When considering whether ancient aliens landed on Earth thousands of years ago and got civilization boost started here, you’re bound to create a few sentences ending with question marks. This is precisely what happened to Erich von Daniken when he wrote Chariots of the Gods, a book that reimagines Earth’s ancient origins. Among others, von Daniken poses the following questions: “Was God an astronaut?”; “What connection have mummies with our theory of space travelers in the remote past?”; “Will hospitals in the year 2100 be spare-part stores for defective men?”; and “Ought we not ask such questions?”
With more than two hundred question marks in the slim book, von Daniken leaves the reader clamoring for answers. But you have to appreciate the fact that von Daniken’s willing to ask the questions everyone else is perhaps too afraid to.
It’s with this inquisitive spirit that we consider Jay Leno’s unprecedented return to The Tonight Show. There are lots of questions, to be sure, but let’s start with what we do know: airwaves are soon to be The Jay Leno Show-free and new episodes of The Tonight Show will begin airing March 1, with Leno as the permanent guest host of the show, which has no permanent host. Now for the questions. Continue reading
In the final moments of Friday’s The Tonight Show, the now former host, Conan O’Brien, grabbed an ax (that’s slang for guitar) and joined The Max Weinberg 7 to perform “Freebird,” which also included one of the dudes from ZZ Top (the long-bearded guy), Ben Harper, Beck, and Will Ferrell on lead vocals. The spectacle turned an otherwise melancholy moment into something amusing (the segment, along with the rest of O’Brien’s final episode at the helm, can currently be viewed, with limited commercial interruption, at Hulu). The supergroup’s competencies notwithstanding, there were two remarkable things about the performance. First, O’Brien’s ability to shred (that’s slang for play ax); and second, his alternating expressions of joy, sadness, and, more interestingly, relief.
He’s been through a lot (frankly, we all have). O’Brien was having fun jamming, for sure, but by the end it was like watching someone who, after coming to terms with the fact that there’s nothing more the doctors can do for him, happily dies in his sleep while dreaming and, once dead, ascends to heaven. Or something to that effect. Continue reading
Gearing up for his NBC late-night premiere on March 2, 2009, Jimmy Fallon plans to release a series of behind-the-scenes Web-exclusive videos, the first of which aired (interneted?) last night.
We didn’t learn all that much about Jimmy or the show except that he’s excited, and perhaps humbled, to be occupying the recently vacated news studio that once housed Milton Berle and Johnny Carson, before the latter’s show moved to California. Also, in a passing moment before the video goes black, Fallon introduces the Roots as his Max Weinberg 7.