May 3rd, 2010
11:08 AM ET

Conan O'Brien: I didn't get screwed by NBC

Conan O'BrienIf there’s one thing Conan O’Brien - former "Tonight Show" host and current touring comedian – wants the world to know after his "60 Minutes" interview, it’s that he’s doing just fine.

“I’m doing great,” he told CBS correspondent Steve Kroft Sunday. “I hope people still find me comedically absurd and ridiculous and I don’t regret anything.”

At the moment, it doesn’t look like O’Brien has much to frown about anyway. After getting kicked out of his post at NBC's "Tonight," O’Brien has rebounded with the aforementioned tour, a very active Twitter account and a contract with TBS for another late-night program, to start in November preceding George Lopez on “Lopez Tonight.”

“I do believe – and this might be my Catholic upbringing or my Irish magical thinking – but I believe things happen for a reason,” O’Brien said, before Kroft points out it’s actually the Lutherans who hold tight to that adage. “Okay,” he amended, “I believe if I experience any joy in life, I’ll go to hell.”

He may have moved on to a better place now, but O’Brien’s wife Liza told Kroft that the entire late-night debacle was like watching O’Brien get his heart broken.

“I went through some stuff and got very depressed at times,” O’Brien said. “It was like a marriage breaking up suddenly, violently, quickly, and I was just trying to figure out what happened.”

He decided to leave because it felt like “the tone went very quickly from, ‘take your time, we understand this is a tough decision,’ to, ‘let’s go,'" he recalled. "That probably helped me a little bit to feel like, ‘you know what, this environment doesn’t feel right. I’ve been with these people a long time, and I really don’t like the way this is going.' When it started to get toxic and I started to feel that, ‘I’m not sure that people even really want me here,’ it just…I can’t do it.”

O’Brien is under a contractual stipulation to not speak disparagingly of NBC or of Jay Leno, but here’s what he can say:  “I’m happy with my decision, I sleep well at night, and I hope [Leno’s] happy with his decision.” If it were him, O’Brien said, he wouldn’t have taken the show back. “If I had surrendered the ‘Tonight Show’ and handed it over to someone publicly and wished them well, I wouldn’t have come back six months later,” he said. “I would've gone somewhere else. But that’s me.”

In spite of everything that’s happened, O’Brien said he does wish Leno and NBC head Jeff Zucker well, although he disagrees that his “Tonight” was a failure, as Zucker has insinuated. “For anyone to say, ‘the results are in after six months,’ it doesn’t ring true to me,” he told Kroft.

One thing that O’Brien does know for sure is that regardless of what everyone else says, he didn’t get screwed. “The biggest thing people come up and say to me, ‘hey, partner you got screwed.’ I always tell them, ‘no I didn’t; I didn’t get screwed. I’m fine,’ ” he told Kroft. “It just didn’t work out.”

Filed under: Celebrities • Late Night comedy • television

soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. you like hits

    Definitely consider that that you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be at the internet the easiest factor to take into accout of. I say to you, I certainly get irked whilst other people think about concerns that they plainly do not recognise about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

    September 11, 2012 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Betty

    Never liked Conan. Never thought he was funny. Leno is so much better as a host and always will be.

    November 8, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Wayne

    Interesting blog. Read part of it. I liked Mr. O'Brien as a talk show host when he was doing his own show. He's a cool guy and relaxed interviewer. A great host. Great band!!! too. I don't think he was a failure in the Tonight Show. It's just that people's mind were stuck on the time frame and in to have hosts change roles is sort of going against the grain. It may work sometimes but not all the time. It's like trying to envision Larry King as the host of the Oprah Winfrey show. It's strange but MAY work. But the odds are against you. I think Conan's character and timing may have just added up to the wrong time and a major mistake. There is always something to learn. Jay Leno – That's what he did!!! And I am too used to him to change. But I think if I watched more and more I could have gotten used to Conan as the host of the tonight show. He is NOT A FAILURE to any extent. He will WILL bounce back. Each host has their own unique characteristics. Hope things work out for Conan.

    June 20, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jacob

    I can't believe I even took the time to read any of the comments on this site, almost every single person commenting in favor of Jay Leno has a clear disconnection with reality. Conan is a whiner? You clearly did not even read the article or watch the interview at all and you lack even the basic capacity to understand that people who make a lot of money are still just people that have their own set of problems that comes with their career choice. Of course that disconnection with reality should be obvious by the fact that those people actually enjoy watching Leno.

    May 31, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Harry

    To be honest. Conan is a million times more funny than Leno. Seriously, I don't know why people even watch Leno anymore. When he left and Conan took over I was super happy. So, Conan if you read this know that there are fans of your that love your work no matter where you are. I will be watching you on TBS! Keep it up!

    May 7, 2010 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. Zanatos

    I wish Conan the best, but he needs to realize that NBC forced Jay Leno to "hand over" The Tonight Show – despite the fact that Leno had been number one in the ratings for years. Why should Jay turn down a chance to come back to a number one show just to spite fickle NBC executives?

    May 6, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sleep Watching

    hypocrite basher May 4th, 2010 1:18 pm ET

    Amoeba17 @ May 4th, 2010 1:10 pm ET said: "People like to watch the Tonight Show to fall asleep. Jay Leno is perfect for putting people to sleep with his old stale "sense of humor".

    On May 4th, 2010 1:18 pm ET hypocrite basher posted:
    Yeah well at least people watch him. That's more than can be said for O'Brien. People wouldn't even go so far as to watch him to fall asleep. They'd just decide to go straight to sleep as he came on, hence his lousy ratings.

    How do you "watch" someone if you're sleeping? Maybe that's why there's a bump in Leno's ratings....people who are hooked up to Nielsen boxes pass out and leave the TV on making it look like they are "watching" Leno....or it could be the terrible newscast leading into the Tonight Show that kills either hots' ratings..... NBC = Notoriously Bad Channel

    May 6, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. G

    Love Conan, been watching him since 1996. There is no better late night host out there. That's a fact!

    May 6, 2010 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. Samantha

    even though I don't find Conan funny and do think Leno is a better host of the tonight show I do feel some sympathy for Conan......then i think about that 40 million dollar goodbye check and my sympathy sort of vanishes. I think Conan is best as a writer for the simpsons.

    May 6, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. billy

    Who cares at this point I think it worked out fine for both of them. Conan is going somewhere were he'll have more creative freedom and Jay gets to stay where he is. They both know its just business. I dont blame conan for being upset after the show ended. Imagine investing so much of your time into to something just to have it end far before you felt it was its time.
    No one got screwed in the end everyone got what they wanted.

    May 6, 2010 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. KevinK

    Could somebody please explain to me how Leno "took" the Tonight Show back? How does he have that kind of power? NBC made that call. If you want to contend that NBC made a "bad" decision, OK, that's a fair argument. Leno said that he asked NBC to release him from his contract after they cancelled the JLS. IF NBC would have done that, O'Brien would still be hosting the 11:35 show on NBC right now (with Leno preparing for a new late night show to start this Summer or Fall on ABC or Fox). But NBC decided not to. So blame NBC if you want, but don't blame Leno.

    May 5, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Linda

    Absolutely get over it. He took the tonight show from leno first then they changed their mind. It wasn't nice but they are both big boys. Get over it, and move on. Both got a lot of publicity time over it and both got a boost in their careers but it is milked dry.

    May 5, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sandy

    Wah, wah, wah!! Conan's such a cry baby! He's just not funny and couldn't bring in the audience that Leno does. It's that simple.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sharon

    Dude is just not funny....sorry but I think Leno has him hands down..

    May 5, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. jimi

    I really like Conan, and wish him well in the future. Jay may be funny on screen, but a backstabber backstage. That makes it uncomfortable for me to watch him.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  16. Jay Leno's mom

    How about we talk about how well Jay Leno did at the correspondents dinner? Man is he funny (not at all), talk about bombing...what about he whole stand up deal, if he was a real comic you wouldn't be asking yourself why he sucks so bad.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  17. EJ

    If Leno is only funny to the "over 50 crowd", then it follows that Conan's high school locker room style of humor is only funny to the kids.

    May 5, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  18. Larry

    I wish Co-Co the best.

    May 5, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  19. Delmar H. Knudson

    Do you think if Conan had talent he would have succeeded?

    May 5, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  20. James

    To all those saying that Conan is guilty of what Leno did by pushing Lopez back an hour...George Lopez CALLED HIM PERSONALLY and asked Conan to come to TBS! He's totally happy with what went down, and it's going to benefit his ratings, even in a later time slot. It's not the same situation AT ALL.

    May 5, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  21. Barbara

    I am happy that Conan feels that he can say that he would not have done what Jay did but, until he is put in that situation he can't really know what he would do. I do not find him the least bit entertaining and I will not watch his new show just like I didn't watch him on the Tonight Show. I am old enough to have watched Johnny Carson in black and white and I loved Jay, conan not so much.

    May 5, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  22. Peanut

    Please don't compare what Leno did to Conan to George Lopez and Conan! Conan did not give George his show, then take it back a few months later when his plan B didn't work out. Ugh! That arguement is about as true as Leno is funny.

    Yes, Conan is true class! His farewell speech on his final show was about the classiest thing on TV to date. And his treatment of his employees since is nothing short of amazing. He's donating profits from his current tour to continue to help pay them for the Leno mess. I guess it's just hard for the Leno fans to recognize true sincerity since it's not something they have ever seen it from Leno. Love you Conan!

    May 5, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  23. Donald in CA

    Conan, stop all the crying and get on with your gonna be low rated cable program. Jay won out with NBC because he is better, period.
    But Jay has to stop letting Obama out do him as a comedian if he is going to stay on top.

    May 4, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Curious

    @ chickenhawk. Craig Fergusen is the funniest person I've seen on TV. I wish HE would take over the Tonight Show. But since he has a small fanbase he'll have to give up the show in a few months and then we'll be back on this dumb CNN comment thing. Nah....I change my mind. Craig should stay where he is so ratings won't be his worry. But man is that guy funny!

    May 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Pharma

    Now now Ben. hypocrite basher just loves Jay sooooo much. And he/she wants to make sure you do too! So love him, dammit! And hate Conan! Grrrrrr!

    What a ridiculous comment stream...

    May 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Ben

    @ hypocrite basher. You look like you've invested a lot of time and thought on this topic. Why?

    By the way, I like O'Brien better. Guess that makes me an "imbecile" right? Yeesh.... You just lost credibility and any chance to change peoples' minds when you insult them.

    May 4, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Curious

    How do ratings work? No one asked me or anyone I know. We all watched Conan...

    May 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Aviator's mom

    Figures...another Jay Leno fan:
    "I'd rather be ded thab red"

    May 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Aviator

    Reading these posts verifiies my thoughts all along. Conan is just silly. His "humor" is juvenile and appeals to juveniles. I'd rather be ded thab red.

    May 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  30. headwriter's mom

    Hey headwriter....what in the hell does "He's not realty a class act" mean?

    May 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  31. hypocrite basher

    People are Ignorant on May 4th, 2010 3:41 pm ET said: "D) Jay Leno did so horrible in the 10 o'clock slot, that people were turning off their televisions, causing Local News Stations to start an uproar with NBC. People would turn off their TVs before the 11:30 showing of Tonight Show, which caused harm to Conan."

    You need to change your screenname to "I am ignorant". You are parroting debunked convoluted theories. If you had bothered to read through the previous posts you would see that your statement is a bunch of imaginative nonsense borne out of a sense of denial.

    Tonight Show with Conan started on Jun 1, 2009 rated no.1. By Jun 11th, 2009 it was No.2 below Letterman and by the end of July it was firmly behind both Letterman and ABCs nightline with only about 2/5ths the original viewership.

    The Jay Leno show premiered on Sept 14, 2009. So explain me how could Jay's show affect Conan's ratings when Jay's show wasn't even airing at that time.

    Are you going to tell me it has to do with the Jay Leno Show broadcasts from an alternate universe that came into phase with our universe? Oh O.K. My bad.

    May 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Reverend

    "...under a contractual stipulation to not speak disparagingly..."

    WOW! Can I add that into a pre-nup?

    May 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  33. People are Ignorant

    Some of you people are completely ridiculous.

    A) Lopez ASKED for Conan to come to TBS and offered to move his show back to the next slot.

    B) People say that 'Anyone else is America would lose their job if they were not performing, and he got a 35 million dollar severance!!' - Uhh, It's called a contract. If you have a contract for $100 million dollars, and you get fired before you earn all $100m, your company must pay you out of the contract.

    C) Conan didn't move to 12 o'clock because he didn't want the 'Tonight Show' to be the 'Tomorrow Morning Show'. It was a 40+ year franchise, why ruin it?

    D) Jay Leno did so horrible in the 10 o'clock slot, that people were turning off their televisions, causing Local News Stations to start an uproar with NBC. People would turn off their TVs before the 11:30 showing of Tonight Show, which caused harm to Conan.

    If you people don't know what you are saying, don't waste your time posting comments. You sound like a bunch of idiots.

    May 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  34. P_IWC

    Conan, you are the best!

    We'll follow you where ever you go!


    May 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Dave

    Hey people!
    Come on! Neither one of them have a lick of sense. if they really were funny, then why not have them write there own material instead of having a boat load of writers doing it for them. There both morons! another example of what Americans consider important, a couple of extremely overpaid nimrods!

