I have long been a fan of Conan O'Brien, but lately something has changed. I don't know if it's me, that as I've gotten older, I no longer find his brand of humor entertaining. It could be that he has changed, though I can't really say why this might be. I just know that when I watch his show, it's all attitude and schtick. His charisma seems too boyish for a man in his mid-40's. He is a great interviewer, but his stand-up routines at the beginning of his show, and the skits they do are not that funny to me anymore.
In 2004, Jay Leno announced that when he retires in 2009, Conan O'Brien will take over as host. I think that this is a terrible mistake. O'Brien doesn't have what it takes. When I think of Johnny Carson, I think of a charismatic man with impeccable timing and a quick wit. He was able to milk unexpected comments from his guests into comic gold. His skits were funny. O'Brien has those skills, but not in spades. He lacks something. Leno wasn't much better. He pre-interviewed his guests and stuck to the script. Don't even mention David Letterman; Kelly Ripa is funnier than he is.
I have an idea of who would make an excellent, Johnny Carson-like host of the Tonight Show: Ryan Seacrest. As I've watched American Idol through the years, I have noticed just how quick-witted and charismatic he is. He always has a comeback to a contestant's assertion, to Simon's insults, to almost anything. He is witty, and charming, and would be a natural.
I'd love to know what everyone else thinks of my idea.