Cory Schneider has a few things in common with Conan O'Brien, if you think about it, and I'm not just talking about the red hair or the fact that they're both from Massachusetts.
Like Conan at NBC, Schneider put in his time as a backup in Vancouver, doing excellent work from the No. 2 spot while patiently waiting for his opportunity to take over as the go-to guy. Sure enough, after years developing his craft, he signed a contract extension with the organization, and he was given the job he'd been after for most of his professional career.
And then, after only half a season in the role, he was moved out and his job was given back to the other guy. It was an embarrassment for everybody concerned.
All of this in mind, it's fitting that NBC decided to use not just a hockey motif but a goaltender motif in its new teaser for their second attempt at succeeding Jay Leno, with Jimmy Fallon slated to become the new host of The Tonight Show on February 17:
That final joke is your reminder that Fallon may have hit the big time, but he still knows what makes comedy great: men being struck in the genitalia with sports-related paraphernalia. It rhymes, so it has to be true.
We understand that NBC is an NHL rights holder, so it's in their best interest to promote the game whenever possible. And Fallon has always been good to hockey. But this is still a pretty notable appearance for the sport.
Who'd have thought, a few short years ago, the network would be promoting The Tonight Show with hockey?