May 6th, 2010
10:25 AM ET

Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien keep the late-night wars alive

Forget love; late-night talk shows are the real battlefield.

First, Conan O’Brien went on “60 Minutes” to tell his side of the NBC saga, wherein he briefly mentioned what he would have done had he been Jay Leno - namely, not take the show back. While some may call that criticism, others may say that’s having an opinion.

O’Brien then made another perceived slight at his former colleague while visiting the Google headquarters yesterday. O'Brien was chatting onstage with an interviewer in front of a crowd of 20-somethings, and the interviewer noted that some people in the crowd were so young, “they don’t even know what the ‘Tonight Show’ is.”

O’Brien responded, “Well, that’s good, I like that. There’s no reason to know what a ‘Tonight Show’ is anymore!’

Cue the thunderous applause that Leno perhaps took a little personally. On the “Tonight Show” Wednesday, he fired back at O’Brien – or, at the very least, O’Brien’s followers – by pulling up the “Facebook page” of Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomb suspect.

During his monologue, Leno never pointed out that along with being a member of the Al-Qaeda and the Pakistan Frequent Flyers Club Facebook groups, Shahzad was on Team CoCo. Instead, he let it linger on the screen just long enough for those paying attention to catch it.

Perhaps time doesn’t heal all wounds.


Filed under: Late Night comedy • television

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. .UmpireSam

    I like Conan

    But has he ever really had to explain his thoughts on why jay leno left the tonight show in the first place ?

    He should have just shut up and done the show at 1201

    saying he did not want to do a 12.01 show shows his east coast bisis

    what time would the show have come on in calif or texas anyway ?

    May 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. K.Gibs

    For all the people who says Conan should get over it because he got 30 million, why don't you guys get over it? You're the ones that seem to be bothered about it.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. forgottenone

    No one mentions Jimmy Kimmel who is really funny and a good interviewer. Definitely a contender for best host. I rather like Craig Ferguson too. He does a rather cool in-the-camera-and-your-face monologue that can be honest and fun. He needs to work on his interviews more. Letterman's humor was mostly off with me, though sometimes his "top ten" worked. Conan's style was pretty dopey too and both had unpredictable interview styles. Conan is too whiney for a guy who Chose to Leave and took a 30 mill Golden Parachute and now has a new job after shoving George Lopez up to what would have been "his" NBC time slot. This is his chance to show the goods, let us see if he can.

    May 7, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. vish

    Jay is very talent he delivers very well very corporate , Co-B is just the way too funny any edgy, too much for the NBC execs. If they didn't want why they kept his jokes and skits. They knew Co-B is is worth something so they tie him up, but he will be free soon...and reinvent himself again.
    To everyone hating on Co-B or Leno It was a corporate decision to do all of this. They wanted Leno out, for Co-B, Then wanted Leno Back and Co-B out. The Jimmy Fallon show sucks, Besides The Roots .how come he gets to keep his show?

    May 7, 2010 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rob J

    I don't feel sorry for Conan O Brien specifically. His NBC buyout was a nice sum of money (even if the majority of it was going to taxes, and paying his staff while he looked for a new television home for his show, where he could bring them.)

    But I feel bad for Conan FANS like myself, who've watched him nightly for many, many years... and then suddenly, didn't have our nightly fix anymore.

    It felt like losing a good friend.

    May 7, 2010 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rob J

    The biggest bummer is....

    NBC should have let Conan go elsewhere 5 or 6 years ago, when his Late Night contract expired.

    Conan could have found a better network to move to. By leading him on, and wasting his time for 5 years, Conan was left with fewer options in 2010, and is now stuck on TBS.

    (For instance, I'll bet ABC would have jumped at the chance to replace the then-poorly rated Jimmy Kimmel, with Conan, in 2005. But by 2010, with Kimmel's show much more established, ABC weren't interested.)

    (Or maybe he could have moved to CBS in 2005, and followed Letterman's show. Sure he would have still had the late time slot, but he wouldn't have been stuck on the failing 4th place network!)

    (Or maybe he could have had more time to persuade FOX to start a new show, instead of syndicated reruns.)

    May 7, 2010 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jimmy Fallon

    How come nobody has mentioned me? I'm a playa......right?

    May 7, 2010 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mark

    Jay's horrible show and terrible ratings at 10pm destroyed any chance Conan had. Conan you deserved better !!

