While Conan O'Brien is officially leaving his dream job, the comedian does at least walk away with a heftier bank account and the support of fans around the nation.
Early today, O'Brien reached a deal with NBC to exit The Tonight Show. He pockets $32 million and arranged for $12 million more to go to his staff for severance.
“In the end, Conan was appreciative of the steps NBC made to take care of his staff and crew, and decided to supplement the severance they were getting out of his own pocket," said O'Brien's agent. “Now he just wants to get back on the air as quickly as possible.”
The agreement between the host and the network includes a "non-disparagement clause." Therefore, Conan won't be able to bash NBC on the air anymore (but David Letterman will likely continue doing it for him).
O'Brien is also disallowed from signing with another network until September 1. His final Tonight Show, with guests Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell, airs tomorrow night.
To quote Rosie O'Donnell: the bully on the playground (aka Jay Leno) will take over the franchise again in early March.