    May 4, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  36. no mo


    Hmm, I've driven both, can't say one is that much better than the other.

    May 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  37. hypocrite basher

    Kelly on May 4th, 2010 1:57 pm ET said:"I will never watch Leno again"
    Therefore? What? You think that changes the fact that the Tonight Show with Jay Leno is NO.1?

    Ed on May 4th, 2010 7:47 am ET said: "Bottom line to me is Leno is not funny nor entertaining. I don't watch him, period"

    So? BTW the Tonight Show with Jay Leno is NO.1

    Jocelyn on May 4th, 2010 10:13 am ET said:"I no longer watch Leno. Neither will anyone else in our family. His methods of working with others is not ethical as far as we are concerned."

    RESPONSES: (For 1st sentence) Don't care. (For 2nd sentence) Still don't care. And after watching Lost and my local news from the local ABC affiliate I'm promptly going to change the channel at 11:33pm to NBC for guess who?

    The ironic thing here is that Jay actually showed more concern for Conan during the recent debacle than Conan showed for Jay 5 years ago. Conan is the one that ACTUALLY did to Jay what Coco fans are incorrectly faulting Jay for. And the concern that Jay showed for Conan came AFTER Conan screwed Jay over to booth. Now that's real class.
    When NBC came to Jay and said this is what we plan on doing (i.e. putting you back at 11:35 and pushing Conan back to 12:05) – Jay asked them if Conan would go along with it and NBC said they're sure he would (I'm paraphrasing). Jay was actually concerned for Conan to have willingly go along with it before agreeing to it(although that was irrelvant since willingly or not it was going to be the way NBC wanted it.) Conan wasn't willing to be moved to 12:05am as NBC presumed and negotiated out of his contract for 45million to go away quietly. Once Conan exclaimed he was not going to accept the move that's when the Tonight Show was offered back to Jay who would've been a fool to not accept it.
    To be honest I personally think this was a scheme put in place by NBC to get rid of Conan even before he took over the Tonight Show from Jay once the stupidity of arbitrarily removing your No.1 guy hit NBC in the head (waaaay before the 5 years was up since Jay consistently was hitting the no.1 ratings like a mofo. It was like a sweet spot was found) . In fact there were reports that NBCs parent company at the time G.E. were extremely concerned with the wisdom of the move and didn't want Jay to be let go, so I think it came from the very very top. In any event (and this I will admit is conjecture on my part) I don't know if Conan showed concern by asking NBC if they think Jay would go along with it before he negotiated for Jay's job, but I know he (Conan) went along with it (i.e. taking Jay's job before Jay voluntarily decided to retire) and sure do know Jay showed this concern after Conan negotiated for Jay's job five years back. Now that's CLASS. When there was the hollywood writers strike back in 08 Jay showed even more class and SELFLESSNESS by publicly championing their cause and bringing them food even though the strike was affecting HIS show. He a gentleman.

    May 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Truth

    More like, Conan screwed NBC.

    May 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  39. doctor


    May 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Chickenhawk

    So much hatred out there! Personally, I think both Jay and Conan can be funny, but Conan, like Letterman, is not for everyone. Sometimes he's hilarious, but other times he misses the mark. But that's what it means to be innovative. Jay's really more mainstream which is why Tonight Show's back on top. And a few of you are right - six years ago, Conan had no problem accepting a contract that would eventually oust Jay so that he, Conan, could assume the reigns. Karma always gets you. Of all the late night hosts, Craig Ferguson is by far the funniest. If you're not watching him, you're missing out on a treat.

    May 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  41. doctor

    @hypocrite basher – I'm not referring to ratings, that's one thing is easy to find. I'm referring to all the contract deals, motives for signing whatever, incentives for taking over a show or signing onto NBC. know what? I'm tired and I need to get back to the hospital. You win hypocrite basher. You've worn me down. Well played. But Conan still makes me laugh a lot more than Jay does and I don't consider myself an "idiot or imbicile of society".

    May 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Bruce Allen

    It's hard to have too much sympathy for a depressed guy who was given a 30 to40 million dollar buyout... Then again, I hope that, while so many are having to REALLY struggle in these times he will be able to get his priorities straight again and enjoy like as it is.


    May 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  43. doctor

    My college, med school buddies and I loved watching Conan. My other friends and family liked him too. My parents liked Carson but settled for Jay when he took over (they never understood his humor). Now we watch the news.

    What were Leno's ratings with his new show that was cancelled? I'd like to see an actual graph or something rather than just someone's hearsay.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Dejesus

    Jay Leno is the absolute worst. He is a tool and he isn't the least funny or relevant. The Conan haters or either over the hill, out of touch with the world or just plain stupid if they don't get his sense of humor and sincerity. It is Leno who should just go away. This is twice he has stolen the Tonight Show from the two people who really deserve to be there, Letterman & Conan.

    Leno is a drip and NBC have no balls. I sure as hell won't be watching that channel anymore.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  45. hypocrite basher

    HoJo on May 4th, 2010 9:16 am ET said:

    "Leno is the classless one here for making NBC give him the tonight show back."

    Yeah I heard he used the old Jedi mind trick to make them give it back to him. I heard he used the same trick to get them to fire him too. Idiot.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  46. motowng

    Leno is a shell of what he used to be when he appeared on Letterman in the 80's. Conan is good for a laugh, but I agree with others here who find Ferguson to be the best-the guy is flat out hysterical.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Chris

    "Why doesn't he just go away?"
    Umm, maybe because he's hilarious and infinitely more talented than those other late night hosts! Is that a good enough reason for ya? All you Leno fans out there must have the IQ of a twinkie. Stupid is as stupid does...

    May 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  48. hypocrite basher

    Tim on May 3rd, 2010 12:50 pm ET said:

    "You all forget that Carson told Leno that the time would come that NBC would ask him to leave when he was still #1 for the good of the franchise – Leno acknowledged and accepted that comment when he accepted the gig."

    We all forgot it because you just made it up.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  49. hypocrite basher

    doctor on May 3rd, 2010 7:39 pm ET said:
    "@hypocrite basher – where do you get your information? Are they actual reliable sources or mere conjecture? You sound like you have a personal investment in these I watch tv and look for entertainment like the next guy. But reading your comment (posted twice) makes me feel afraid for all celebs."

    I actually tried posting links to the ratings three times and CNN moderators don't allow my posts. I'm guessing you're referring to Conan's ratings slide. Please just google the phrase in quotes – "TheTonight Show with Conan O'Brien ratings". You will see for yourself that they fell. You'll see that although he started out in first place that by June 11th they fell to below Letterman and subsequently fell even more ALL before the Jay Leno Show started airing on Sept 14th, 2009.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Eric

    O'Brien did fail. If I had time I'd catch Leno a few times a week and I always had at least one very hardy laugh. I've seen O'Brien on his other show prior to Tonight and he was just goofy. I had ZERO desire to watch him after Leno left. I had the unfortunate experience to flip channels one night and he was on – terrible, trying to get laughs by actions and not intellect!
    He needs to "man up," and say he failed. There isn't one person who has failed at something – it's ok. "It didn't work out," is right but because he failed with this market. He needs to find his niche and he did with the traveling circus comedian tour he's on.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  51. doctor

    @Mike – I saw Craig Fergusen. I agree that he is a total riot and completely underrated! Too bad he's on so late otherwise I'd love to see more of him.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  52. frantz marcellus

    I wish Conan good luck with his new contract,sometimes a change is better.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  53. doctor

    @hypocrite basher – That's a lot of conjecture. But still no facts or sources stated. As far as I'm concerned, you're just telling me gossip.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Kelly

    I will never watch Leno again. I've lost any respect for the way this situation played out. I liked Conan where he was. I liked Jay where he was. Conan has impressed me with his professionalism and grace during what I'm sure was a slap in the face for him.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Joe E

    I was not going to watch the interview, but in spite of myself, did. I was very pleasantly surprised. He did try to take the high road. While never a fan of his talk show, perhaps this road show will sharpen his comedic skills. He certainly is charming enough. Just cut the sophmoric comedy and I think he will overtake Leno (of which I am a fan) and Letterman. Good Luck Conan!

    May 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Joslyn

    What has "better educated" got to do with being funny. Conan started off bad and ended worse. He is a goofy, wierd looking person who should be kissing the ground to get a 35M payday for not bringing anything to the table but a bunch of lame nonsense. When you are paid this kind of money to go away, it speak for itself. Just go away!

    May 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  57. hypocrite basher

    pru on May 3rd, 2010 7:19 pm ET said the following which I broke up to address each point separately.

    There is something about the whole 'Conan demanded to have the Tonight Show in 5 years' thing that doesn't make sense.
    If I were going to ask for a promotion, I don't think I would say," please let me do the job I'm doing right now for another five years, then give me the promotion." If Conan had the power demand that job in the first place, why wait to get it?

    ANSWER:First of all Conan didn't ask for a promotion so your entire premise is DOA. Furthermore most people would wait a reasonable amount of time for something they really desire (aka Conan desiring to take Jay's spot – a move requiring Jay be kicked out) if they're guaranteed it after waiting. That is NOT some novel concept. People do it every day, from waiting in line at the fast food restaurant to waiting for the store to open to get that favorite item. Conan DID it and obviously found 5 years to be reasonable time to wait. As for your premise of "If Conan had the power to demand the job in the first place the why wait to get it". Just because you have the power to demand something doesn't mean you can get it when you want. That's a fact of life. BTW your insinuations are irrelevant because guess what? He waited to get it. You need to get out of your moms basement.

    Also, why would NBC ever let Conan make the decision of when Leno's reign ends to begin with.

    ANSWER: Who said NBC let Conan make the decision. Neither Jay or Conan had the power to make such decisions. That's a fact. It's also a fact that Conan 5 years back WENT ALONG WITH A DECISION that would be at Jay's expense.

    It seems Leno should have had way more power to make demands of how/when his stint as host of the Tonight Show ended, not Conan.
    ANSWER: Neither did. NBC had sole decision making power and Jay and Conan had the power to agree or disagree.

    Even if the network did come to Leno and tell me that they were retiring him in 5 years, and he said 'ok', there must have been someone (agents/lawyers, someone!) telling me not to agree to it.

    ANSWER: Even if someone came to you and tells you one day you're gonna die and you say 'ok', there must be someone (agents/lawyers, someone!) telling you not to agree to it.

    Something about that whole thing is just too fishy to believe!!

    ANSWER:That would be you sense of reasoning that's fishy. I'm beginning to think that Conan fans comprise mainly of the idiots and imbeciles of society.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  58. James

    I like both Leno and Conan. I thought Conan was much funnier at the later time slot. He seemed to tone it down on the Tonight Show.

    I hope he does well at the new Station. But I think that the reason Leno got the Tonight Show back is, the ratings. Conan didn't have them and Leno does. So, sure, Conan can say it was Leno's fault, but NBC would have kept him if he was making the dough. Follow the money. In Hollywood, you can beat someone up, and as long as your show is bringing in the viewers, you're golden. (Charlie Sheen). You can be a druggie, or alcoholic, and if you have the viewers, no problem. (CS, again). But you can be a nice guy, family guy, with no drug, alcohol, or violence issues, and if your ratings go down. SEE YA!!!!

    May 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Mike

    Conan's good. Some of his humor, like Letterman's, is hard to get sometimes but he's funny, nonetheless. Jay is funny but a bit stale. Things haven't been right since Johnny left. I used to watch the Tonight Show religiously until then.

    Now, you want funny? Try on Craig Ferguson. The man is an absolute crack-up. His show is unscripted (he doesn't use cue cards or notes unless he needs a reminder for something) and he's VERY good with his guests. He's got a disarming personality and he's intelligent and articulate (albeit a bit more "freely" than his counterparts, at times). In my honest opinion, Craig is very underrated. But I think he's comfortable right where he is and none of us would have it any other way.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  60. mrskool

    blah blah blah – this has been beaten to death and is a dead issue – get over it already !! Team Conad is a bunch of rabid ball licking fans who dont realize their team lost ! Maybe if their hero learns to be funny his next show wont get kicked to the curb 😉

    May 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Michele

    It was just a matter of when NBC was going to boot Conan from the Tonight Show because the ratings were down. This whole situation was just the perfect opportunity to do so. Conan just does not appeal to the masses. His humor is too niche and rather immature.

    Jay did not whine to get the late show back. NBC did not want to have to buy out his contract and have him go elsewhere. It would have been way more costly than giving Conan the boot. Although, I don't always find him funny, at least he's a likable guy and his humor is generally not biting or stupid.

    David Letterman also just needs to go away. I quit watching him as a result of the whole NBC situation. He was so nasty and mean and it was not enjoyable to watch. He's just a creepy, mean spirited old man

    May 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Janek

    I agree with hypocrite basher May 4th, 2010 12:53 pm ET.

    The only thing that hurt Conan's ratings was Conan.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Say what?

    Let's see...Conan took the Tonight Show from Jay Leno. Was wished well by Jay. Had it for six months. Conan did not get the ratings. Now, he wants to blame Jay for taking back his show. I think NOT! Conan had more of a change than most people are given. Plus, a tidy sum to boot. Stop whinning and get on with you life. We, the viewing public, have!

    May 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  64. hypocrite basher

    Amoeba17 @ May 4th, 2010 1:10 pm ET said: "People like to watch the Tonight Show to fall asleep. Jay Leno is perfect for putting people to sleep with his old stale "sense of humor".