    May 7, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ventus

    For all the people saying they don't think Conan is funny, I hope you never laughed at a Simpson's episode. He's a fantastic writer and wrote for them for an extensive period of time.

    People have the comedians they liked. For all of those that are telling Conan to stop whining because he got a lot of money, you do realize that the man paid the salaries of his writers and staff out of his own pocket during that ill-conceived Writers' Strike? Yes, he's soooooo selfish and such a jerk...

    Jay was a good business decision in the short run, but in the long run, probably not. Conan appeals to the younger demographic, simple as that.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. 1234

    Even the terrorists hate Jay Leno!
    Thanks for pointing that out Jay!

    May 7, 2010 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. "ANNIE"

    O.K. everyone , all together "T.V just plain Sucks !! 300 channels and nothing to look at but oldies. And what dominates T.V. , the stupid reality shows !! Not worth a dam* !!

    May 7, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ejay

    What was not appropriate was what Conan DID do...bully NBC into ousting Leno in the first place...and then ruining TTS in the second place. I am not surprised that terrorists like the recent bomber are Conan fans. Conan is a terrorist. It always come back to bite him in the end, though.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Will

    Jason from Hollywood obviously has too much time on his hands. Just say your piece and move on dude.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. barbara

    I am sick to death of Conan. He should grow-up and shut-up. First of all the network removed Jay from the job he loved, even though he was #1, with no regard for his feelings. That didn't bother Conan though did it! It wasn't like he wanted to leave the Tonight show, clearly he didn't.. He was well aware the format he was taking to primetime would more than likely fail in that time slot. It was a big gamble for him. Did he whine and carry on that Conan was taking his job.... no he acted like a gentleman and wished Conan well. Although I'm sure he was mad as hell about it. Conan did a lousy job with the Tonight show and was rightfully removed/fired, yet paid handsomely for his failed outing. Jay's prime time show failed to get the ratings and was cancelled. It is absolutely insane to suggest Jay should not have accepted the invitation to come back to the Tonight show if he wanted to do so simply because it hurt Conan's feelings or might have made the network change their mind to keep him if Jay didn't return. Jay has every right in the world to make a living doing what he loves just as Conan does. Jay owes him nothing. Conan is nothing but a spoiled egomaniac. However, I wish Jay would have told NBC to take a hike and gone to another network after the shabby way NBC treated him.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ashley

    Everyone seems to forget that Conan asked for the Tonight show to be his otherwise he would leave NBC. This all happened when Jay's show was number one about five years ago. Clearly that the wrong business decision on the part of NBC. Now Conan is complaining because he did not want to accept the 12:00AM time slot offered to him and simply wanted Jay to quit all together so that he could have everything to himself at 11:30PM. Is that what a good character is all about? I don't think so! NBC made another business decision which would make more $$ sense for the company. Companies hire and fire people all the time. NBC, as an employer, has the right to change time slots and everything else they deem appropriate based on business model. Such model may not be the most effective and smart, but nonetheless, they are that company's decision. Conan should stop complaining and grow up. Those who think Conan got a raw deal should get a grip. The next time you get fired or laid off, see if you get millions in return. Meanwhile, tune in to other channels for entertainment if NBC is not cutting for ya'.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Kevin Cassidy

    Leno sucks.

    May 6, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Daniel

    To the people that say Conan should move on. You have to remember he is a comedian, and when someone is going to ask you about how you feel or to comment on the situation, he's going to make a witty joke.

    May 6, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Bart

    If Jay Leno would have just said no to Jeff Zucker instead of being a team player, none of this would have happened. GE should have fired Zucker over this fiasco and told Conan O'Brien that we appreciate what you have done for the network but Leno is the Number 1 show and removing him would border on the ridiculous. I just hope in the future Leno learns to say no. I just keep asking myself this one question: Why is Zucker still employed at NBC?

    May 6, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tony

    Conan was taking up space and time... move on bro

    May 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  20. jay

    Okay so the terrorist was a fan of Team Coco, what exactly is Jay implying? Comparing Conan to a terrorist?? That's not comedy that's just slander and classless at that! So by comparison does that make Jay Leno a backstabbing traitor? Terrorists go to jail but we all know what happens to traitors!

    May 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  21. jojo

    Conan should just shut up and move on. I never thought he was funny and some of the things he did were stupid. I am glad that Leno took the slot back, as he made it number one. Conan is just a cry baby, and wants everyone to feel sorry for him..................

