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Baby boomer Conan O’Brien moves on


Conan O’Brien, 46, hosted his last show of “The Tonight Show” tonight.

I’m not sorry to see O’Brien go.

I don’t watch much television, but I stopped watching O’Brien after he ran an offensive skit. It bashed Europeans, and featured a nerdy-looking, pompous guy in a funny-looking shirt. It ended with an Asian man continually punching the “European.” I wrote a complaint to the show about the skit.

I like Europeans. I think they have a lot of great ideas, such as stricter laws about genetically modified foods and traditions and policies that foster the retention of farmland and preservation of historic cities.

As the Conan O’Brien-Jay Leno duel unfolded, the Internet was abuzz with posts about whether baby boomer Jay Leno, 59, should give up his show for “Gen Xer” O’Brien.

Gen Xers said Leno should retire and make room for a talented, Gen X star. They said Leno’s refusal to retire is typical of boomers who are keeping Gen Xers from getting promotions.

O’Brien isn’t a Gen Xer. He’s a boomer, born on April 18, 1963. Boomers were born from 1946 to 1964.

The O’Brien-Leno clash was a scenario many baby boomers can identify with: The loyal employee who still delivers, being forced out to make way for someone younger.

However, in the end, it was all about the ratings. “The Tonight Show” with Conan O’Brien got off to a good start, but the ratings quickly dropped.

Flickr photo

Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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The 1946-1964 definition of Baby Boomers is not ironclad; William Strauss and Neil Howe are pioneers in generational analysis (authors of Generations and the Fourth Turning). They would pick 1960 as the end of the Baby Boom generation, based largely on cultural phenomenon than anything else.

There chart is here: and under that definition O'Brien (and Obama) would be Gen Xers.


Hi Scott,

Thanks for your comment.

I use the official U.S. Bureau of the Census definition of baby boomers. They do the counting, so I think that's the most reliable definition to use.

I do realize that there are other ideas out there. I received a lot of comments when I wrote "Barack Obama IS a Baby Boomer" and when I write posts describing Michelle Obama as a baby boomer.


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