    Yeah well at least people watch him. That's more than can be said for O'Brien. People wouldn't even go so far as to watch him to fall asleep. They'd just decide to go straight to sleep as he came on, hence his lousy ratings.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  65. lowell

    This poor pathetic creature named Conan O'Brien is not relevant. At what point did the NEWS become so incestuous that it constantly talks about itself like anyone cares. I didn't join your CULT of celebrity.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  66. orangeappled

    I absolutely love Conan and wish him the best with his new show. I'll be watching...without a doubt!

    May 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  67. hypocrite basher

    Jake @ May 4th, 2010 12:48 pm ET said: "People ...98% of the comedians in the world today bash Leno and know his Tonight Show is not funny. I don't think its really opinion anymore as much as it is fact that he JUST ISN'T FUNNY!"

    For the above LIE to be true you would've had to A)Surveyed 100% of all the comedians on the planet (this pertains to the bashing part), so please post a link to the data of this herculean task. B) To be able to speak for 98% of the "world's comedians" by purporting to state what they "know" you would have to have some metaphysical psychic ability so unless you are The Almighty God or your name is Charles Xavier you don't know s#!t. As for you not thinking it really opinion. No one really cares 'cause you're certainly NOT FUNNY and worse yet. You're irrelevant. JAY RULES!! HE'S NO.1

    I'm beginning to think that Conan fans comprises imbeciles. They can't even seem to concoct a sensible sounding case against Jay. The above fella's case is basically "since I'm lying and saying most comedians don't find Jay funny, you must not find him funny also" EHH..FAIL!

    May 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Amoeba17

    People like to watch the Tonight Show to fall asleep. Jay Leno is perfect for putting people to sleep with his old stale "sense of humor".

    May 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  69. MikeMaz

    the demographics of people who think Conan is funny and Leno is much different. Leno sorta caters to the older midwesty type of audience. If anyone watched Leno during the Correspondents Dinner this weekend pretty saw his brand of humor.. it was pretty horrible but some people I guess like it.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  70. prezzy

    conan rules. simple as that.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  71. hypocrite basher

    It's funny that doctor accuses me of factless rants as he/she proceeds to give his/her subjective characterizations of everyone else's posts whilst omitting any facts him/herself to support said characterizations. I'm a he by the way.

    I myself have never based my posts on subjective criteria such as attempting to dictate who is funnier, but rather on the demonstrable hypocrisy inherent in the arguments used by the Leno "bashers". And the facts are Conan started hosting the Tonight Show Jun 1st 2009 and by the end of July his ratings were about 2/5ths what they were when he started and remained so. In fact he was butt naked last behind Letterman and Nightline. The Jay Leno show didn't premiere until Sept 14, 2009, so since Jay wasn't on he couldn't be the lead in that cause Conan's rating to drop. The "lead in" that caused Conan's ratings to nosedive was Conan.
    It's not Jay being funnier that Conan that brings him higher ratings but it's that he appeals to a larger demographic that includes teenagers straight up to the geriatric viewer. One just has to glance at Jay's studio audience to see this.
    And it's a plain as day FACT that Conan O'Brien (admitted by Conan O'Brien himself, and Zucker at NBC) negotiated for Jay's job not only when Jay was proving to be the best at what he was doing, but when they had countless other ventures that could have been pursued that did not require taking away Jay's position.

    The reason why I'm especially 'funny' to you is because I make the most 'resounding' (i.e. you know in your core it's the truth and can't get rid of it no matter how hard you try) sense, and most readers here will see it and it will probably cause them to change their way of thinking so you attempt to make an ad hominem criticism.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  72. FK Todaro

    Neither one of these guys could shine Carson's shoes..that being said, some of the comments are patently & pathetically putrid.
    Leno, O'Brien, Letterman, Lopez, Fallon are all perfectly good representations of today's shallow, narcissistic society that seeks self-gratification over comedic substance. Good riddance to all of them & most of you.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Jake

    People ...98% of the comedians in the world today bash Leno and know his Tonight Show is not funny. I don't think its really opinion anymore as much as it is fact that he JUST ISN'T FUNNY!

    May 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Janek

    What a big Cry Baby..

    Get paid 43 million to go away from a show that he single handly was crashing and burning.

    Come on lets get real he was lame at best.

    No wonder they had him on so late.. He was not funny. Reminded me of a big nurdy kid tryng to be funny.

    We'll see how long it will take for him to crash and burn on his new station and show.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Robert Mullen

    I really do miss Conan on NBC and no longer watch late night now that he is gone .The man is a comedy legend and a darn good Irishman in my book. Definetely looking forward to seeing him on TV again this fall.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Frm GE manager

    Having been to the tonight show with Carson, Leno, and Conan, I can tell you each host has had a talent drop from the previous host. for some reason, Conan has never been funny, not when in NY.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  77. doctor

    You guys are funny. Especially "Hypocrite Basher" with her factless rants. "#1 this...#1 that....cry baby....lying" You all sound like mindless cheerleaders cheering for your team..."My guy is funny! Your guys is not! We know what funny is! You guys don't!"

    Personally, I think everyone has the right to gripe...even if they walk away with millions.

    Its fairly obvious that ratings were dependent on more than just who is "funnier". It also had to do with time-slots, promotional advertising, guest-star popularity, etc... To just place the whole thing on the comedy is over-simplifying the situaiton.

    Give us facts people! With your sources! Otherwise everything you say is just gossip. You may as well be making stuff up.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  78. mabel floyd

    to all those who have posted that the younger crowd finds cowan funny and his antics amusing that should have caused him to be a winner. i believe that is the same argument used by those who find sarah palin funny and intelligent. enough said.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  79. cc


    May 4, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  80. saboth

    I'm sorry, Conan is one of the top comedic geniuses of our era. Right up there with Seinfeld. Leno is a 3rd rate hack destined for the dust bin. The problem is, only people with a reasonably high intelligence can enjoy Conan, so that leaves 97% of America out. They'd prefer to see morons on the street fumble with the answer to "who is our current vice president" or some other contemptible attempt at humor.

    But...I guess the people that enjoy Big Mama's House, Home Alone and Grumpier Old Men need to laugh late at night too, hence Jay.

    May 4, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  81. mabel floyd

    jay's show was #1–because they wanted someone younger they removed a #1 show thinking that youth is always better–it wasn't. conan could not achieve the popularity that jay did, i have never understood why #1 was removed for a show that bombed and when #1 came back and again achieved #1 status some people are angry. jay's show always was #1 with the viewers and upon his return the tonight show is again #1. conan just did not cut it. i doubt his new show will threaten the tonight show–i doubt he will be a threat to letterman. he just does not have it.

    May 4, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |

    james................ur an idiot if you think the 50+ crowd has no sense of humor. apparently, ur one of the younger generation who has no clue of anything going on. it's once you pass 50 that everything become hilarious, it's the younger generation that doesn't get it

    May 4, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  83. hypocrite basher

    To all the posters here exclaiming how the don't watch or refuse to watch the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. All you do is just demonstrate to the world how irrelevant you really are, because in spite of your chickenhawk roars JAY IS NO.1. You are irrelevant. You're not as powerful a viewing segment as you fool yourselves into thinking. After all your blah, blah, blahing, and rhetoric Jay is STILL no. 1. Conan torpedoes the Tonight Show to butt naked last even before the Jay Leno Show started airing. So all of the convoluted "lead in" conspiracy theories have been debunked.

    May 4, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  84. run4fun

    Conan has "a contract with TBS for another late-night program, to start in November preceding George Lopez on “Lopez Tonight.”

    Is Lopez all up in arms about this??? No. This is exactly what happened with Conan and Leno causing Conan to go all ballistic and take to the airwaves against NBC and Leno.

    Like I always thought, Conan's a cry-baby and it's all okay until its happening to him. That's the nature of your business.

    May 4, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  85. koolmodee

    keko she haw can you digo fig fong I sure am fond of her, that dame she had it going on, rebel bable you heard!!!????

    May 4, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  86. Leslie

    Leno did not "surrender" the Tonight Show! It was TAKEN from him BY Conan 5 years earlier when Conan told NBC he would be leaving if he didn't get the Tonight Show. NBC then told Leno they were giving the Tonight Show to Conan in 5 years. Now Conan is trying to ignore that fact-that he is the one who took it from Leno to begin with! What a big baby! And actually it's NBC–they make the decisions.

    May 4, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  87. Jocelyn

    I no longer watch Leno. Neither will anyone else in our family. His methods of working with others is not ethical as far as we are concerned. When Leno started is ratings were so bad that they considered (and offered I believe) to give the show to Letterman, which he refused because he did not believe in that type of business dealings.

    Secondly, if this was truly a business decision, why didn't NBC end the Leno run at the time when his contract expired? That is what most businesses would do. Or did they renegotiate a deal with Leno during that 5 year span leaving it impossible to pay him out without going broke and effecting O'Brien. Why hasn't anyone from NBC been fired for such poor business dealings?

    May 4, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  88. jock

    Conan O'Brien was treated really badly. The execs should not have put Leno who, in my humble opinion, is not in the least bit funny on before O'Brien. It should have been the people who made that horrendous decision who were moved on along with Leno. I have not watched the Tonight Show since Leno came back. Johnny Carson was a class act and so is Conan. Unfortuantely Leno IS NOT and has forever tainted his Tonight Show reputation.

    May 4, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  89. Todd

    Ok first off, they're both funny. Jay is a more seasoned comedian and does a better job of hosting. Conan is still funny though. I can atest to this since I've seen them both live. Second, of all Conan didn't get screwed. Here's why: $33,000,000 for Conan and an additional $12,000,000 for his staff for 6 months of work and having to move cross Country. I'd give them 6 years let alone 6 months for $33 million and my peeps getting fat paydays too. Conan won the lottery!

    May 4, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  90. Mark

    Conan's humor is too smart for a lot of these people.

    For them, fortunately, there's George Lopez. People can laugh at the funny faces he makes.

    May 4, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  91. monk

    If you think the story has come to an end then wait for awhile. This late night soap opera has just begun.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  92. Uncle Joe

    Who bothers to watch late night TV anymore when you have Jon Stewart on earlier in the evening?

    Stewart is far more amusing, entertaining, and funnier than Leno, Letterman, and O'Brien put together.

    IMHO late night TV died when Carson retired in 1992. The only reason CBS and NBC have continued with these programs is because they generate money. If the network brass could get trained talking chimps to host these shows, they would because it would be less expensive.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  93. Dave

    Give me a break. I saw the 60 Minutes interview. Where is the tragedy here? For $32,000,00 my employer could fire me and stick my head off the end of a Pike in the middle of town.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  94. Dirty Joe

    Conan has been the best late night host for the last 10-12 years. Letterman is a mean-spirited, womanizing creep. Leno is a huge-headed, chuckling moron, only funny to uptight 50+ year-olds who's idea of cool is to be a bank CEO during the week, then wear a leather vest and chaps while riding a Harley on the weekends (in other words, the Viagra/Cialis crowd).

    Let it go old timers. Your time has come and gone. It's best you just move into the nursing home now.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  95. HoJo

    Leno is the classless one here for making NBC give him the tonight show back. He failed in the 10 pm time slot. And now when I'm not watching Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or Chelsea Handler I'll watch Letterman, until November that is.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  96. Nicole

    I'm 24 years old and I watch Leno all the time. I'm not the biggest Conan fan...he's funny but annoying at times. I really think NBC is to blame for all of this and think it's ridiculous that people keep blaming Jay, especially Conan!
    For everyone saying that Jay is only geared towards the older are wrong! Jaywalking and headlines are funny!

    May 4, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  97. ChrisM

    Enough already – he didn't seem to think anything of the fact that NBC forced Leno out in favor of him. So why does he keep whining about how Jay shouldn't have taken the job when it was offered back to him and rightfully so. Conan show wasn't funny or entertaining. I don't get his humor though admittedly a lot of younger people do. But that isn't the target audience of the Tonight Show and he failed to adapt his humor to a more mature audience. His ratings were poor and had to be replaced. People forget when Jay took over the Tonight Show there was no Letterman or opposite the show. Conan – just deal with it and shut up already! We're tired of hearing how you got screwed yet walked away with a pretty fat paycheck. Waaaaaaaa.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  98. Sharon O

    NBC is so full of it. After Johnny Carson retired, the ratings for the Tonight Show were atrocious and Jay's job was on the line but the network allowed him more time to rebuild the audience. Conan should have been given that same opportunity. Conan’s ratings were down not just because he was new but also because Letterman was embroiled in a scandal and that helped his ratings go up – more tuned in out of curiosity. No wonder NBC is in the toilet now… there have been bad decisions made by people that probably don’t even watch TV.

    May 4, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  99. Ian

    I watched him before "The Tonight Show" and found him only moderately funny, at best. I couldn't see him appealing to main stream America. I wondered what they were thinking giving him the show. I decided to wait and see.

    Well, I watched a dozen or so Tonight Show's with Conan and they were awful. I quit watching the Tonight Show and apparently I wasn't the only one. He might think NBC gave him a raw deal, but I don't.

    His show sucked, he got canned. Leno is better.

    May 4, 2010 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  100. greg

    2 words:

    Adult Swim.