    May 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  22. moon627

    Conad and Team CoCo Puffs are sore losers !

    That Facebook gag is hilarious ! LOL ! Good One Jay !
    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    May 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  23. dufus magee

    THat's actually pretty funny. zing!

    What coco isnt talking about is that after he took over the Tonight Show, the ratings absolutely TANKED!
    Whether or not Jay's 10pm show failed doesnt matter. Bringing in Conan was a mistake and it wouldnt have worked anyway.
    Conan doesnt seem to grasp that reality.
    Sorry Conan, you are legit. you are a funny writer, a funny dude. But you cut the Tonight Show ratings in half and made Letterman and CBS very very happy when you took over

    May 6, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Lance

    I cant stand Jay Leno. Conan O'Brian has every right to be upset so let him say whatever he wants. I am eagerly awaiting his return and cant wait to set my DVR to his show. TEAM COCO for LIFE.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Rob - Australia

    If no one can see the Publicity stunt in all of this, for both of them, then they are blind.

    With a 40 million plus bye bye present, Conan was ecstatic!!

    May 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jon

    O'Brien>leno...end of story

    May 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Phil

    Good grief people, they're both just making jokes! It's what they do! Laugh and move on!

    May 6, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  28. sarah

    This is a democratic country. Let Conan vent. Who cares, anyway. Jay is the guy! Love him.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Leno is the best

    Co-nun and followers are turd nuggets. Co-nob needs to quit explaining and expanding on his senseless stupidity. He condescendingly feels the need to continuously explain his humor because he believes that he is smarter then the average bear, when in reality he isn't funny. He is such a D-bag.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Dee

    I love Jay. Johnny Carson retired on his own, and he was a lot older than Jay Leno was, when he was forced out at 59. That was pretty low of Conan. I for one was glad his show didn't make it, regardless of if it wasn't Jay Leno that was returning. He's just not funny – silly, yes, but funny, no. And look what he's doing to George Lopez. Pusing him back a haf hour. Isn't that what NBC wanted to do to him and he quit and made a lot of money. George Lopez is a much classier person, reminiscent of Jay. They both respect their jobs and their employers. They don't bite the hand that feeds them, like Conan did and then walked away with millions.
    Stop crying CoCo. You brought it on yourself.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Lu

    Craig Ferguson is the king. He's intelligent, articulate, witty. Conan has always been a jerk; from the time he meanspiritedly dealt with other Harvard students to his forcing NBC to give him the Tonight Show.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  32. somewhere innc

    Conan needs to realize he lost the Tonight Show cuz he wasn't funny and stop trying to blame Leno. Conan's a 40 million dollar cry-baby. He cried on 60 minutes that Jay hadn't called him, when Jay said during his interview that he would call Conan when all this died down. As long as Conan can't get over it . . . welp, don't gues it's gonna die down. I hope he bombs on this new channel.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Seasider

    I like Conan and Jay but I don't buy Conan's "I wouldn't do what Jay did" rant. Let's not forget that it was Conan who initially forced Jay out by demanding he inherit The Tonight Show or he'll take the other offers he was getting. The Tonight Show is the brass ring of primetime talk shows. Jay was under contract and NBC would not release him from the contract so he couldn't exactly jump ship. NBC offered him the Tonight Show back which is where he always wanted to be. He'd would've been a fool not to take it. Show business is a cut throat business and Conan knows that as well as anyone. Either you want The Tonight Show or you don't. You don't worry about the other guys hurt feelings.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Micky

    Jay is a filthy PIG.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Kate Johnson

    Forgive me if I don't cry for Conan O'brien. He just got over 30 million dollars to "not work" for six months. Now he's on TV whining when millions of people are unemployed and struggling to survive in this country.

    What a tool.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  36. hwlnktn

    I loved and faithfully watched them all...Johnny, Jay and Conan. Since he came back, Jay is stale, boring and tasteless, just as I have felt Letterman was for the past 15+ years. Anyone who would bring up an attempted act of terrorism or a terrorist as part of a comedy act is acting without good sense or taste, which Jay has done all week. I will be looking forward to checking out Conan to see if his silly antics still make me smile when he starts airing on TBS.

