Conan O'Brien Calls Out NBC, Issues Classy, Bitter, Funny Statement

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You gotta admire the way Conan O'Brien has handled the unfair, amateur way in which he's been treated by NBC.

A day after Jay Leno's move back to 11:35 p.m. was confirmed, O'Brien issued a thorough, funny, professional bitter statement that was right on every mark.

He began with:

"People of Earth: In the last few days, I've been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision."

Conan O'Brien

Conan then gets personal and explains what following Johnny Carson meant to him as a child and how he signed a contract six years ago to fulfill a lifelong dream as host of The Tonight Show. From there:

"Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years, the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting.

"The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn't the Tonight Show.

"Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy."

After saying he hopes NBC and his reps reach an agreement shortly, O'Brien concludes as originally and as adorably has he began.

"Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way."

What might Conan do if he can't host a talk show? He offers some ideas below.

[video url="" title="Conan O'Brien Monologue"] [/video]

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


The executives at NBC that created this fiasco should be fired.


I am still in denial about this whole thing and still hang onto the hope that everything will be sorted out so that Conan will keep The Tonight Show. I have deep admiration and respect for Conan risking his career and giving up his dream in order to maintain his and the show's integrity. His class and his humility are two qualities that I foolishly assumed still existed in the field of entertainment, but unfortunately this whole situation demonstrates that that's no longer the case. Conan's right, this is the beginning of the destruction of The Tonight Show, and we can all thank the previous host for that. I only hope this isn't the beginning of the destruction of quality television and film entertainment overall. I have tears in my eyes and keep my fingers crossed that this will be resolved in Conan's favor (and Leno's painful demise).

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