    May 4, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  101. robert

    Stop your whining Conan, That's the business you are in. Ratings is the determining factor . If you think Jay Leno gave you the spot and then took it back is ridiculous. You are just puppets on a string Conan.If you don't like the way your strings are being pulled then get out , like you did , but shut the hell up ,you sound so childish. Conan looked pathetic on 60 minutes

    May 4, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  102. Ed

    Bottom line to me is Leno is not funny nor entertaining. I don't watch him, period. Conan on the other hand is entertaining and funny to me. I am looking forward to the TBS show.

    May 4, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  103. Testiclees

    I am opposed to penguin lust.

    May 4, 2010 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  104. Bill

    Conan's viewers are like Beavis & Butthead. Toilet humor.

    May 4, 2010 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  105. Gina

    Oh stop whining Conan!! You got dumped because you couldn't get the viewer numbers. Jay got offered the gig again because he can get the viewer numbers. Stop blaming Jay – you're fired!!!

    May 4, 2010 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
  106. Jerry

    Conan O'Brien is slightly funnier than David Letterman – but so is a rock. Jay Leno may not be the funniest guy around, either, but he's got both of them beat by miles. The real mistake NBC made was in ever swapping O'Brien for Leno in the first place.

    May 4, 2010 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  107. Michael

    They both suck at interviews and are mediocre at comedy. Try way to hard. Go to your local comedy club for a laugh, trust me, it will be a lot funnier.... these guys are swimming in money and asking for our pity. Do they deserve it, not at all.

    May 4, 2010 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  108. Cec

    No, he didn't get screwed. The ratings were sliding and he made off with nearly $40 million. Screwed would have been being thrown out on the street.

    In my opinion he should have taken the offer that Leno would have a 30 min slot ahead of him and he'd get a show at 12 am. That would have been the best of both worlds.

    May 4, 2010 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  109. doctor

    @the doctor – looks like you have all your facts from very reliable sources. It doesn't sound like hearsay at all...right down to the ratings and contract signings AND reading of the minds and motives.

    As far as Conan being "out regardless of Jay coming back"... really? They would have cancelled the Tonight Show? Not a very well thought out comment...

    Wasn't David Letterman originally intended to take over the Tonight Show before Leno suddenly showed up? Leno got the job as a "screw-over" in the first place (although I'm not certain of the specifics of that fiasco but it explains David's animosity toward NBC). Johnny Carson didn't start a show with a time-slot before The Tonight Show, so the Tonight Show fans STAYED the Tonight Show fans...

    This has been interesting. Its really an eye-opener to see so many people so passionate about a small topic like this one. Moreover, arguments based on subjective tastes (funny/not funny), hearsay, and speculation. I can't wait to see what people say next!

    May 4, 2010 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  110. Stan

    In one of the worst economic times in decades, Conan walks out with 38 million dollars but he is depressed and bitter. Enough crying like a baby about it not being fair. Just shut up already, take the money, would be nice to give some to charities, and go back to making more money. Grow up already Conan.

    May 4, 2010 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  111. BADMOFO

    Can he shut his hole..he stole the show from Jay 5 years ago thanks Zuck Conan bumps Lopez....

    who decided this stuff for NBC? Zucker..? what the Zuck

    All Zucker did was ride the coat tail of Warren Littlefield

    May 4, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  112. the doctor

    Coco only had 2 million viewers and it didnt change ( he sucked just as much before Leno's show came on). NBC couldnt charge top rates when the audience was half of letterman's and a third of Leno's. He was out regardless of Jay coming back.
    Jay has been beating Letterman every week since he came back.
    Conan may whine, but he wouldnt sign his contract in 2004 unless it gave him the tonight show. he didnt mind NBC screwing Leno then.
    Conan saw the opportunity to get paid off and start a new show without NBC censors and took it, he is mouthing off now to keep the interest up for his show since his college tour bombed.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  113. He's just and entertainer

    I always felt like I was watching my 5 year-old do slap-stick humor the few times I watch Conan. However, I have to say that he found his niche and became funnier when he was ousted from the Tonight Show.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  114. Mike Raphone

    How quickly we forget. Before Johnny Carson retired Jay Leno had been selected as the permanent guest host for the Tonight Show and appeared on the show frequently. If one watches Jay Leno's biography, Jay stated that one of the reasons that he was selected by NBC to take over for Carson, was that as guest host he worked for Union Pay Scale while other comedians demanded outrageous fees. Back in the early 90's viewers of the Tonight Show had time to become comfortable with Jay Leno as host, before Carson retired.

    Conan might have been either lucky or unlucky that he did not have the opportunity to act as a guest host on the Tonight Show before replacing or not replacing Leno. If NBC Brass had arranged for Conan to act as guest host on a regular basis they would have been able to make an informed decision about whether or not to allow Conan to permanently host the Tonight Show. If every time Conan acted as guest host the ratings went down and when Jay returned the ratings increased then NBC Management could have given Conan the choice of staying in the time slot where he was successful or taking a hike.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  115. John

    Laurie M-M,

    Conan wrote a pretty detailed letter about why he didn't want to bump the show back 30 minutes. Namely, it would make "The Tonight Show" the Tomorrow Show, would push Jimmy Fallon back even later (and he gave his show gracefully to Jimmy last year. Protective move).

    He felt it would ruin the tradition "The Tonight Show" and be a detriment to "Late Night."

    May 4, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  116. Ryan

    Totally agree with James..

    May 4, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  117. Carroll (QuetStormX)

    If anyone saw 60 minutes sunday, I'm sure they were saying is he dreaming... Remember five years ago when he had "Late Night". Obrian made the request for the tonight show to stay with NBC. He was plucked out of a NBC office to fill Lettermans leaving for CBS and the Late Show. Jay Leno was a comedian for years before he was offered the Tonight Show. Remember David Letterman wanted the Tonight Show after Late Night, but NBC was treating Letternan wrong for years. Now where did O'Brian get "Screwed"? He must be smoking something and can't think strait... But I never liked O'Brian one bit. He is not funny to me at all. Just too stale! O'Brian had his facts wrong on 60 Minutes Sunday......... 🙁

    May 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  118. joe h

    Anyone see Leno doing the press dinner with the President? Leno bombed. Mega lame suckage. Turner Network has a winner, and it has yet to air the first show. Jay, your just not funny anymore. Sorry bro.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  119. jerod

    Conan is trying to take the "imaginary high road" by saying he would not have taken Lenos spot ,if it was up to him. But he did take Lenos spot. Thats how this whole chain of events got going. And Conan crashed

    May 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Violet

    I am looking forward to Conan's new show. I am over 50 and prefer Conan. Leno is boring.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  121. Dan

    I wish my employer would fire me and give me $45 million as a severance package. Good grief, how can anyone seriously feel sorry for this guy.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  122. doctor

    @Big Rod, Annie, Jonc, Golden Parachute, Paul G, Karen – Whoa! What's with all the hostility? Sheesh! How do you expect us to believe you guys know what is funny when you have such cruel and nasty comments?

    @ ANDY16190 – you wrote 30 pages on why Conan would "be a disaster?". You certainly don't sound like an amusing and funny guy.

    Conan was being interviewed. Whining is one thing. Answering questions on an interview is another.

    A lot of people found Conan very funny (myself included). In fact most of my med school classmates preferred him over Leno. Comedy is a subjective thing. You may as well say "Action movies suck!" or "Romantic comedies are stupid!"

    As I said in an earlier post...with Leno's show in primetime, the Tonight Show ratings were bound to be low.

    May 3, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  123. Ernesto Bozzletalk

    Personally, I think the man's a barbarian.

    May 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  124. Karen

    Oh my gaaawwwd..... what part of Leno (who didn't own NBC, didn't own "The Tonight Show" and didn't BOMB in the ratings) owes Conan anything? When NBC dealt Leno a dirty hand by telling him the clock was up, he was out, and now the show belonged to Conan even tho' Leno was at the top of his game, you didn't hear him blaming Conan or WHINING..... GROW UP CONAN! All of the teary eyed bull on 60-Minutes was pathetic. You can't blame someone ELSE for being LOUSY at what YOU do! What a N*U*T and not the funny kind.

    May 3, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  125. Amy

    What is wrong with you people? How can you be so cruel? Exactly what is wrong with this country! I personally LOVE Conan and have been following him for years, can't wait to see him again, but if you dont care for him, why do you take the time to even read this article or post such horrible/nasty/cruel comments? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    May 3, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  126. Joe

    That Biggie and Tupac thing didn't end too well...just watch the Daily Show and let it go

    May 3, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  127. Isay

    Shut the hell up and go away!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  128. Andy1619

    Conan, you claim that your departure from NBC was like a sudden unexpected marriage breakup, and you are "still trying to figure out what happened."

    The reality is that you were a dismal failure, and I PERSONALLY TOLD YOU IN GREAT DETAIL OVER ABOUT 30 WEB PAGES OF COMMENTS ON YOUR WEB SITE, posted over many months beginning around the time you arrived at NBC and well before your first Tonight Show, EXACTLY WHY YOU WOULD BE A DISASTER.

    You are an egomaniacal, lazy, incompetent, excuse for a comedian who is completely blind to his own faults.

    You seemingly cannot understand that sucking (or was burning?) "the eyejelly out of someone's skull" (as posted on your website by your guy Aaron Bleyafert or something like that) is not evidence of comedic brilliance - it is evidence of mental disorder.

    You will forever be stuck with your audience of Conan-bots in a totally worthless show. Goodbye, Conan. Americans should forget about you.

    May 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  129. fred

    What ever happened to Johnny Carson. He had a good show and was a class act.

    May 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  130. Big Rod

    It "didn't work out" because he was were in over your head, and more importantly, he's not funny, or a good interviewer.

    May 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  131. JR

    Why don't you people get the facts. Did Conan feel bad when he went to NBC and said I want the Tonight Show in 5 years?? This forced Jay who was #1 at the time to agree to leave in 5 years. Conan said he wouldn't do what Jay did to him. Well, why didn't he wait for Jay to retire at his own time schedule and he might have some day got the Tonight Show. Even dumb Letterman waited until Johnny Carson retired to ask for the show. I know he didn't get it and went off to CBS, but at least he didn't force the network to force Carson to retire. And with all of those Conan fans out there, why didn't you watch him when he had the Tonight Show? If he was #1 we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    May 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  132. Linda

    What's saddest is the fact that most of the people posting cannot spell and have no command of punctuation. Beezy claims that old peopld "don't no what's funny." It's not funny that Beezy doesn't know the difference between "no" and "know."

    May 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Paul G

    Can we please stop hearing about poor Conan. He walks away with thirty two million bucks and we're supposed to feel sorry for him. I wish I had his problems. The man was fired because he sucked, plain and simple. Get over it. He'll continue to lead a better life than the rest of us ever will. So more power to him. Just forget any sympathy. We've all had to endure far worse things than he has.

    May 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  134. Maria

    WOW, people have lots of opinions on this!!! I love Conan, and his interview was as much as he could say, legally. I know what it feels like to have worked for a big company, for a big part of your adult life, and then get the ax...without really seeing it coming. His description of it being like a divorce, is very accurate. This too shall pass...

    May 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  135. NPE

    I really like Conan. However, I don't think he was a good fit at the 11:35 time slot. I think NBC was nuts in thinking he would. Personally, I think Zucker should be fired. Wouldn't you be if you cost your company $40 million?

    May 3, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  136. stevo

    Did not Conan bump another show to get his new time slot on the new networkso

    May 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  137. Golden Parachute Coco

    What an idiot and hypocrite, he'll never change.
    Of course he's happy, he walked away with a sh**load of $$$ from NBC, because of his golden parachute just like all the execs at AIG, etc.
    Noticed it wasn't him that was invited to speak at the White House Correspondents dinner, gee I wonder why. Guess they didn't want a carrot topped loose cannon there.
    Thank goodness we turfed TBS, they've REALLY lowered their standards...

    May 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  138. doctor

    @hypocrite basher – where do you get your information? Are they actual reliable sources or mere conjecture? You sound like you have a personal investment in these I watch tv and look for entertainment like the next guy. But reading your comment (posted twice) makes me feel afraid for all celebs.

    May 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  139. Andy

    We're with ya CoCo!

    – A

    May 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  140. rmanis

    glad to hear that someone paid $32 million dollars NOT to work can be happy.

    May 3, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  141. pru

    There is something about the whole 'Conan demanded to have the Tonight Show in 5 years' thing that doesn't make sense.
    If I were going to ask for a promotion, I don't think I would say," please let me do the job I'm doing right now for another five years, then give me the promotion." If Conan had the power demand that job in the first place, why wait to get it?
    Also, why would NBC ever let Conan make the decision of when Leno's reign ends to begin with. It seems Leno should have had way more power to make demands of how/when his stint as host of the Tonight Show ended, not Conan. Even if the network did come to Leno and tell me that they were retiring him in 5 years, and he said 'ok', there must have been someone (agents/lawyers, someone!) telling me not to agree to it.
    Something about that whole thing is just too fishy to believe!!

    May 3, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  142. Jill is here

    As I move past the 21st anniversary of my 29th year, I do believe that people over 50 do have a sense of humor. That may or may not be Jay, and it may or may not be Conan. But things do change, and this is not surprising.