    May 6, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Bob

    This is getting old! 2 facts - Conan's ratings were below expectations, & he wasn't funny! Leno was contractually required to work for NBC, & it put him back in the chair. No mysteries, no subterfuge, a business decision. And watching Leno lately, it looks more like his 10 PM show than the old Tonight, which will hurt in the long run.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  38. martin13005

    For all the 'how great am I' from Leno, it was hilarious to see his foray in prime-time end in cancellation....probably the funniest thing he's ever done :)

    May 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  39. lmfao

    STOP YELLING AAAAAAAAH LEAVE CONAN ALONE LOL SHUT IT

    May 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Joshua

    Conan O'Brien is my favorite Funny Man period... Jay Leno doesn't even come close. To those that don't like Conan, I'd say watch Conan's 10 year Anniversary Special & then tell me he's not funny... He is just the best!!!

    May 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Jason from Hollywood

    Jay was able to get that full page ad in the LA times that said "Leno to replace Carson. "

    It was Jay's manager who placed the ad, with Jay's OK.
    It was Jay's manager who took the blame
    It was Jay's manager who got fired

    But Jay is a nice guy...

    May 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Sharon A. Fox

    There is a big reason why my former neighbor and good friend, Johnny Carson, decided to never appear on television again after his departure from The Tonight Show (with the exception of his two surprise appearances on David Letterman's show) and Jay Leno played a big part in that decision. Many comedians who know their history say that Jay Leno helped shoot down Johnny Carson, "The King" of late night TV. Greed can cause people who have no grounding in values do a lot of unethical things that hurt people.

    Many high level executives at the network and Jay Leno have said over the years that it was a shame that Johnny Carson never returned to the screen after his departure. I say it's a shame that some of these very same people were responsible for forcing Johnny out.

    The Late Night Wars may seem like a war of late night personalities in reality it is a war of values and ethics vs greed. It's sad that bad manners seem to have temporarily won the war.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jason from Hollywood

    i'M NOT A CONAN FAN – I'M ANTI-JAY

    I hate people that don't do what they say – like retire.
    I hate people that portray themselves as normal folks – in a $200k car
    I hate people who call themselves comedians – but aren't funny

    I hate people who portray themselves as nice guys – but then turn around and stab you and everyone u know in the back

    May 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Toc

    Enough already with this - How can we feel sorry for someone that received something like over 40 million from NBC to buy out his contract!!! Conan move on already!!!!!

    May 6, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jason from Hollywood

    JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY, JAY LENO IS NOT FUNNY,

    May 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Jason from Hollywood

    I'm sick of people telling us Conan didn't do well – I mean it's true, but Leno had the benefit of

    A) Carson actually retiring and not hanging out in the NBC lobby
    B) Prime Time Programming
    C) Network Support
    D) Time – he didn't get to number one for 3 years, Conan got 7 months
    E) Advertising

    May 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  47. linda

    Conan would be nothing if he hadn't had the chance of the Tonight Show. Beware when you bite the hand that feeds you. He is new to late night- and only has very young followers and they will leave him quickly if he keeps complaining.He just is not funny enough to carry on like this with the victim thing. I think he will fail.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Sailboatken

    Guys – Lets face it, Conan was hilarious on his old show, but just didnt make the transition to the new time slot (and the wider appeal he needed), I agree with others that he needs to put this behind him, he is as responsible as anyone for what happened. I believe that if he should have let them delay his show the 1/2 hour. If Leno failed he would have been moved back, and if not would have had the extra viewers he needed to keep his job!! He should be thrilled with his buy out and move on.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jason from Hollywood

    Jay's a loser, he's desperate to have his talk show, he'll stomp over anyone to get it, and keep it. He kicked Carson out to the curb, he kicked O'Brien to the curb.

    Jay is a sad, sad man. No kids, no friends, he hasn't built a personal life. It's pathetic that he has to resort to lying, cheating, and stealing just to get what he wants – at least twice. He has no backbone, no integrity. Even Eubanks is leaving, can't take it anymore. The phoniness is just so apparent when you watch, it's sad.

    Jay is just a small child who yells and screams when he don't get what they want, that behavior seems to have rubbed off on his fans as well...

    He appeals to older women, morons who like subtle humor and half jokes. People who need the band to tell them when to laugh...

    I hate Jay Leno. Unlike Letterman, the doctors would probably let Leno die on the operating table...I hope so...

    May 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Sharon

    Conan doesn't hold a candle to Leno. Dude should get over it.. he didn't fair well and his humor is, at best, for a cable channel..

