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First Meow-Worthy Soundbites From Conan's 60 Minutes Interview

Jay Leno Conan O'Brien The Tonight Show 2003  I was super-jazzed to hear about Conan's return to television, even if it was on 60 Minutes. I only watch 60 Minutes when a sporting event preempts Amazing Race and my TiVo records 20 minutes of Andy Rooney ranting about staplers or God knows what, leading to me fumbling frantically with the remote to extrend the recording time while boggling over the fact that Andy Rooney is still on 60 Minutes, and looks exactly like he did when my dad watched 60 Minutes. (Back in 1984. Before it got too "liberal" for his tastes.)


conan o'brien on jay leno the tonight show 2003
It's no small glorious thing to members of Team Coco that Conan is basically getting a chance to tell his side of the story to a demographic that is QUITE SIMILAR to Leno's, even if it technically Letterman's network. 

As Miss Banshee already reported, Conan is not "allowed" to appear on television until May 1st, the day of the interview, so 60 Minutes is drumming up publicity for the interview the Team Coco way: releasing choice quotes to teh Interwebs. 

So what does Our Guy have to say about Leno and what he would have done, if their roles were reversed? Well. DUH:

"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. 

I never would have surrendered The Tonight Show and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well – and then ... six months later… But that's me, you know.

Everyone's got their own, you know, way of doing things. I would've done something else, go someplace else."

He also likened leaving NBC to severing a "toxic" relationship and didn't see the point in pursuing negotiations because it was getting obvious that they didn't even want him there. He repeatedly states that he does not want anyone feeling sorry for him, because he's SERIOUSLY OKAY YOU GUYS, and let's all keep things in perspective, etc. 

The New York Times got to see the interview already (BASTARDS) and notes that he is very held back by the still-in-effect non-disparagement agreement at times:

When Mr. Kroft suggests that he "got screwed," Mr. O’Brien says, "No, I didn’t. I’m fine. It just didn’t work out."

But when Mr. Kroft points out that Mr. Leno has said both comics got screwed by NBC’s maneuverings, Mr. O’Brien asks, "How did he get screwed?" and notes that Mr. Leno wound up back on "The Tonight Show."

Did that mean he believes Mr. Leno did something less than honorable? Mr. O’Brien hesitates and then says, "I can’t answer that."

Conan has not spoken to either Leno or NBC president Jeff Zucker since the kerfluffle. They've made no effort to reach out to him, though he says he wouldn't expect them to.

But he does try to counter one point NBC has made since his departure: that his “Tonight Show" was in line to lose money. Not only does he not believe that, Mr. O’Brien states, "It’s really not possible.”

Money was a major factor in the decision to oust him from the 11:35 p.m. time slot, Mr. O’Brien says, because Mr. Leno’s deal would have taken an enormous payout to resolve, perhaps as much as $150 million -- more than three times what NBC eventually had to pay Mr. O’Brien. So, he says, it should not be surprising that NBC’s corporate bosses at General Electric decided which host would "go away."

And he argues that he was "absolutely not" given a fair chance to make the show work, comparing the seven months he had as host to the 18 months it took Mr. Leno before he took over the top spot in the late-night ratings battle against  David Letterman.

I can't wait to watch the whole interview, though not quite as much as I CANNOT WAIT to see Conan LIVE next month when he comes to DC. LIVE, BITCHES. Me and Tracey. Together. Going to see Conan live. It's a business trip, you understand. A very serious pop culture business trip.  



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i do think i have to watch 60 minutes now.


I wanted to see Conan live so badly - but I tried for shows in both Seattle and Vancouver (I live in BC) and had no luck.


I saw him in San Francisco. I can't wait to read about your joy after you see him. He blew my mind with his awesomeness.

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