    May 3, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  143. RG

    Old comedy is dead. Leno is no longer relevant or funny. If you don't understand the new comedy, if you still watch commercials, if you still believe in "Prime Time" you're just too old to matter.

    May 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  144. moon627

    I watched the 60 Minutes interview last night and saw that Conan has beautiful blue eyes ! Are they real or contact lenses ?

    He also had a big vein under his right eye – i couldnt stop looking at it

    Did he always have that ? or is that a sign of stress

    He seems like a nice guy but i dont think he's funny but apparently he thinks so since he kept laughing at his own jokes...

    May 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  145. Pete Bli

    Of course Conan's show was not a failure: NBC, by its actions, tacitly admits that. Here's how: NBC's local affiliates bolted because the Leno prime time show wasn't delivering the expected lead-in ratings for the late local news shows. NBC asked Leno to help placate the local stations by moving him to eleven thirty and Conan to midnight Eastern time, thus admitting that the lead-in factor was real. Therefore, Conan was subject to the same lead-in handicap as the local news shows (because Conan's Tonight Show immediately followed the local news, of course).

    To say that Conan's Tonight was a failure is to also say that the local NBC affiliates were wrong about the Leno lead-in ratings factor and that NBC was wrong about its decision to placate the affiliates (which tacitly admits that the lead-in ratings factor is a real phenomenon).

    May 3, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |

    We have a gushing oil rig that threatens industry, wildlife, climate, and most likely will continue to gush for many more months.

    We have severe flooding over large parts of Tennesse, Georgia, Mississippi

    We have a terrorist attempt probably against South Park creators (a friggin cartoon) near the MTV and Comedy Central building in New York

    And people actually really care about this enough to get your panties in a bunch!! the door and come into the "real world" once in a while.

    May 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  147. Kris

    i'm not a fan of Leno or Conan, but I think that NBC really screwed them both, Leno by shutting him down way too early, and Conan by not giving him the chance to succeed.

    May 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Bertina

    I believe 50+ers have more of a sense of humor than the ones younger. Conan seems rather silly to me and still wet behind the ears. Just remember all you young squirts......"what comes around, goes around". Your day will come and I hope I'm there to see it!!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  149. VIC


    May 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  150. Brian

    Consistently missed in the discussion is that NBC killed Conan before he could get going. NBC booked A-list guests for Jay while Conan was given the scraps. If you watched the promos any given night, you might see:

    "Tonight on Leno, Matt Damon. Then Conan has actress Shannon Dougherty and comedian Joe Rogen."

    It just wasn't a fair shake. Conan came on the air with good guests, and had his friends in for the last week, but in the middle, as Jay's ratings sank, all the good NBC guests went on Leno.

    Any ratings Conan got were because people liked him. Leno needed stars to get his meager ratings.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  151. DVDGal

    I know we're an ADD nation but the unwillingness to discuss the full picture here is frustrating. The reality is that Conan threatened to leave NBC. NBC kept him by promising to oust Jay Leno from the Tonight Show on an arbitrary date. When that arbitrary date came, Jay and Tonight were a successful show that was #1 in its time slot. NBC now had to figure out how to keep both Jay and Conan and decided on the disastrous 10pm nightly show idea.

    Everyone in the industry knew it would fail. When it did, Jay did the same thing Conan did to him. What goes around ...

    May 3, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  152. tehheh

    At 12 a.m. it wouldn't have been "Tonight" - it would have been "Tomorrow" - so he was being given his old show back. His weak ratings were partly because of Leno's bad prime time ratings. He was screwed over professionally. At least he received a good payment for it.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  153. KevinK

    When NBC canned Leno at 10 the only thing Leno asked was to be released from his NBC contract so he could go to ABC or Fox. NBC countered with an offer of a 11:35-12:05 Jay Leno Show, to be followed by Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien at 12:05. Leno's choices were to 1) accept this; 2) reject this and be paid to stay OFF TV for two years (and fire his staff of 175 people) or 3) take NBC to court. Leno decided to make the best of a bad situation and accepted NBC's offer. He was only offered to take over the Tonight Show after O'Brien balked at his show coming on a half hour later. O'Brien could still be hosting the Tonight Show NOW (albeit at 12:05) but he CHOSE not to.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Kim

    Goss – No, Conan's audience isn't more well educated, just of the generation that THINKS they have a "sharper wit". Get a clue. Susan – Canada has it right. If you were that smart, you'd have been able to figure out what time he was on.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  155. Susan - Canada

    @ Goss – May 3rd, 2010 12:54 pm ET

    Conan's audience is better educated with a sharper wit, while Leno's audience is less educated, etc....

    Thank god Conan will be back in the Fall.
    _________________________________________________________ much more educated, that they couldn't find him at 11:30, instead of 12:30, giving him the ratings he needed to make the Tonight Show successful.....IDIOT!!

    May 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  156. Kim

    Sorry, but I'm younger than the 50's crowd, and I've never found Conan funny. His comedy is more along the stupid pet tricks lines. He laughs more at himself than anyone else does. That said, I don't like Leno that much either, and I detest David Letterman. So, basically I think most late night "talk" shows suck. That's why I have Netflix. That way I can watch old episodes of Saturday Night Live. You know, the really old episodes before it got dumbed down, too.

    I miss Dennis Miller. Smart and funny.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  157. jonc

    The pitty party has to stop. It's business, that simple. Conan said, "Things happen for a reason", well guess what, your show sucked and that was the reason. Your not funny, just weird. Not sure how you got where you are. Keep doing your stand up so that the only people that have to put up with your crap are the people that actually want to. leave the rest of us to wonder "what ever happened to that cry baby that got kicked off of NBC for not being funny and blamed Leno for it, then went on a three month crying spree across the country telling everyone that would listen how Leno was the bully". Aren't you from Canada anyway? I'm sure they would love to have you back.

    OK, I'm done now.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  158. Arglebargle

    People must be DESPERATE for entertainment.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  159. jason twombley

    funny reading the Conan and Leno posts..truth is, the tonight show has SUCKED after the Johnny Cason era....neither are funny, Leno is as funny as a box of rocks and appears as dumb as he looks...NBC, find a fresh new talent, replace these wannabe clowns as soon as the contracts expire.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  160. Voice of Reason

    NBC and the other 3 broadcast networks are a dying breed. Conan was wise to abandon a sinking ship. Let Leno captain his sinking boat while Conan on TBS, with a much larger and stable gig, can prosper for years to come. It isn't 1979 television is dead. Conan, you made the right move.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  161. KC

    Finally admits the truth:
    CONAN told NBC "give me Jay's show or I'm gone" - Jay did not offer it to him, Jay did not say he wanted to retire, it was all Conan's greed and impatience that started this fiasco.

    The viewers spoke - they didn't like Conan at 11:30 nearly as much as they liked Jay. The network did what they gotta do, give the customers what they want.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  162. Zach S.

    If you aren't over 50 and a curmudgeon, then you probably liked Conan. I'll be watching when he's on TBS. In fact, it will be the first time I've watched programming on TBS ever. I think this was their goal.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  163. Susan - Canada

    @ Beezy: You're an idiot!! Some of us over 50 know how to work DVRs, etc. Maybe you're talking about your mom and dad.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  164. "ANNIE"

    GOSS : Watch what you wish for !! Conan will FAIL again and again. WHY ?? Because he is not funny or entertaining at all !! He is just one rich , cry baby !!! He should stay home and count all that "unearned" money he has !! I don't feel one bit sorry for him !! He took you all in !! He is laughing all the way to the bank and you all made it possible- I earn what little money I have– I would be ashamed of myself if I were Him !! Jay was just stuck in the middle– Between Conan and NBC !!

    May 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  165. hypocrite basher

    Conan the LIAR and HYPOCRITE has no dignity whatsoever to speak of. First he had designs on Jay's position in the Tonight Show and then snaked Jay's show from him – albeit with a 5 year heads up. True NBC wanted Conan to stay, but he (Conan) and NBC could've negotiated something other e.g. a network sit-com or similar (marriage ref, who knows) – but something where he wasn't conspiring with NBC for something that required booting Jay from the Tonight Show in the first place. Now after it's a plain as day fact that Conan did it to Jay first he (Conan) the HYPOCRITE actually has the unmitigated gaul to LIE and say he would've never done the same to Jay. The beeeatch already did, and it enabled him to make off with a whole lotta money. I don't blame Conan for making off with the money. Rather I see it as NBCs punishment for making such a bad decision 5 years ago and conspiring against their No.1 rated guy Jay. So now as shrewd a businessman as he is Conan the HYPOCRITE needs to shut up and stop LYING

    May 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  166. McBane

    Laurie M-M – Have you been living under a rock? Conan put out an open letter specifically why he wouldn't move the show to 12:05. The letter is awesome:

    May 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  167. hypocrite basher

    Conan the LIAR and HYPOCRITE has no dignity whatsoever to speak of. First he had designs on Jay's position in the Tonight Show and then snaked Jay's show from him – albeit with a 5 year head up. True NBC wanted Conan to stay, but he (Conan) and NBC could've negotiated something other e.g. a network sit-com or similar (marriage ref, who knows) – but something where he wasn't conspiring with NBC that required booting Jay from the Tonight Show in the first place. Now after it's a plain as day fact that Conan did it to Jay first he (Conan) the HYPOCRITE actually has the unmitigated gaul to LIE and say he would've never done the same to Jay. The beeeatch you already did, and it enabled him to make off with a whole lotta money. I don't blame Conan for making off with the money. Rather I see it as their punishment for making such a bad decision 5 years ago and conspiring against Jay. So now as shrewd a businessman as he is Conan the HYPOCRITE needs to shut up and stop LYING

    May 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  168. Bob

    Conan said he didn't take the 30 minute midnight slot is that it didn't felt right. I have been in that kind of position before where I needed to move on and I will take him at his word. I think he would have said the same thing if NBC forgot to put in the "no disparaging" clause in his contract.

    It also allows him to have a new beginning and succeed on his own terms.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  169. Ross

    I am 28 and I think conan SUCKS! he looks goofy as heck with an oversized head and has lame jokes. To all you coco lovers – the ones with sub retard IQ's – go watch dancing with the stars!

    May 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  170. Dan

    They pelted us with rocks and garbage!

    May 3, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  171. hope120

    OMG Conan is still whinning and getting little digs in. What a dweeb

    May 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  172. Patricia

    1. He's not funny. 2. His ratings were bad. 3. Leno was advised. We're dumping Conan, do you want your old job back....if he said no, Conan still would have been dump. 4. Jay like the time slot better and if was afterall – The Tonight Show. 5. Conan acted like a whiney baby the whole time. 6. Glad he's gone. No plans to ever watch him again. 7. Love Leno glad he's back. He needs to lighten up though. He looks like he's walking around with a dark cloud over his head ever since it happened – Forget about's Conan's issue, not yours – you are a good guy.....Enjoy your gig at The Tonight Show. 8. Conan..bye, bye and shut up about it got paid big bucks and so did your please move on. 10. Glad I got that all off my mind.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  173. Michael

    When will he stop crying. I mean Million people lose their jobs – even if they perform better than he did – and they don t get Millions for quitting. Let s see it how it is: If Jay Leno wouldn t have taken his slot back...someone else would ve gotten it...his ratings were too bad....i really like him... i liked to watch him.....but to me he never was that funny...but maybe it is just my european humor ... anyway: Stop complaining and start being funny. And if u really don t like NBC .. give em back their Millions ... or better: Give em to me ... and i ll cry for u the rest of my entire life.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  174. becka

    I LOVE CONAN and I can not wait to see him on TV again, I guess he is only funny to the younger crowd because I am 25 and all my friends love him too. I have been a faithful viewer since he had the US Bombs play on his show back in the Late Night days. All you people who dont get Conan are just missing out. Oh well YOUR LOSS! Conan is the complete package! Much Love to You Mr. O'Brien!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  175. doctor

    I mentioned this before, CONAN WAS SET UP TO FAIL.

    When every other host was handed over the Tonight show, the former host did NOT start a new show in an earlier time slot. Basically, that would take the Tonight Show audience with them to an earlier slot. Jay Leno at prime time was basically The Tonight Show at a more reasonable hour. What would have happened if Carson did that when Leno took over?

    Conan's show that started after midnight had its loyal following...but at that time slot big ratings were NEVER expected. So even though Conan had his fans follow him as he took over the Tonight Show, the fan base was that of his former time slot (lesser in number).

    As far as humor is concerned, it has little to do with it. Its all a matter of taste. Quite a waste of time arguing if Conan or Jay was funnier. You may as well argue that burgers are more delicious than lasagna or vice versa. Humor has changed over the years too. I've seen a few recorded shows of Johnny Carson and watched Leno as well as Conan...the styles are completely different and things that were hilarious during Johnny's time were mildly amusing at best nowadays.

    One thing I do find disappointing is Leno taking back the Tonight Show. It was done on a VERY public stage. He even wished him well before the transition! On that, I would have to side with Conan. It doesn't take a doctorate to see that move was wrong and dishonorable.

    This isn't the end of either of their careers and they both have a truckload of cash to keep them comfortable.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  176. Onyx

    Dang Conan, get a tan already. That royal blue shirt you wore in the interview made you look as white as a sheet.

    Sun anyone?