    May 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Mellanie

    Jay Leno is an idiot and has to be the most boring person on TV. The fact that he had to open up Facebook and find a terrorist as Conan's fan- LOLZ how funny is that! That's not comedy.

    I think Conan was just answering questions, Jay however.. c'mon now.
    Excuse me, I have to go watch George Lopez.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Chelsea Fan

    I don't watch Coco or Leno anymore. They are not funny and too boring. If I want to watch a funny talk show, I'll switch to Chelsea Lately or stay up for Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  53. let's be real

    carol, Conan is going to be on TBS most likely.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  54. let's be real

    Someone call the WAAAAAAAAAAAHMBULANCE

    May 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  55. carol

    the real king is gone and that was johnny carson. nobody was as funny as hes show was . i miss him loved to stay up in summer time .when school was out and watch him . he was the greatest. those of you to young to get to watch his shows not just the ones they still have . really missed out on something great. alot of old shows didnt make it due to early on they would tape over the old shows with new ones . till carson took over it was that way lost tons of hours of footage too bad.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  56. carol

    conan should get a cable show . then he can do all kindas of humor the couldn't do on his old show. he can go really crazy

    May 6, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  57. carol

    conan should get a cable show . then he can do all kindas of humor the couldn't do on his old show

    May 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  58. carol

    wow terrorist do'nt even think leno is funny .

    May 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  59. z

    Okay, I have NEVER liked Conan O'Brien, but i really dislike him now. What do you mean what you would have done if in Jay's shoes. He was in his shoes when a few years ago the network promised to give the show to O'Brien and force Jay into retirement in 2009. He (Conan)should have declined that offer. Jay was not ready to leave and his fans were not ready for him to leave. O'Brien is not good enough to anchor the Tonight Show hour and that is why he's gone and they brought the right man back. Stop giving Jay Leno a hard time! He did nothing wrong but love his job and he does it well.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Diva

    I would love to be in Conan's shoes & get paid for being let go....we should all be so lucky! His whining is getting & has been tired. Good gracious... let it go!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Joelan3

    It's one thing to say I would have done it a different way and a completely other thing to associate Conans fans with a terrorist is very insulting to the fans. Jays getting desperate and looks pitiful. even Obama is funnier than Jay. As for Jay being the king of late night, I don't think so, he may get good ratings for now but he's not in the same class with any of the hosts that came before him. He should have retired. I would have had a little respect for that.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  62. paul

    35 million dollars to walk ... NOW shut up

    150 million to stay ... NOW say something funny.

    Having to hear about their stories of "why me", NOT WORTH a penny.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Me

    Conan sucked end of story

    May 6, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  64. laura from willis

    Jay...... I'm quite certain you could have gotten your digs in without using Terrorism Incident.
    Don't you think this is a serious matter? Shame on your lack of integrity!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Whatever

    Get a grip.... who cares!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Colin Henderson

    I am a huge fan of Conan. I despise Leno. But that is funny.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  67. agent

    Kind of shows the real side of Jay Leno – doesn't it? He's not as sweet as he'd like people to think. All along Leno said he'd take the Tonight Show back if offered esp. knowing Conan was having rating problems – doesn't help build confidence by the network for Conan, knowing Jay was waiting in the dark. Jay should man up and say he's a lot to blame for such a poor lead in!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Joe

    Down with Leno – he had his run at success but its tired and he's old and uninteresting now... and most of "his" jokes are not his actually... poor writers write those jokes and then Leno butchers them with his unprecedentedly awful delivery and sad little guitar twang afterwards.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Jen in Dallas

    Conan is by far funnier than Jay. Not to mention infinitely smarter. He is not whining at all, he was understandably upset by what went down. Jay's ratings are higher becase:

    a) Conan's demographic watches cable and
    b) Jay's demographic are old and retired and up late because they don't have to work or are just not smart enough to get Conan's humor.

    As long as there are retirees and rednecks, Jay has a spot on TV. As long as there are young hippie intellectuals Conan has a spot as well.

