A Comparison of Conan O'Brien vs. NBC and Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon

By Jake 

Jay Leno physically removing Conan O'Brien from The Tonight Show had fans siding with Conan, making him a TV folk hero. Today, NBC announced a buyout of $45 Million ($32 Million going directly to Conan). The whole O'Brien/Leno/NBC situation reminds me of another high profile, big money TV feud: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon.

The way Conan O'Brien and Steve Austin attacked their bosses (verbally and physically) gave the working class American something to strive for-- being popular enough to beat up on their boss and get away with it. Who hasn't dreamed of throwing a red cup full of beer into their bosses face? Well Steve Austin sprayed an entire truck's worth of beer at Vince McMahon. Who hasn't wished they could publicly criticize their boss on a nationally broadcast talk show? Conan has been doing that for the last two weeks.

These two American icons are everything the common man strives to be: a beer guzzlin', boss hating, redneck with a chip on his/her shoulder. I'm not sure why, but a justifiably angry person is always more respectable than a calm person. Nobody ever thought Alan Thicke was a hero, and nobody ever would. The guy is too relaxed and his money is probably still piling high from royalties for writing the Diff'rent Strokes theme.

When Steve Austin got into a scuffle with Mike Tyson, it's a lot like Conan getting into a war of words with Jay Leno. It might be a bit of a stretch to compare Jay Leno to Mike Tyson, but it's similar nevertheless. Sure Austin may have given Vince McMahon a Stone Cold Stunner every now and then, but fighting with Mike Tyson was the last straw. After that the gloves came off, and that can similarly be applied to O'Brien's situation. Once Jay and Conan started taking shots, NBC scrambled to break the fight up.

As tempers flared, the audience was drawn into the spectacle. The ratings soared. Much like when Steve Austin left WWE, Conan's departure from NBC is going to cripple the network's already poor ratings. Nobody can identify with Jay Leno and his 800 classic cars. I wouldn't be surprised to see Comcast (soon-to-be owners of NBC) cast Leno to the side for a younger, funny person to replace him on The Tonight Show.

With only two more shows left to air for O'Brien, could NBC try to screw Conan? If what Vince McMahon did to Stone Cold Steve Austin at King of the Ring 99 is any indication, then Friday's show could be a very rocky one. I'm not exactly sure how NBC could screw Conan any more than they already have, but if I know NBC, they'll figure out a way.


  1. omg. conan and wrestling. this is my dream article. THANK YOU!

  2. This is the kind of shit that should go viral. Let's digg it and stumble it.

  3. at first i thought "this is impossible. similarities between conan and STEVE AUSTIN!!! WTF JAKE!?"
    now it all makes sense. i <3 conan and i <3 steve austin so i therefore <3 this article.