    May 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  177. Wayne

    What a hypocrite. Let's see: He had a show on in a certain time slot and when NBC asked him to move it back to make room for a new Leno show (let's be clear here, neither Leno nor NBC asked him to give up the Tonight Show - just move it back), he was insulted and refused. And now, what's happening at TBS? George Lopez has been asked to move his show out of its time slot to accommodate Conan! The ONLY difference here is that George Lopez is the class act, who is moving graciously and trying to turn it into a positive move. Conan, boy, you need to be touting Lopez and build up that man's ratings because you owe him and you owe him big time. If Lopez had raised any kind of ruckus, you would have come in to TBS looking like a fool.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  178. SteveM

    I'm glad he feels that way (unless he's just trying to avoid making NBC angry). I'm not a great fan, I like him okay but I don't seem him as being able to hold a candle to Johnny Carson, but then neither can Leno. But he's okay, not a bad comedian. He's always had good guests on his shows. I hope he does well in his new enterprise.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  179. David

    In the long run Conan will be better off. The Tonight Show with Jay has lost a lot of the appeal, plus it’s the same thing over and over.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  180. Alex Santana

    Who cares about his less than funny guy? He makes out like a bandit with the 38 million he was paid to away! I am so sick of this celebrities trying to make us who work for a living, feel for them! He is NOT funny,never has been and looks like a cartoon character, or like the Big Boy statue...I am glad he will go to TBS, now maybe he will really disappear. No one knows where to find TBS anyway! Good riddance, and please...quit the whining...38 million and counting and he was in depression? Jeez...

    May 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  181. rickinmo

    I watched Conan early in his career and just didn't appreciate his juvenile humor. Nothing original or clever about it. He's done much better financially than his ability warranted. Good Luck

    May 3, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  182. Chuck Roast

    Nancy: "According to"To date, Jay Leno has ranked #1 in adult 18-49 rating on 37 of 40 nights versus “Late Show,” including two ties, since returning as host of “Tonight” on March 1. In total viewers, Jay has ranked #1 on 40 of 40 nights."

    For the week of April 19-23 average total viewers are:
    (1) NBC “Tonight,” 4.0 million viewers
    (2) CBS “Late Show,” 3.2 million viewers

    There are the hard numbers guys. Leno's back on top."

    Nancy, here's hard numbers for you, but from April 20-24 2009...
    (1) NBC “Tonight,” 5.8 million viewers
    (2) CBS “Late Show,” 3.0 million viewers

    Hmmm Dave gained veiwers and Leno lost approximately ONE THIRD of his audience! Now thats a hard number.

    May 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  183. jroc

    Blahbitty blah blah. STFU. Everyone. What's done is done.

    May 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  184. Late Night Bully

    I'll POUND anyone who thinks that idiot leno is better than Conan O'brien.
    Conan O'brien is simply better than leno in every way.

    Bottom line:

    Low IQ IDIOTS are comfortable watching leno.

    INTELLIGENT open minded people watch Conan O'brien

    May 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  185. Mike Mercury

    Conan didn't like the idea of tucking in behind Leno again (directly, without a news or sports buffer)....I think in his mind Conan just loathed Jay's sophmoric brand of humour and thought he couldn't get any draft behind Jay.
    He's probably right. Leno has turned into a real sap on the entertainment scene. When the President of the USA is funnier than you – you got a problem!!!
    Conan could have taken the later slot and demanded a bit more money for himself and his staff to do the deed. May have even been able to negotiate hosting a two hour special once a week and let Leno take a day off..... BUT WHO AM I? D. Letterman

    May 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  186. JuJuBee91361

    Conan is George Lopez's Leno!

    May 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  187. Im right

    Conan is awful!! he put people out of jobs. hes now on a BS network opening for George Lopez. Talk about your fall from grace...hes a loser who is trying to start his own cult following. Not cool Conan. Good thing u admitted u were wrong or noone would ever want to work with you again!

    May 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  188. RS

    I like both Conan and Jay. I'm glad to see in a sense that things worked out all around. Granted Conan didn't get to keep the Tonight Show, but he's got a show that no one's going to take away from him, and a fellow host who doesn't mind being bumped back an hour. As for Jay, he gets back the Tonight show which he insists he never wanted to leave from (not sure if it's true), so those who're loyal Conan fans know to tune into TBS nightly and Jay fans can tune into NBC nightly. Both sets of fans can see their fav comedians and everybody's happy for the most part.

    May 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  189. Hewitt Spain

    Will definitely be watching Conan when he moves to TBS. I haven't watched Jay since the whole deal went down and I feel more intelligent for it. I can find funny newsclippings on and not have to listen to his shrill voice.

    May 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  190. cnn reader

    Sorry Conan, you were never funny. Leno is still funny though.
    I've never understood why Conan was considered to be a prime time comedian anyway.

    May 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  191. Lee

    Class act...I always liked Conan. He is on a completely different level than Leno. No matter where Conan goes, he will do well.

    May 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  192. Trevor

    To those who think Leno is funny and Conan is not – please get a sense of humour. Jay is NOT funny, and his interview skills are .. mediocre at best. He stole the show from Letterman the first time around (hiding in a closet – who DOES that?) and then from Conan the second time around. If Jay had HALF the class that Johnny had he never would have come back. But the same people (those 45-90) with no sense of humour who don't demand anything interesting or unique from their late night hosts will continue to tune in to Leno.

    And if Conan failed at 11:30 like Zucker insists, then what was that stinkbomb that Jay had at 10pm?

    May 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  193. Harry Baxter

    For some reason, Conan acts like he got a raw deal. Audience number is everything in TV, and Conan had lousy numbers. He had a cult following, but so did Charles Manson!

    May 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  194. Liz

    This may gone on forever.

    But after seeing Jay interviewed on Oprah I feel a little better about him. Come on folks look at like this Jay and Conan are entertainers , not the white collar guys that make the big decisions.It wasn't up to Jay.....unless he was willing to roll over and die or take some dive deal he was not gonna come out in a good place.If you go by seniority then Jay was the one to put back on at 10:30.

    I always thought Jay was funny when he filled in for Carson back in the day. I just never thought he could carry a whole hour.

    As for James that thinks everyone over 50 is too dumb to come in out of the rain, let me say we had our own comedians when we were (young) Cheech and Chong. Now that is funny. By the way they are touring again. Anyone that wants to have some real fun should go to see those guys.

    From A True Letterman Fan

    Liz in Texas

    May 3, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  195. Ed

    Jay Leno is painfully unfunny. At the White House corespondents shin dig Jay looked like a childrens party clown

    May 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  196. db

    Who cares? Letterman rules!

    May 3, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  197. bill

    I guess no one remembers when Jay took over the tonight show after Carson. He only had it for four month try out. Then NBC had this tug o war going on between David and Jay as to who was going to take over the tonight show. This is when NBC was actually going to dump Jay and sign David but David decided he wanted to control his own destiny. So, NBC had this big promo that Jay was signed on for several years. The quote I remember the most at that promo was Jay saying, "We're all here to celebrate me not getting fired". That was his opening comment to the promo before all of the reporters. So, NBC played off David and Jay before they settled on Jay. Whey did anyone expect different from NBC this time around???

    May 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  198. Joelan3

    I used to love Leno when he was on Lettermans show years ago. Once he got the tonight show he watered down his comedy to fit all the different demographics. Letterman and Conan would not. Even though Letterman did mellow out for a while and then went back to his bitting comedy. Leno stabbed Letterman in the back and did the same to Conan. I will admit good bitting comedy has no place on the tonight show when most of the people who watch it wouldn't know good comedy if it porked them. It seems that now days screwing over someone is the thing to do and Conan would rather leave than screw up the tonight shows time slot. I'm sure Conan would have rather stayed than got the money. I just don't watch NBC at night from Monday to Friday, no matter who the guest is. This country's values are so screwed up. While this debate goes on we're watching our coastlines destroyed, Fanatics are trying to bomb and kill us over cartoons. Tornados are destroying communities. Wake up folks. We are all going to be dead soon at this rate.

    May 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  199. Michael

    Conan O'Brien is an actual comedian, so I have respect for him because he is genuinely funny. Jay Leno is just a puppet, which is why he's so perfect for the Tonight Show. He'll do pretty much whatever they want him to do. Sooner, rather than later, old age will take away all of Leno's followers.

    May 3, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  200. Bubba

    Leno bores the crap out of me, so I watch Letterman instead. Glad Conan landed on his feet, but I do remember that they paid him millions on condition that he not do a standup act about Leno, etc.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  201. John G

    Why is this so difficult. Conan was on NBC for years and years and was simply moved up an hour and Letterman stomped him in the ratings. What is there to figure out. Conan didn't cut it with the big boys. He's out. NBC went after Leno cause he's a winner at that time slot!!! Very simjple!!!! GET OVER IT, Mr Conan!

    May 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  202. mike

    Only a mean-spirited person could talk trash about Conan. The guy is the definition of class.

    I'm guessing there's a high correlation between Leno backers and right wingers.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  203. POD

    The Man got 43 million dollars to go away.....You can screw me like that anytime

    May 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  204. Greg

    Conan is quite the class act. I'm sure that he'll get a chance to shine down the road.

    Here's my take on it from a "young and trendy" perspective:

    Jay Leno: who cares because he sucks.

    Letterman: always has been better than Jay Leno

    Conan: he'll get his one day, after everyone is done with kicking him around for some unknown reason

    But... the king of all is quite obviously Howard Stern.

    I can't wait until Howard Stern starts his own late night show (in approx. 8 months or so) and puts an end to all of this discussion. He quite simply is the King. Hands down, the most realistic person out there and he doensn't have that corny approach that Leno has (shudder the thought to have to watch Leno ever again – cheesy stuff or what)

    Go Howard!

    May 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  205. Ravi

    Boring and a sore looser. He is no match for Leno's "Tonight Show."

    May 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  206. Rich Bozigar

    Ah, The King of the low-IQ crowd ffinally speaks. Frankly, it is a generational – and intellectual – thing regarding who likes Leno and who likes Conan. I just don't care for Conan's crass, poor-taste (and usually humorless) humor. Leno may be "stale" to some but he is still more topical and funny. Yhe numbers don't lie. Conan and TBS – a true match made in heaven.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  207. Benjolina

    Conan is appealing to the younger crowd, Leno belongs to the older ones (no offense). The stats speak for itself

    May 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  208. Late Night Bully

    Leno sucks.
    He needs to retire and let someone with a brain take over.
    Or maybe we'll get lucky and a guest will just punch him in the chin and cause him to run away screaming like a little girlyman.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  209. extonight

    I’ve been watching the Tonight Show since Johnny Carson. Jay was good until he went to 10:00 PM slot. Now that NBC moved him back to 11:30 he’s still stale. I just don’t feel the same way about him since he took the show back from Conan.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  210. Cindy

    Hey George Lopez...don't know if the Tonight Show has "went" downhill, but your English sure has "gone" downhill. I'll stick with the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel, thank you very much. Checked out Leno the other night and it was nothing but crotch unfunny.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  211. lance corporal

    conan had to move to cable for the larger bandwidth, it's the only way to fit his monsterous head in......
    now wait a minute, I'm over 50 (if just a little) and I think leno suuuuuucks
    I was shocked when he got the show over letterman, no they didn't have to give it to dave and i understood why they didn't but leno was a moderately/minimally successful comedic hack, I completely stopped watching tonight when he took the reins, the guy is just not very good at ANY aspect of the job and he's soooo bland, I watched conan once in a while and I saw his last show and i do think he's exhibited some class in all this. I think conan is gonna end up the winner in all this, it certainly won't be leno (out funnied by Obama recently!!!) and it continues NBCs downward slide

    May 3, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  212. amac

    Boo hoo Conan.... crying all the way to the bank.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  213. farrtom

    Used to watch every night the Tonight Show and then The Late Night with Conan then later with Jimmy Fallon.
    Now after this whole fiasco I watch Letterman then turn it back to Jimmy.
    I will not watch the Tonight Show while Leno is on it.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  214. Nancy

    According to"To date, Jay Leno has ranked #1 in adult 18-49 rating on 37 of 40 nights versus “Late Show,” including two ties, since returning as host of “Tonight” on March 1. In total viewers, Jay has ranked #1 on 40 of 40 nights."

    For the week of April 19-23 average total viewers are:
    (1) NBC “Tonight,” 4.0 million viewers
    (2) ABC "Nightline," 3.4 million viewers
    (3) CBS “Late Show,” 3.2 million viewers

    There are the hard numbers guys. Leno's back on top.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  215. chloe

    Go Conan!!!!!!!!!!!
    I miss you on the tonight show. It's the only American late night we get in France. And I just can't watch Leno. He's boring. I'd rather have my teeth pulled out one by one.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  216. Corey Gabriel

    Hey, what's up with that young whippersnapper James who says that people over 50 don't have a sense of humor? I find James to be hiliarious.....LOL

    May 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  217. Kate

    Conan threatened to leave NBC five years ago if he wasn't given the Tonight Show. At the time, the Tonight Show was #1 with Jay; it had been #1 for as long as Jay had been hosting it.
    NBC caved in to Conan's threats by promising him that he would get the Tonight Show in five years. Five years fly by, Jay is still #1 and Conan gets the show. Jay is persuaded out, but NBC can't bear to lose him to another network, so they give him a prime time spot. Meanwhile, Conan starts hosting the Tonight Show, and it slips to #2, #3 in that time slot. Five months later, Jay starts his primetime show, and the show doesn't do well after a couple of months, the affiliates start hollering.
    NBC panics and doesn't think things through, caves in to the affiliates and comes up with a plan to put Jay back in at 11:35, which pushes Conan's show back a half hour. Conan refuses, saying he doesn't want to be a part of a Tonight Show that airs at a time slot that isn't at 11:35pm. Jay wants to keep his staff employed - over 300 people work for Jay Leno. Conan quits on principle, and NBC gives the Tonight Show back to Jay.
    There are no villains here. NBC made some decisions that were not well thought out. Conan and Jay made decisions at that moment which they felt was right for them and their staff.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  218. sheila

    Of course you got screwed by NBC you moron. So did Leno when they gave YOU his job. Neither you nor Leno says whether you have a show or not, the network does. Conan, you are just not funny. You're like Letterman, twitching, jerky movements are decidely not funny. Leno is, plus he has humility.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  219. Cory

    He screwed NBC. How many millions did he get for leaving?