    Both are going to be fine and this stupid "war" should end.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Walter

    If O'Brien hadn't gone to NBC in a hissy fit squawking that "if I don't get the Tonight Show, I'm leaving!" none of this would have happened. O'Brien stunk on the Tonight Show and whether his lead in was Leno or a Family Guy rerun, he would still stink.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Treatz

    I think Leno is a hater. And what do I mean by that,well very simply, his show sucked and when he moved to his new timeslot and the rest of the country saw how badly he blows, he then turned over to the only thing he could do which was and is hating on Conan.Conan Rocks!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Roland

    LENO ISNT EVEN THAT FUNNY. CONAN HAS BEEN THE FRONTRUNNER FOR NBC FOR A LONG TIME NOW. IT WAS TIME FOR LENO TO RETIRE AND STILL IS. HE'S WORSE THAN BRETT FAVRE. CONAN IS THE S**T AND ALWAYS WILL BE. LONG LIVE CONAN "THE FIREHEADED FUNNYMAN" OBRIEN

    May 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Red Pison

    Conan lost to Letterman, of course they wanted to bump him later so Leno could crush Letterman again. It's all about the ratings, and if you all thought Conan was so damn good, why were his ratings in the hole?

    May 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Im afraid of Americans

    Leno makes old people laugh
    O'brien makes young people laugh.

    end of story.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  75. The Face

    Business is business. Conan should just go find another job and continue on his way. If Conan keeps running his mouth then it is perfectly okay for Leno to show that even terrorist where on team Coco's side.....

    May 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  76. I love Sandra

    ^ Grow up, Kristin. I'm well under 50 and I find Jay to be the funniest of the late night talk show hosts!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  77. LB

    Conan is a winny little b!@#$! Give up already and get lost!

    May 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Kristin

    Nobody under 50 appreciates Jay Leno's humor. He's corny and obvious. Frankly, after all of this, I think he's a selfish jerk, too. He really needed the Tonight Show back that badly? How many more cars does one giant chin need?

    May 6, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  79. the truth

    leno blows. and so does anybody who thinks he's actually funny.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Brutal Master

    Good boy Jay

    May 6, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Jay

    I'll make it up to you Coco, come on over to my studio and bring the lube...Thats what Brutal master told me to do...so I must

    May 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  82. BLahno

    Johnny Carson used to have Leno on as a guest comedian. Even back then his jokes were apropos for a comic entertaining a mob boss. Johnny wanted Letterman to take over his show but Leno's close ties with the mafia persuaded Johnny's boss to over ride his decision, even though Johnny basically owned that time slot.

    Fast forward, Leno is still the mafia's favorite comedian and they have controlled that time slot to keep him on TV.

    Apparently the mafia is alive and well.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Heidi

    People need to stop judging Jay. How come no one makes a stink over the fact that Conan took over Jay's job first? In 2004, the network asked Jay to step down so that Conan could take over the Tonight Show. Now the shoes on the other foot and Conan is being bitter and hateful towards Jay. He is being so hypocritical. People need to realize this was a network decision and Conan did not behave any better when he was the one being asked to take the show away from Jay.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  84. kate

    No one "gave" the Tonight Show to Conan – he took it by contractual force. This wasn't Leno going off into retirement and handing over the reigns to his successor. Leno's Tonight Show contract included a clause that forced him out so Conan could take over. This clause went into effect regardless of whether Leno was doing great or not. No negotiation.

    And no one "took" the Tonight Show from Conan. Conan forced the deal – failed – and the company went with someone who had already proven themselves. He failed to deliver on a very expensive investment.

    And yet in that 60 minutes interview Conan never responds when it's brought up that Conan forced Leno out through contracts and threats to leave the network.

    Conan didn't lose anything – he got 30 mill for not showing up to work. But he'd better take a lesson from his Tonight Show failure. The frat boys and party girls who supported him 10 years ago have grown up and if he doesn't grow his show as well, he won't make it on TBS either.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Brutal Master

    Jay calls me all the time asking begging me to tell him what to do.
    He listens very well.........

    May 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  86. stu

    didn't that 35millon $ pay off come w/ a gag order=SHUT IT RED!

    May 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  87. LindaLou

    Six years ago, Conan told NBC he would leave unless they told him when he could take the Tonight Show away from Jay. NBC gave him the show while Jay was still on top of the ratings. Conan's ratings stunk. NBC realized the stupid decision they made, and they asked Jay if he would come back. Jay did not go looking for any of this. Conan is the most overpaid crybaby in the history of television and is annoying the living daylights out of everyone except those that think he is so cool that he can do no wrong.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Mary

    Guys this is only television! Which we all know is all about ratings. Jay Leno got the job done best, no matter what age group(s) that tuned in to watch. I do like Conan who has been PAID handsomely for the decision he made and he also has a new gig. It's time to just move on!

