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A Girl's Guide to the Late Night Fight

A Girl's Guide to the Late Night Fight

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For the last few weeks the late night talk show host war has been generating headline after headline. What exactly is going on between O’Brien and Leno? When did it start? Where do they go from here? We don’t know either. So we’ve asked some of the smartest funny-girls around to break it down for us in a simple and easy to understand timeline. This is a Girl’s Guide to the Late Night Fight.

2003 – NBC signs Conan O’Brien to take over hosting The Tonight Show in 2009

"Unfortunately, NBC forgot to c.c. Leno on the e-mail, resulting in the world’s most awkward surprise farewell party." – Chelsea White

September 14, 2009 – The Jay Leno Show premiers on NBC at 10pm

"Leno’s ratings hit the floor. They would have hit the desk, but Leno got of rid his desk." – Jamie Lee

January 2010 – Rumors circulate that, after dismal ratings, Leno will take back his old time slot

"This is like that time Michael Jordan played baseball, right? Meaning, this can’t be real." – Jen Kwok

January 7, 2010 – Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno swap guests appearances on each other's shows, Kimmel attacks Leno for wanting to push his show back to it’s old time

"Kimmel and Conan then meet to chest bump in a totally non-homo-erotic way." – Diana Saez

January 10, 2010 – NBC announces they will push back O’Brien’s show to 12:05am to accommodate Leno

"Bored, the women of America skip the early show and tune in at 12:30 to ogle Scottish hunk Craig Ferguson." – Carolyn Castiglia

January 11, 2010 – O’Brien talks future plans – possibly pornography—and lambastes NBC on air

"The introduction of the “Lanky Irishman” takes porn moves to new levels." – Libby Rice

January 12, 2010 – O’Brien pens a strongly worded letter disputing the validity of The Tonight Show airing in the early morning

"Handwriting analysts say the letter reveals Conan is “pissed.”" – Alison Rosen

January 14, 2010 – A host of celebrities support O’Brien by tweeting their disapproval of NBC’s behavior. The list includes Alyssa Milano, Christina Applegate, Ben Stiller, Josh Groban, Sandra Bernhard and Ice T

"Look, when you’ve got JGrobz on your side, you can do anything. Conan will prevail." –Sara Benincasa

January 15, 2010 – O’Brien posts an ad on LA’s Craig’s List stating he has a slightly used talk show for sale

“Missed Connection: You: tall, pale, waves of red hair. Me: shorter, salt-n- pepper, big features, grating voice, nice car. I saw you at 11:35. Let’s go back to the way things were.” – Libby Rice




Sara Benincasa is a comedian and writer. She talks about everything from sex to politics, and has been featured on MTV and CNN. She's currently working on a very funny book about panic attacks and agoraphobia. She makes a lot of silly videos; and can be contacted at SaraBenincasa.com.




Carolyn Castiglia has been seen and heard nationally on VH1, MTV2, NBC's Last Comic Standing, Nick-at-Nite's Funniest Mom in America, The Maury Show, ABC World News with Charles Gibson and Sirius/XM Radio. She performs stand-up both nationally and internationally and her joke writing has appeared in Time Out New York, the New York Post and The Idiot's Guide to Jokes. CarolynCastiglia.com


Jen Kwok is a Brooklyn-based writer and performer whose comedic exploits have been featured on CNN, PBS, MTV, The New York Times and Rolling Stone Magazine. Jen was also a finalist in NBC Stand-Up for Diversity and will make her feature film debut in Eat, Pray, Love. JenKwok.com




Jamie Lee is one of the fasted emerging comedians in NYC. In addition to performing all over, she writes fashion slip-ups for Life & Style Magazine, and appears in videos for College Humor. For all things Jamie Lee, visit JamieLeecomedy.com.




Libby Rice spent the beginning of her professional career in the magic scene where she served as magician David Copperfield’s assistant and scorpion keeper. She has since left the world of conjuring behind and moved to New York where she works as a freelance writer.




Alison Rosen is a writer and host of late night internet talk show Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend. She's appeared on Chelsea Lately, Red Eye, Geraldo, Hannity, the Bio channel, Fox and Friends and more and was named New York's Funniest Reporter in 2008. AlisonRosen.com




Diana Saez is a Minneapolis based stand-up comic who has charmed audiences with her unique brand of playful cynicism. Her work has been featured on CNN, Sirius Satellite Radio, and Si TV. YouOnMyBlog.com





Comedian, host, and producer Chelsea White has been making waves on the NYC comedy scene for the past several years. A regular on-air contributor for MTV’s FN’MTV, you may have also seen her on MTV’s TRL and WE’s Cinematherapy. ChelsWhite.com
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