Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Five Cool Cars that Could be Conan’s

Your UnHumble Car Czar is working all of his political connections (-0-) this week to see that Conan O'Brien gets the boot from NBC late night television and Jay Leno wins his old job back. No animosity or affinity here. It's all about cars.

Here's the math:

Conan O'Brien is funny, but not that funny. His What Can I Get Away With shticks featuring the self-pleasing bear, et al. are mostly derivative and best performed on college campuses. Conan will get funnier out of all this, guaranteed. Getting screwed by a feckless corporation always makes a funny guy funnier – the biting kind of funny that makes funny worthwhile. It will be fun watching Big Red create a flat-out copy of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to torture the network intellectual property lawyers with. Maybe he'll take a shrug-of-the-shoulders cue from Chinese counterfeiters and bring us something like Tryhump the Insult Comic Frog. And maybe he'll actually get his new show written and produced in China to give the NBC legal suits even more grief. (And he can make jokes about having traces of Cadmium in his jokes).


Jay Leno will return to being Jay Leno – safely amusing. He will give another network Peter Principle division the wish it wished for. Jay Walking is pretty funny. It's fun also to watch Wynton Marsalis kowtow to The Chin, reminding us that between Kevin replacing Branford and Jay replacing Johnny and Johnny needing to pay Ed to laugh at his jokes even back-when, The Tonight Show has always been a grand celebration of corporate butt-smooching. Real game-changers need not apply.


Really neat car collections.

(If you're with me so far, it's because you've made a huge logic leap right along with me. Welcome to The Show, amigo).


We get a funny-enough guy who remains employed at a big-buck salary on a major network ... one who despite being a high-profile corporate get-along is a real car guy with a really neat car collection to feed and care for.

We get a sometimes-funnier guy walking around with an extra $40 million in hit-the-road-Conan dough ... and the same old lame Tonight Show as one of his major competitors. A sometimes-funnier guy who's bound to get richer yet against the So-Yesterday Show, and who pretty soon will have the bucks to build up a really neat car collection without breaking a sweat.

(If you're still with me, and if you won't for a moment consider the notion that Conan O. already has more than enough scratch to rock a really neat car collection, good on 'ya. You're making my job a pleasure).

Put Mr. Leno's real car collection and Mr. O'Brien's theoretical car collection out there in the world's collective don't-know-why-we-care-but-we-do consciousness along with David Letterman's big-ticket race cars (Mr. L. apparently rents most of his personal rides: taxicabs driven by Mustafah and interns driven by ... Dave) – and suddenly we have three really neat car collections in the world of late night talk show comedians.

A pop culture celebration of what we should be doing with Big Money in the last throes of the Oil Age, before all the Kool Kids get turned on to the slot car rush of electric whooshmobiles like the real Tesla Roadster and unreal GTbyCitroen.

The Chase: Hire Conan O'Brien, ABC.

It's time you stopped running Seinfeld re-runs at 11:30 and get while the getting's good. Jerry Seinfeld doesn't need the royalty dough, as he has done nothing good for car collecting, being stuck in some obsessive-compulsive Porsche loop where he buys a 911 in every color, transmission, and gear combination until he's filled up a Manhattan parking garage with one model year, and then proceeds to buy another parking garage to start the insanity over again with the next model year.

Truly sick.

Mr. O'Brien, cash-in-hand, can start his very own late night talk show comedian car fleet, perhaps eschewing the steam-powered Toronado eccentricities of the Leno collection and the high-falutin' race machines owned by The Gap-Toothed One to buy a sweet fleet of Gen-Now Cool Cars, which are not smart cars nor Smart cars, but just the coolest cheap cars you can get today.

Cool because cool is always cool.

Cheap because Mr. O'Brien should probably save the balance of his windfall for retirement. People just aren't watching television much anymore. All the money is in internet videos of cats.

Here are five highly-recommended shoe-ins for Conan O'Brien's New Theoretical Late Night Comic Car Collection in no order save for numerical (flowers if you're viewing this blog in Firefox: those guys are just not numbers people):

  1. Lotus Elise (More fun than a Ferrari. Cheaper than a Ferrari oil change).
  2. Volkswagen GTI (All the grins and utility any city dweller really needs. You can get it with a real paddle-shifted twin-clutch tranny without having to troll Sunset Boulevard at 3 a.m.).
  3. BMW 128i (So Chi-Chi and so Cheap-Cheap [if you don't let the dealer load it up] that all the car mags whose editors are still making payments on 40k 328s are bashing it mercilessly).
  4. Fiat 500 Abarth (Because a late night comedian needs personal transportation that writes its own jokes).
  5. Nissan Cube in lime green (not because this car belongs on the list, but because Conan O'Brien is tall, skinny, red-headed, and always playing with his nipples on camera. Adding a lime green dorkmobile to the Aura of Conan seems to go so right with everything that's already so wrong, and it would look just sinister next to a Burnt Orange Elise).

I am the Car Czar, and I'm here to help.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sony Delays Gran Turismo 5, Maybe ... Just for Me

The thumb-racing world was rocked today by the announcement that the release of Gran Turismo 5 is on indefinite delay.

Sony Corp. says Japan's anticipated March release of GT5 is on hold, but there's good news for everywhere else in the world: the latest iteration of the race simulation masterpiece maintains its previous No Firm Release date.

What does this mean for U.S. Gran Turismo hot shoes?

It means they'll have to indefinitely wait some more.

It means they'll still need to get their fix in GT5 Prologue carving up Suzuka East with the same old tuned Lotus Elise or Corvette Z06 and destroying all comers at Daytona and the High Speed Ring with the spooky-fast electric GT by Citroen ... or maybe a Dodge Viper to be fair. Of course there are other entertaining cars in Prologue, but do they really matter when a grand +, including nearly every streetable fun car in history, will be garage-able, tune-able, and race-able in GT5 The Full?

(Geez. No wonder it' s taking so long)

The delay couldn't come at a better time for your UnHumble Car Czar, who remains stuck two 750-point races out of pocketing the coveted S-Class license and the chance to buy a 2007 F1 Ferrari for a mere $2 mil. I say "mere" because I've been to $2 mil so many times in GT5 Prologue that I've had to resort as many times to bleeding cash on a rainbow garage of street Ferraris and Astons to stay under the winnings cap. That's what happens when your racing talent really and truly runs out with two races to go in the game.

I really want that F1 Ferrari bad, but my repeated failure to get the gearing, camber, and aero right on my tuned Mines and Z06 test mules, plus my habit of failing in the rhythm Ss of Suzuka and completely blowing the last kink before the main grandstands while trying to woof past five cars in one apex is likely going to keep me unfulfilled and out of the hunt.

Without a fake real F1 Ferrari to prance around the limited track selection in GT5 Prologue there's no sense looking forward to the 1,000+ cars and multitude of tracks in the long-delayed and still-delayed full version of the best driving simulation ever to hit a home gaming system.

Let the talented and bored F1 Ferrari-driving S-Class geniuses be disturbed by this disturbing development. Let them worry about whether their hard-won S-Class license and F1 Ferrari will transfer to the full version.

If anybody needs me in the meantime, look for me somewhere in a in a tire barrier near Turn 15 at Suzuka. I really need to hit the brakes earlier there.