    May 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  89. JW

    wow jay. facebook jokes? that's some hilarious stuff. you are truly the king of late night comedy.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Amber

    ...conan, you had a job, you got fired, you started looking for another job, you got another job.....it sounds just like any other day in ordinary peoples lives.....apart from the fact that you got 30 something million dollars....get over it!

    May 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Amy

    I'm sorry. We should all be so lucky to cry ALL the way to the bank for the millions of dollars that Baby CoCO got in the buyout from NBC.

    32 Million Dollars to walk away from a show that he didn't do well at!
    People grow up!

    May 6, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  92. KC

    Jay never wanted to leave in the first place. NBC told him they were giving the show to Conan in 5 years and he didn't have any choice. So when Conan couldn't pull in the viewers, Jay gladly took back the show he never wanted to leave. NBC screwed themselves and they lost money. They should have left everything alone and everyone would have been better for it.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Go Cavs

    Dave is the real King, I agree with Vivian.
    It's hard for me to feel sorry for someone who got over 4 million as a severance pay. Get over it already Conan. Look outside the box and see what is happening to 'ordinary' people.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Amy

    Hello.....Conan is doing the same to George Lopez now on TBS. The media says he asked George and George is ok with it. Bolognie!! Why would George say " Sure you can have my coveted time slot and I will move back later so that no one will stay up and watch my show now." You know he had no choise but to give it up. I love the George Lopez show and hate that Conan is taking his place. He SUCKS!!! and that is why the ratings dropped on NBC when he took over.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Bryan

    Oh I see, so now Leno is taking a dig at Conan's fans...like me. Hmm kinda like how O'Riley continually bashes fans of the Daily Show. Leno sucks.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  96. TIMMAAY

    NBC PAID CONAN 35 MILLION TO LEAVE!
    POOR POOR CONAN

    May 6, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Vivian

    DAVE is the real King of late night
    Conan was slighted and Jay is just a has-been

    May 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Jack in DSM

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. NBC made a business decision based on Conan's falling ratings and went back to the guy who produced the ratings they wanted. What does this mean? It means that more people think Conan isn't funny than Conan wants to admit. Man up O'Brien and lick your wounds in private.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Ian

    I watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report. But I did watch Late Night with Conan O'Brien when I didn't have cable, and it was usually pretty great.
    Conan and his team could drink a bottle of ink, crap on a stack of papers and come out with something funnier than Jay's writers can manage in a month. But again, I don't watch network late night television, so really, it doesn't really matter what I think. And I'm fine with that.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Not laughing in Virginia

    Never really "got" Letterman's sense of humor, and used to watch Leno all the time. Never watched Conon until this incident with Leno happened.

    Now that Leno is "back" I refuse to watch him. For him to talk about how NBC screwed "both" Conan and him is ridiculous. Leno didn't just scerw Conan when he went on at 11pm and failed to produce a lead-in for the news and late night. He screwed a whole host of TV writers, producers, actors, set designers, etc., ... and TV veiwers ... because we all lost 5 hours of dramatic programming.

    Now, I either read a book and watch nothing at 11:30 ... or tune into Letterman if I'm interested in his guest. Nothing will EVER get me to watch Leno again.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Jeff

    Frank Sanders – Personal opinion aside on either Leno or Letterman (I agree with you on saying Leno is not funny – Love Dave) – you can't compare a comedian at a small club with what a talk show host does. A comedian is working on having at least 20 mins of material that they can do over and over. A talk show host needs to have new material every night and be able to comment on their feet. Sure they're not always the best jokes and some nights are better than others but it's unfair to compare two drastically different comedy situations.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  102. andrea

    I have always enjoyed Jay Leno's Tonight Show–i like funny, and he's funny. I feel that Conan is not funny- he's just silly.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  103. I dont get it

    why it is Leno's responsability that Conan has a job?

