake rises a RABID band of O'Brien supporters, ranging from major celebrities to internet fans. If you've been on the Net this week you've likely seen the image to the right. It's the work of artist Mike Mitchell, whose "I'm With Coco" fan movement now has over 170,000 fans on Facebook. I had the opportunity to speak to Mitchell about the late-night wars, where he got the idea and his response to the runaway success of "I'm With Coco." Read more after the break
Rabid Nick Refer: So tell me how you really feel about our generation's Late Night War? Looks like you've chosen sides?
Mike Mitchell: Well, on one hand it's great comedy-drama everyone loves a feud but on the other hand, it's really upsetting to see what NBC is doing to Conan and his crew. Of course my side is obvious, but the crazy thing is how many people have taken sides! Many comedians have rallied for Conan, and I think that says a lot. Can't think of any noteworthy comics who have been anything better than impartial to Leno.
"I'm with Coco," the idea, the art where did it all come from?
I wanted to create a inspiring image that would help rally the cause for Conan. For the art I wanted a sort of hybrid, part presidential campaign, part WWII propaganda. I had no expectations that things would go this far, but I couldn't be happier or more excited.
In just a few short days you've amassed almost 150,000 supporters to the cause. What do you think is bringing the people out in droves?
It's about 170k right now. I think it's so amazing! Conan's fans are really hardcore, and even the more casual fans are really sympathetic to what NBC is doing to Conan and his staff. It doesn't help that Jay Leno has f'd himself by standing by idle, letting it all happen.
I've read you're getting some attention from the inside. Any word from Conan O'Brien himself?
I've been contacted by various staffers who wanted to thank me for the support. They are all about this, as is Conan. I haven't heard from Conan himself, but word is he is really grateful for all the support
I understand you're going beyond just Facebook and Twitter. You've got some rallies planned. What's the grand plan?
Some people think this is about saving The Tonight Show, and I think it's far beyond that. This is to show support for Conan and his staff, who were uprooted from New York, brought to LA and they all have an uncertain future. I think it's a great cause to get behind! There's also a charity event planned at Comix NY on Jan. 28th, with all profits going to Haitian relief.
Be sure to check out Mike's website HERE for information on all the rallies being held around the country.
Are you with Coco?
It's just been announced there will a "I'm With Coco" rally here in Tampa:
Rally for CoCo! at NBC Tampa
Monday, January 18, 2010
4:30pm - 9:00pm
on Kennedy close to University of Tampa/Bridge on Kennedy to Downtown/WFLA Tampa Studios
WFLA Tampa Studios... See More
200 S. Parker Street,
Tampa, FL 33606
It's time to show NBC what's up. We will be rallying at the NBC building to show support for our beloved Coco.
Bring Signs, wear orange, and be civil!
Follow The Rabid One on his Twitter feed
for more posts and assorted shenanigans.
Now with FREE CANDY!