    May 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  220. H Beckham

    Quit whining jokes are juvenile,not funny.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  221. Andrew

    You got screwed Conan.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  222. CherylS

    The affiliates are the ones who started screaming about the 10pm Leno show not pulling the ratings. When NBC decided to cancel it, Leno said OK and asked to be let out of his contract. NBC said no and decided to move him back to 11:35 for a half-hour (what a joke that was!) and then move The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien to 12:05am for an hour. If Conan wanted to stay with The Tonight Show, he would have said OK. HE made the decision not to stay. All that was left was the financial negotiation. Immediately, Leno began beating Letterman – something Conan only did his first week.
    Come November when Conan starts back at 11:30, we'll see who really draws the biggest crowd. Until then, the situation's moot.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  223. ryan23

    maeve- Really? Conan took that settlement to pay for the families of his staff who moved out to Cali with him to do the tonight show. And tells people on a regular basis to not be cynical or feel sorry for him. Have you ever heard Conan talk? EVER?!?!? And this is not whining. He said many times in the interview he's fine, he is happy, and didn't get screwed. How is that whining? He's laughing about an embarassing, uncomfortable, and in the aspect of having people you've worked with for 20+ years suddenly become your enemies- sad situation. He's even touring a show that makes fun of the whole situation. How is that boo-hooing? It's called self-deprecating humor, which is apparently over your head. Wow. Read something or watch something about the subject you're posting about before you post. Anything at all. You sound like a complete idiot. Or you just hate red-haired people.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  224. H Beckham

    Welcome to the world of 10%.whiner.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  225. Mick

    Nothing new on the 60 Minutes piece. Just another fluff piece. The subject in now history and way beyond its 15 minutes.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  226. Carole Clarke

    Never forget this is a business – they program to eak the most ad dollars out of each time slot. They can't afford to get personal and Conan knows that. Ask any actor that's been on a great show that got cancelled and replaced by drivel. It doesn't say much about the viewing public, does it? I guess we just want to zone out after work and not have to think. Wish I'd been winkled out of a job I loved and paid $30 million to go away! So he got ripped out of his comfortable rut and had to go back on the road – maybe Somebody is telling him somethng. Like it's time to be reflective, to retool and think about your future. He's still young and photogenic, he'll be fine. With his brains and Harvard education maybe he should go into politics or does he only care about himself? What has he decided to give back in thanks for what he has been fortunate enough to receive?

    May 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  227. amy

    "...and in America there are a lot of people who are unemployed and really don't want to hear how he was affected." THEN DON'T READ THE ARTICLES! No one is holding a gun to your head.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  228. Rick

    I am no TV expert but I knew from the get go that NBC messed up. When they annonced that Lenno would be leaving and Conan would take over the Tonight Show I knew it would end up in failure. Lenno's audience is not Conan's audience. Then, when they announced that Lenno would do a daily show at 10 PM, BOY! that was an even worse decision. Maybe once a week at 10 PM would work, but daily?! And Conan, you don't think six months was enough for you to make a go of the Tonight Show? It was long enough however for you to ruin the Tonight Show! How long would someone in the real world last on a new job if they were not performing? A month? Six weeks? And you got $35 million in severance! So stop complaining and go back to doing stand-up in college campuses. And while you're at it, change your hair style! What's up with that?

    May 3, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  229. Patrick

    Here's ther real comedy.....Anyone know what the Tonight Show ratings are these days? I personally know a lot of people who are boycotting because of fat faced baby Jay Leno's antics. I'll bet they're looking at record low ratings...I can't wait to see the results.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  230. Stevo

    When NBC forced Jay to say he'd Conan the Tonight show back in 2004, it was never expected that Jay would remain with the network with his 10:00 show. That only came about last year when they paniced about Jay going to another network and wanted to cut programming costs.
    As for everyone making a comparison with George Lopez, there is none. He has gone on record saying that even before TBS contacted Conan, he was on board and brought it up to Conan himself. Having Conan preceed him will be nothing but beneficial.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  231. Ken

    Remeber when Johnny Carson left the tonight show for Jay Leno... then Johnny Carson went on an earlier show at 10pm, so that his followers could watch him earlier and then go to sleep, instead of staying up for the tonight show.

    Jay was able to overcome that, why cant Conan.... Oh wait.... it didnt happen that way at all.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  232. Brian

    He's right he didn't get screwed, HE LEFT!!! He just didn't want to move the show back a half hour to make room for Jay. Either way no one cares anymore, we've all moved on.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  233. Chris

    Bottom line: Conan is funny. He is a brilliant writer of comedy but as a person, he is sarcastic and obnoxious. Leno is perceived as friendly, happy and sincere. Is it any wonder why NBC corrected their mistake and brought Leno back to the Tonight Show? Now that Leno is back, the ratings on the show are back where they belong. Point made.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  234. JLG

    I agree Tam... I don't find him funny. I stopped watching the Tonight Show when he took over.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  235. George Lopez

    I think we will never know the truth until Bob , I mean Kevin Eubanks writes a tell all book. Then we will know the real story about Leno. Does anyone think that the Leno show has went downhill? I think a V took over Leno's body and does his routine.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  236. RickInPA

    Nice, James..

    May 3, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  237. Christopher

    I will be happy to see Conan back on the air, with or without NBC. Conan's sick sense of humor sits well with me.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  238. TerryB

    Oh yes you did!

    May 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  239. maeve

    What a jerk ! Conan gets a "huge" pay-off to shut him up. Conan is not funny (for that matter neither is Leno). "Coco" is acting like a spoiled brat. The strange part is that after receiving all that money, he expects people to feel sorry for him. Look around you, Conan. Many talented people in the real world lost their jobs, no one offered them over 30 million dollars to make them feel better. These people lost their homes. With 30 million you should be able to find a modest house for your family. Some of the people who are really struggling have run out of unemployment funds, health care insurance etc. And you, Mr. Unfunny, are wah...wah....wah....on TV, complaining about how life is s-o-o unfair. Maybe that's the joke.... Good one Conan. You may want to rethink your Wah...Wah...Wah Tour. Remember you are supposed to provide humor to the common folk.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  240. Rene

    Conan is a CLASS ACT!!

    I agree totally – if you left a job and your new job is not what you thought it was going to be – why step back and take away someone else's job? I like Jay Leno – but Conan is better. He appeals to the younger audiance and is willing to take risks – Jay leno is the same all the time.

    GO CONAN!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  241. tony

    he got $ 40 million, work,give me a f-ing break, is he comedic genius not even close

    May 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  242. Amanda

    As funny as I think Conan is, remember he got paid a BOATLOAD of cash for this incident and seeing so many people around me losing their jobs, I have a hard time really feeling bad for anyone in this position.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  243. Rich

    Oh the irony!

    Conan cries like a baby because NBC took the tonight show away from him. Yet he did not cry when NBC took the tonight show from leno and gave it to him.

    Lopez may say that he's OK with Conan pushing him back an hour, but what else can he say if he want to be a team player? Conan does not cry wheh HE pushes someone to a later time slot.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  244. George Lopez

    I was told that Conan was funny but never really watched his show. Could be my downfall. Maybe my show should follow desperate housewives.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  245. Chuck Roast

    Leno has his writing staff working overtime, logging in under several user names so they can post support comments disparaging Conan. Now that uncharacteristically is very funny!!! Another funny thing, Leno's publicist team makes sure ratings get posted showing he is number one again, but they don't mention comparison to ratings from one year earlier... 30% less. Translation: Leno lost a third of his audience for what he did.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  246. B

    I'm with MKEmom. I used to watch Leno over Letterman, since Letterman has slowly become a dirty old man. But I dropped Leno like a rock when he screwed over Conan. I try to watch a little Letterman now, but it's not that great. I can't wait for Conan to come back. The other two just seem to recycle the same old jokes day after day.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  247. Patrice


    May 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  248. tom s

    hee haa haa haa

    May 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  249. Lisa

    If Leno is for the 50+ crowd, and I'm 49 do I have to start watching him next year? I prefer Conan or Dave. I've never been a Leno fan, ever. Man, I have to start watching him next year?

    May 3, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  250. camille

    Love Conan...he is hilarious and a good person. Cannot wait until November when I can start watching late night comedy again.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  251. Chuck Roast

    What's up with the clueless people spouting off about George Lopez getting screwed? It was LOPEZ's idea to bring in Conan as a lead in and moving his show to 12!!!!!!! Everybody involved, including George, have stated this.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  252. Barack Obama

    I don't think either of them are funny. A couple of good one liners now and again but that's it. I watch Law & Order.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  253. Terri

    What a stupid waste of time interview!

    May 3, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  254. Bubba

    $40 million? Who got screwed?

    May 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  255. Colleen

    I've always wondered why NBC blamed Conan for the bad ratings, when it was actually Jay's 10 PM show that had bad ratings, causing local news stations following his show having low ratings. That already had people switching channels from Jay's show to another network. Jay was a backstabber long ago when it was Jay or Letterman getting Carson's job helped along by Jay's b***h of a manager, who probably was doing the same things here as before. I'm well into my 50's and I don't think Jay is one bit funny. I love Conan's goofiness and his weird sense of humor. I definitely will be going cable and can't wait for Conan to be back on the air in November.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  256. Cliff

    His ego has always been huge
    His jokes....well....they aren't jokes because jokes are suppose to be funny.
    Sounds like a little boy who got told by his mommy he couldn't go out and play.
    He'll do well at TBS. Lopez isn't funny, Conan isn't funny and how many people really watch the TURNER BARNYARD STATION?

    May 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  257. Colleen

    Conan used the money to pay his staff during the time they would have been filming shows, he's not just sitting on it. Remember, these guys are working almost all year. They don't get a lot of vacation time. His staff is huge, I'd say at least 40 people involved, so he's paying himself and all of them for something like 6 months. He might have a couple million left over when they get started at TBS.

    Conan really appreciated what it meant to be the host of the Tonight Show. For him sitting in that chair was extremely special, the pinnacle of his career, and in my opinion a person like that deserves to sit there way more than anyone else. NBC screwed up royally here.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  258. rodriguez

    hahaha...conan....still talking about this same issue...move on already and do another failure of a

    May 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  259. bob

    Conan TOTALLY WON.....he got a $41 million buyout, a nice long break from television, a brand new show that he owns and will have lower ratings expectations from everyone.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  260. Grahame

    His numbers were awful, that's why he was pushed out. It wasn't Jay, it wasn't that he wasn't given enough time – he just failed to perform. Enough with garnering all our sympathy, just move on.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  261. Tim

    Lopez is a winner here, not a loser – watch his rating skyrocket with the Conan lead-in

    May 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  262. Goss

    Conan's audience is better educated with a sharper wit, while Leno's audience is less educated, etc....

    Thank god Conan will be back in the Fall.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  263. The_Mick

    Was it part of the interview agreement that 60 Minutes would, in an unusually cowardly fashion, avoid making comparisons of Conan getting bounced back in time by NBC by Leno's return to 11:30 pm and Conan's bouncing George Lopez back to a later time?

    It makes Conan's holier-than-though "upbringing" comments look fake when he won't even allow anyone to interview him about doing to others what he complains was done to him!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  264. JohnRJ08

    Conan O'Brien is saying all this to draw attention to his new show. He knows full well that he will get a lot more ink nurturing a feud with Jay Leno than he will by taking shots at NBC. Whether he wants to admit it or not, Leno didn't screw him. The network did. When O'Brien's contract was about to expire, NBC panicked that they would lose him to FOX or ABC. So they came up with the brilliant idea to give him the Tonight Show and move Leno to the crime show time slot at 10PM. Leno took that move with a lot of grace, despite the fact that he knew it would NEVER work. He never wanted to leave the Tonight Show. He was moved out by NBC to make room for Conan and he knew it.

    Conan's Tonight Show ratings started out bad and just got worse. He failed to bring his Late Show audience with him and he lost a lot of Leno viewers to Letterman, whose ratings skyrocketed after the move. It's didn't take NBC long to figure out how stupid their idea had been. So they - NBC - bought out O'Brien's contract and let him go. Then NBC gave Leno his show back.

