DASM The Tonight Show: Everything Old Is New Again

My wife was with me in the audience when a “famous” speaker used material that was 20 years old in his presentation. “I recognize that as ancient,” she said, “and I’m not in the profession.”

Monday night, after enough fanfare to think we had created colder beer, Jimmy Fallon emerged from the curtain to begin a new era on the tonight show. And that’s where the problem began. He emerged from the curtain, had a band on his left, an announcer on his right, a couch and chairs, an overly- and artificially-stimulated studio audience, and a lame monologue.

Except for the “lame” part, that’s exactly what Johnny Carson did 50 years ago. And everyone since. This is a new era only in the sense that it’s a day after yesterday.

With all the money and supposed talent in the media, this weak clone is the best they could do? No thought of changing the set, or the format, or the material? The same guests trailing along, trying to be funny? (Will Smith was just dreadful, sliding from A to D list.)

Too  many of us are doing that with our clients: same old “pitch,” same tired methodology, same ancient fee structure, same emulation of other mediocre approaches. Age isn’t the issue (Fallon is young). Vision is the issue. Boldness is the issue.

If you’re going to perform to the same tired music with the same hackneyed approach, then people are going to turn the channel and prospects are going to turn to someone else.

© Alan Weiss 2014


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