Monday, May 3, 2010

Focus on body language, not words, of O'Brien 60 Minutes interview

"Jay's got the The Tonight Show. I have a beard and an inflatable bat."

That is the money quote from Steve Croft's interview with Conan O'Brien on 60 Minutes last night. Between that, and the long, long sigh he gives when asked if he thinks Jay Leno acted honorably, tells you everything you need to know what he thinks. Conan can be a hard nut to crack at times in interviews, so I found his body language a lot more interesting than his interview answers, which were pretty typical.

What was his body language? A lot of hesitant answers, head-shaking, slow and careful responses. He stressed repeatedly that he was fine, but despite him saying that, there was a tinge of sadness and melancholy to the entire interview. Outside of the above quote, the strongest Conan got in terms of words was when he said he couldn't possibly see how The Tonight Show could be losing money when he was hosting it.

The only other person interviewed for the 15-minute piece was Conan's wife, Leslie, who did a bit better at providing an impassioned response that helped to round out the interview. Presumably, she wasn't covered by the disparaging statements contract that Conan was forced to sign as part of his $30+ million settlement. And, I'll note that Mrs. O'Brien is easy on the eyes, which shouldn't be that surprising to me.

Grade: A-

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