    The network did chose to keep the option they thought it would give them more money

    Welcom to the real world, people likes to make money

    Besides, its not like they just gave conan a thank you note

    more than 40 millions ??? come on

    May 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Denise

    So now Jay Leno runs NBC and can tell the execs what kind of programming to run and who should host shows? Get real, people! Jay was offered a good deal to get the Tonight Show back. Conan is unwatchable for me and so is David Letterman. I would gladly watch 2 hours of Craig Ferguson every night of the week, but he is on too late for me to stay up.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  105. marc FROM PHILLY

    THE KING OF LATE NIGHT IS DAVID LETTERMAN. HE FOLLOWED CARSON. BUT GOT SCREWED WORSE THAN CONAN.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Lance

    NBC's decision to give Jay the show was was a business decision, because it cost them less to let Conan go than to let Jay go. They also had to cover-up the stupidity of their decision to try and cram a talk-show into the earlier time of night to "save money" by replacing scripted-shows for 5 hours a week. Notice how we're not talking about that part of their stupid business move?

    But just because it was NBC's decision to save money, doesn't mean Jay had to accept it. Conan's right, it was a classless act on Jay's part. He didn't have to accept it, just because NBC offered it.

    Conan has no reason to apologize for how he feels or what he's said. Just because a mugger makes a "business decision" that it's more dollars-per-hour for him to rob you, than to get a job for himself, doesn't mean we have to buy into the muggers justification.

    NBC/Jeff Zucker mugged Conan O'Brien, and Jay Leno was complicit in the crime. Justifying the behavior as a "business decision" is no different than accepting the rationale of a mugger for taking someone's wallet.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  107. Seriously!

    Jay went too far. If he wants to be a King, he should act with dignity, and he has not yet figured out how to do that. Put your big girl pants on , Jay.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  108. Sherry

    Conan get over it and get on with your new show and stop acting like you were hurt. I sure would like to be fired and received the millions you did.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  109. Votarus4

    Excuse me, Conan needs to stop?

    It's Leno that needs to reign it in. I used to have nothing against Jay, even when all this hoopla started. But every time Jay responds with a "joke," it's very mean-spirited and I lose a little respect for him every time.

    Conan banks on classlessness and yet has been the class act through it all. I wish I could take a firing like he did...of course, the several million helped.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  110. Frank Sanders

    Neither Jay Leno nor Dave Letterman are funny. Two sad cases that should not be on TV anymore. Any stand up comic found at a small venue beats these two hands down.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  111. joe

    I mean he did not imply

    May 6, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  112. joe

    he did imply, he just show the page!!

    May 6, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  113. sue

    funny-since jay is back on late night the show is #1 again and Fallon's ratings have increased-the decision was strictly business. Conan walked away with a huge chunk of dough for 6 months worth of work–how many others can say the same?? And he has a new gig–cut the crap Conan.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  114. Im afraid of Americans

    correction- it's all about comedians who make fun of themselves. that makes them that much funnier

    May 6, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  115. Im afraid of Americans

    O'brien is funny- its ppl who have a dry and old fashioned sense of humor (or lack thereof altogether) that find Leno amusing. You see...it's all comedians who make fun of themselves and their show. That's why Letterman can be funny too most of the time. Leno is for your 50+ demographic audience.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  116. stormeagle

    Implying that Conan's fans are terrorists? Totally low and pathetic. How's that "nice guy" image working for you now, Jay? Don't be fooled folks.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  117. Greg

    Glad i had this episode on my PVR, i missed it. Good one Jay!

    May 6, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  118. justin

    conan needs to grow up and act like a man instead of a hurt little boy. He is a talented person that is going to start causing himself to self destruct if doesnt. Jay leno deserves to work just like anyone else, conan grow up and be a man, you didnt get the job done the way the network wanted and i DO NOT agree with the way you were treated but you cant change it so be a man and move on.

    May 6, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  119. John

    Honestly, I like Conan a lot more than Leno. And I believe what Conan said on 60 minutes – that, in the end, it was about NBC making a decision about money, so I don't blame Jay Leno.

    As far as these jabs are concerned, I think its high time Conan let it go. He's just going to start looking like he is completely hung up on it – its time to move on, buddy.

    May 6, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  120. MKEmom

    For Jay Leno to pull up a terrorist's Facebook page to show he was a fan of Team Coco is a classless act.

    May 6, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  121. Maria turcios

    obrian should just stopped it already everyone knows that Jay is the king of late night

    May 6, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  122. The Best Critic

    Even if Conan's show was not that good, Leno still accepted the network's decision to fill the old time slot and replace Conan. I agree with Conan that it isn't appropriate.

    I guess I won't be aware of what Leno does because I haven't been watching his show. .

    May 6, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |

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