    O'Brien's attacks on Leno are self-serving and, to be candid, quite disappointing.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  265. Geoff

    Really not funny. Not Conan or Jay. ::shrug::

    May 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  266. Tim

    You all forget that Carson told Leno that the time would come that NBC would ask him to leave when he was still #1 for the good of the franchise – Leno acknowledged and accepted that comment when he accepted the gig.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  267. J M C

    @Laurie M-M. Not quite. I think the idea was the Midnight show would still be called the Tonight Show, but be followed by the now 11:30 "Leno Show". Conan had commented that he felt that arrangement would forever destroy The Tonight Show... he wanted no part of it. He was being offered somethng he was certain was doomed to fail (and I think he was right).

    May 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  268. Confused

    So Conan says that he would never do what Jay Leno did to him? What about what he's doing to George Lopez?

    May 3, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon Hohensee

      Wake up! Read again what Conan said! He said he would not – after handing off the show to someone else and wishing the successor well – then take that same show back! Pay attention!

      November 6, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  269. barbie

    Leno didn't ask to leave in 2004, Conan wouldn't renew his contract in 2004 without being promised the Tonight Show. He had no problem throwing Leno under the bus then. What goes around comes around.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  270. nancy h anderson

    They are both very rich men. Hard to feel sorry for either of them.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  271. dpeters11

    @Chuck Roast: He was prohibited from appearing on TV and giving interviews until May 1. He's still prohibited from making negative comments.

    @Laurie M-M: From what I understand, he was given the choice to stay with the Tonight Show at 12:05, but he felt moving it past midnight, "to tomorrow" would hurt the franchise.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  272. kt

    TEAM COCO!!!!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  273. Ben

    Stay home and count your money.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  274. Natasha

    What this comes down to is that NBC handled this extremely badly. Neither did as well in the ratings as was expected and instead of handling it professionally, it became what it became. Each host felt victimized in his own way from what each has said (Jay back when it was announced Conan was to take over and Conan recently), and I think now each has, if not what each one wanted, at least a solution each can live with–basically, each still (or, in Conan's case, soon to be) on tv to their audience and making a bunch of money.

    I don't think it's completely a case of young vs old, but rather type of humor. I think Conan, had he been heir to the Johnny Carson chair, would have been more successful than he was succeeding Jay, because Johnny was more sketch oriented and self deprecating than Jay is, but as Jay was the host for 17 years, that's what people now expect from their Tonight Show. Nine months was just not long enough to change back. Another standup may do well in succeeding Jay when the time comes.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  275. badhatharry

    Leslie, do you thing that deal wouldn't have happened if Leno wasn't on board with it?

    May 3, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  276. Thomas

    Conan is brilliant, talented and very funny. All you nay-sayers and haters can SUCK IT!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  277. natalie

    Never found him or Leno funny. Funny looking, but not funny.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  278. cmnsns

    I've always thought Conan was funny and I've enjoyed his work, I've just never considered him to be exactly "Tonight Show" level. I think it should have been someone else for a change. Jay's best days seem to be behind him and I would have preferred he exit on a high note rather than have this debacle happen. I still wonder if he's always secretly had a chip on his shoulder going back to the last late night blow up and has decided that he'll get as much as he can out of NBC (regardless of the consequences) for as long as he can. Conan will be better and better off ultimately when he gets to cable.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  279. George Lopez

    Well you know most of us really dont care about how Conan felt after the show was cancelled. He got a lot of money and in America there are a lot of people who are unemployed and really dont want to hear how he was affected.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  280. badhatharry

    I'm firmly in Team Coco, but I never worried about the guy. He's got an extra 30 million on top of the salary he's already banked. There was no doubt he'd be back on TV. The thing that amazed me was that this whole thing was put together by people who do this for a living. This whole saga read like a bunch of High School A/V students were trying to program the school's CC channel, not the execs at one of the largest broadcasters on the planet. With these people at the helm, is it any wonder NBC is in 4th place?

    May 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  281. Hien

    If my memory serves me correct, Leno didn't take the Tonight Show spot back "from" Conan; rather, Jay said if Conan vacated the seat, that he'd take it. I take that as a feeling of respect for the Tonight Show brand from Leno (much like Conan's gesture when he refused to move to midnight).

    Conan thinking Jay shouldn't have taken Tonight back is more out of Jay giving a gesture of respect (for Conan) than a straight on hate move, I think. The timing of everything favors this opinion; I'll elaborate below.

    Leno never forced Conan out of the spot (NBC did), he just felt that better he keep the show going than let someone new/inexperienced handle it. Or... it could've been NBC pushing Leno in the back to do it, because they needed the ratings save ASAP.

    Also don't forget that, after leaving the Tonight Show, Leno wanted to leave NBC to pursue other interests (either the Top Gear USA avenue, or return to stand-up) but NBC refused to release him out of his contract. That's how the Jay Leno show debacle came about; NBC had to pay him whether he sat at home or worked, so might as well give him a show and make him earn it, right?

    I like both of them; even if TBS puts Conan on to directly compete with Leno, I'd Tivo one and watch the other, or Tivo both (or all 3 if you count Letterman). Now that I think of it, I'd probably watch Conan and Tivo the other 2; I don't want to give NBC my Nielson point after they caused this mess.

    Bottom Line: NBC should've let Leno go do his own thing, but they got greedy and tried to keep both talents. Kind of like a guy trying to keep a wife and a mistress at the same time. Nothing good was going to come out of it.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  282. MAQ

    Leno blames Conan for not getting high ratings for the Tonight Show. Well...Jay, you didn't get much ratings either at 10PM. I agree with Conan...If Jay had any class, Jay wouldn't have taken the show back.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  283. norb

    Never thought this guy was funny. NBC gave him like 35 million to leave. Must be nice.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  284. p

    Conan is a really funny guy.
    Leno tells jokes.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  285. I love Sandra

    Of course he didn't get screwed. He made $40 million to sit on his ass 'til Sept.!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  286. Leslie

    Jay should never have been asked to leave the Tonight Show in the first place. He had the #1 night time talk show consistantly for years. To be asked to retire and give it to Conan was shameful. I don't think any of us would like for that to happen to us in our jobs. They're both good guys and were just victims of bad decisions at the network, however, I do kind of wish Conan would just shut his pie hole. He's got 10's of millions of dollars! Poor guy!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  287. Stevo

    @JimmyT, most thought that Jay would retire when he first agreed to hand the show over to Conan. It was only last year when NBC was afraid Jay would jump to another network (which he was totally free to do), that they offered him the 10:00 show (this was also because they were trying to cut costs on programing).

    May 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  288. add

    that conan is the funnniest comedian since the book of genesis author wrote his comedy.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  289. Beezy

    A larger % of the Old don't adopt, or no how to work things like DVR, this makes time slots still relevant to them and FORCES THEM TO WATCH COMMERCIALS. Jay's Fan base are the old!!! While Conan's fan base does use DVR, and are potentially increasing, the show and time slot were a sign of prestige for Conan and his staff... In the end, Conan is a more viable option for long term fans, but NBC is more concerned about the price per second they can charge for commercial air time. Which group (though diminishing) do you think is most likely to make purchases based on advertising???

    May 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  290. Bill

    Conan is right, everything happens for a reason. In this case, the reason was his lack of talent.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  291. Onevoice62

    Conan continues to act like a wonder he didn't take the later time slot it would have been past he 2 year-old behaviors bedtime.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  292. Chuck Roast

    Several of you have it all wrong. Conan was prohibited from saying anything disparaging about Leno or NBC in public (which includes TV) only until May 1st. He could've said anything he wanted and should've really let them have it, but he stopped short. Now THAT is class.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  293. Stevo

    @Laurie M-M, Conan rejected going on at 12:00 because the Tonight Show has aired at 11:30 for over forty years and didn't want to change that. He also didn't want Late Night (the show he hosted for over 15 years) to have to be pushed back. The Tonight Show at 12:00? It's no longer TONIGHT at that point.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  294. Tim

    Like him or don't, but NBC never gave Conan's Tonight Show the same leeway offered Leno after he took over from Carson and was getting killed by Letterman. Eventually, Leno did find his own voice, Letterman got lazy and Leno's Tonight Show became what it became.

    I thought the most revealing part of the Kroft interview was that NBC got off real easy on the $45million payout to Conan and his staff, compared to the $150million it would have cost to jettison Leno.

    What this all has done is drastically improve latenight – Feguson is awsome, Fallon is way better than expected and will be a force for years, Letterman seems reenergized, Leno is back where he is comfortable, Kimmel has a very good audience – Conan on cable without restrictions will be very interesting to watch – hopefully he uses the freedom cable will give him.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  295. Sue

    I always thought Conan was funnier then Leno. Still do.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  296. Heather

    I think it's so funny that Conan says he's fine with the way things have turned out and everyone still keeps debating the issue. If he's okay with it, we should accept the way things are and move on. I wish him the best!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  297. Chuck Roast

    Either way it went down, it was NBC's "operation get rid of Conan and keep that unfunny bucket headed idiot Jay". They offered to move the "Tonight" show to 12:05 AM because they knew nobody in his right mind would go along with it. And if Conan did go for it, all the better for NBC. Being after midnight it wouldn't be the "tonight" show anymore, it would be the "first thing in the morning show". If he had said yes then before it all took place, they would've said, wait a minute, we can't still call it the tonight show if its the next day, so we are just going to call Jays new show at 11:35 the tonight show, and change the name of yours to "the middle man show", or something ignorant. Then after Leno's shockingly unfunny lameass humor put everyone to sleep and leave zero viewers still awake, a few months later they would've just squeezed Conan on out based on low ratings and relieve themselves of having to spend one penny to buy out his contract. Conan did the smart thing refusing this scenario and forcing NBC to have to pay him millions to go away.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  298. 1happycamper

    Says what you will about Conan but the man takes care of his people. He actually continued to pay their salary with his own money when he left the air. Who would not want a boss like that?

    May 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  299. phil

    what's the BIG DEAL??? I watch everything online anyway so it does NOT matter when either of them comes on the air. Time slots mean nothing to me.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  300. MKEmom

    I used to be a dedicated Tonight Show viewer – from the days of Johnny Carson. I loved Conan and thought he did a super job.

    After Jay's prime time failure and his subsequent whinning to NBC to get his show back, I haven't watched a single minute of The Tonight Show.

    David Letterman's not so bad after you get used to him.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  301. JimmyT

    Over 5 years ago when NBC offered Conan the Tonight Show, did they also tell him they would be moving Jay into prime time each night? If they didn't, then I say Conan was backed into a corner. How could he have made the evening his own when Jay was still around? (...and let us not forget that Jay bombed in his new timeslot, too, so if he had such a huge fan base, why weren't they watching him?) Jay only has good ratings after the news because the older crowd ACCEPTS his lame, simple humor over the alternatives of Dave and Conan. Does anybody really respect Jay? Does he have any friends beside his wife? And why does he work endlessly doing standup, etc....does ne need the constant attention or is he just greedy? I don't get how he has remained relevent for this long and wish he would have just ridden off into the sunset with honor.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  302. Sara

    He has a really big head.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  303. Charles


    Keep this and read it on your 50th birthday.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  304. Tor

    NBC really has got their money's worth for all the anti-Conan astroturf they bought.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  305. headwriter

    He's not realty a class act - he's legally prohibited from saying negative things about Leno or NBC. I thought he weaseled around that in hs comments, not a sign of great integrity.

    Sure, Jay is not as clever, but his audience is not all 50+ plus and guess what? Those people have senses of humor too. I'm finding Team Coco to be a little loco on this issue; THEY are the ones who seem humorless.

    And if you really want an eye-opener, ask Conan how many member of his writing staff –and there are a lot of writers-are older than he is.

    Oscar Wilde was right, as so many Team Coco comments have reinforced: "Youth is wasted on the young."

    May 3, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  306. Bruce

    Conan is talented and has his place, especially among younger viewers. There simply wansn't enough appeal to a wider audience on the Tonight Show, and that's where NBC execs badly miscalculated, figuring they should go only with 'hip and trendy'. Following a Tonight Show tradition, in my estimation, the host there should always, of course, be funny as well as possess an ability to display a serious side, when appropriate, as could say, Johnny Carson.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  307. james

    Leno isn't even funny at all. He's for the 50+ crowd which has no sense of humor.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  308. Laurie M-M

    Conan, don't be so hard on yourself.
    I have one question, which I haven't seen anyone address.
    It is true that you were offerred the 12:00 Tonight show slot?
    I believe that I read, originally, that Jay Leno was to start the Tonight show at 11:30, run for 1/2 hour, and then Conan was to start his show at 12:00 and run for either 1/2 hour or an hour.
    I think it would have been fantastic if Conan had taken the 12:00 time slot and stayed with the show. I am not sure why Conan didn't do just that. I can understand being angry about it, but after the anger, it would have been a wise thing to do.
    At this point, from my understanding, Conan wasn't "kicked out", as much as his time was shifted to a 1/2 hour later, and he chose not to fulfill this change. He had every right to make his own decision, but many of us wish he had chosen to take the 12:00 time slot and make it his own.
    I hope to see you doing your own brand of humor again, soon. Best wishes to you, Conan, for your good fortune and happiness.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  309. Buck

    Haha, its funny that some of you posted that you don't like him...but yet you felt it was worthwhile to post a comment here.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  310. Mark C

    Ah yes, the low-IQ crowd chimes in against Conan every time he's mentioned. Glad to see the usual idiots.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  311. linda

    Why oh why doesn't he just go away?

    May 3, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  312. Derek

    Good for Conan...class act.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.