Conan O'Brien Speaks on "Toxic" Relationship with NBC, Backstabbing Jay Leno

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It's been a good couple weeks for Conan O'Brien:

He's landed on his funny feet at TBS, and he's been named the second most influential artist on the planet.

Obama and Leno

This Sunday on 60 Minutes, meanwhile, the comedian will speak in depth for the first time on the decision by NBC to toss him aside as host of The Tonight Show and replace him with Jay Leno, who was all too happy to take back the gig.

Would Conan have done the same thing in Jay's place?

"He went and took that show back, and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know - I know me, I wouldn't have done that," O’Brien says. "If I had surrendered The Tonight Show and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well - and then... six months later. But that's me. Everyone's got their own way of doing things."

A classy individual, as evidenced by this statement he released in the middle of the late-night mess, Conan continued to emphasize that he could only speak for himself, refusing to completely lay into Leno.

As for why he left NBC, O'Brien remembers thinking "this relationship is going be toxic and maybe we just need to go our separate ways.

"That's really how it felt to me... and I started to feel that I'm not sure these people even really want me here ... I can't do it [anymore]."

While we appreciate how mature and professional Conan has been throughout this ordeal, we're also glad David Letterman is around - to basically be the exact opposite.


Conan is showing exactly why people hate "Gingers." You will be a footnote within 5 years. Stop crying for yourself and be funny again, if you can do that. I doubt it, as you seem to be asking for pity and that is getting really old; really quick. I WON'T watch his show on TBS. I boycott TBS because of the racist, re-conquistador George Lopez, but I did give Conan a chance on his premier. It sucked.


Conan is digging his own grave. Sorry that the Leno situation didn't work out, but it was not Jay's fault. You are acting like a spoiled little brat, even though you have millions of dollars as a result. People ARE NOT feeling sorry for you, they are hating you. I USE to love your show and liked you personally... now I hope you put a gun to your head.

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Conan O'Brien Biography

Conan O'Brien was hilarious at 12:30 a.m. But he hasn't fared well in the Tonight Show time slot and rumors began to circulate in early... More »
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