On Monday Ryan called, asking if I wanted to go see a taping of Last Call with Carson Daly that afternoon. That sounded about as tempting as nothing until he clarified, saying the musical guest was Modest Mouse, and the regular guest was Tracy Morgan, and it was free.
Modest Mouse is one of my very favorite bands, and I’d never seen them live, so I was really excited to see them this close and free, regardless of the venue. However, as we stood in line to get in with approximately 200 other Modest Mouse fans all between the ages of 16 and 22, it became obvious that everyone else in line was having a real crisis of conscience about it. They were all talking very loudly, and acting generally put-off, making sure that everyone in a 100-foot radius knew they were JUST HERE TO SEE MODEST MOUSE, lest one of their peers mistake them for a Carson Daly fan. First of all, seriously: are there Carson Daly fans? That’s not an age thing: I’m pretty sure everyone regards him with the same amount of half-hearted disdain. But secondly, and more importantly, this is like running into someone you know while you’re both shopping at KMart and then getting embarrassed about it. What the fuck, kids? Just shut up and watch the show and don’t be petulant and think you’re staging some sort of REVOLUTION by ONLY clapping for Modest Mouse.
Carson, as I expected, was sort of dull and man-tanned, but I spent the whole time worrying for him. You get the feeling that he’s not really a complete tool, just a partial, harmless one, and maybe his career sort of careened out of his control and maybe in a direction he didn’t really want, and now he hates his life and is just going through the motions, and I’m very concerned that he’s going to off himself. I spent the whole show telling Ryan this. It didn’t help that Carson could probably feel the ironic hate emanating from the hordes of Modest Mouse indie rock brats in the audience. If Carson Daly dies, his blood is on your hands, snotty youth of America, not mine, because I cheered extra loud for all of you when the applause sign told me to.
When the taping was over, the stage manager invited us all to stick around for the next taping with Kelsey Grammer, John Laroquette, and musical guest Default, and I have to admit, I laughed and walked out with everone else there.
So, in summation:
Tracy Morgan: very funny, very short, and evidently older than I thought, because he said he’s been married 20 years.
Modest Mouse: fantastic.
Modest Mouse fans: annoying.
Carson Daly: pray for him.
The show airs after Conan next Monday, February 9.