With the late-night talk show drama of the last few weeks — a rumble between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien — to end tonight, I got curious.
Just minutes after the first reports of how O’Brien finished his final episode of The Tonight Show on NBC (by taking the high road in his finale) arrived, and about an hour before airtime, I wondered … do Leno or O’Brien have any trading cards?
One would think with all of the celebrity trading cards produced in the last few years and the decades of non-sports cards out there someone might have touched on some of the most-famous names in TV history, right?
The answer? Not really.
Between Leno and O’Brien, there is just one trading card in the Beckett.com database. It’s a Leno card (so he wins again) from the 1998 Topps WCW/nWo wrestling set that marks the last time Leno got into a meaningful brouhaha — or perhaps the last time he got some laughs. (They weren’t from wrestling fans, I assure you — they were likely in tears just like the time David Arquette became the World Heavyweight Champion. But I digress…)
The Leno card’s value? Just 30 cents — and that’s on the high side. The low book value is 12 cents, but I bet somebody with plenty of them on hand will cut you a deal considering how popular Leno is these days.
We all know O’Brien doesn’t have any monetary incentive to sign any trading cards for any card companies — his personal “walk away” money topped $30 million — but now that he’s not going to be working on television on a daily basis maybe there would be more time for something like that if a Panini America or Topps came calling for Donruss Americana or some other type of pop culture trading card set.
One thing’s for sure — collectors would want to have them.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Graded Card Investor. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.