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Conan O'Brien

Bucks Up

for Screwed Crew

2/2/2010 9:16 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Conan O'Brien Conan O'Brien is shelling out his own cash to some ex-staffers who didn't get jack from that $7.5 million separation deal from NBC.

According to sources close to production, Conan's stagehands from "The Tonight Show" were not covered by the NBC severance plan. But we're told Conan is stepping up -- promising to pay his nearly 50 person crew at least six weeks severance out of his own pocket.

Conan's people had no comment.

The union for his former crew -- IATSE Local 33 -- says all the members who worked with Conan are "very happy" with the way he handled the whole mess.Conan O'Brien Pictures

89 COMMENTS

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16.

bzokc    

Conan's crew lost their jobs because of his ego.

1641 days ago
17.

Brandi    

This is just the Conan thing to do, he did the same during the writers strike.

1641 days ago
18.

jay leno sucks    

conan ur the man baby!!!!!

HOPE TO SE YOU SOON IN ANOTHER SHOW!!! :D

1641 days ago
19.

Amanda    

Conan is a class act. I'm sure he's doing his best to get a new contract in place at FOX for himself and all his crew who moved to LA with him.

1641 days ago
20.

hehe    

im not surprised. conan and dave paid their workers during the writers strike with their own money. jay only followed suit to save face. and jay makes more money. how greedy is that guy

1641 days ago
21.

Wellington    

Six weeks isn't much severance pay. Let's see how the crew feels six weeks from now if they still don't have jobs because Conan and his giant ego quit.

Conan is getting $32.5 million for failing at his job and then quitting.

1641 days ago
22.

Shelly    

It's exactly what he SHOULD have done all along. HE is the reason his crew lost their jobs by quitting and NOT talking to them before putting out that stupid "People Of Earth" letter.

And chuck, NBC DID force Jay to resign to give Conan the tonight show. For some stupid reason, NBC didn't want Conan to leave and they had to promise him the Tonight Show so he wouldn't. Jay was NOT ready to retire. All this mess is NBC's fault and NBC alone. Well them and Conan for being a completly unfunny, immature idiot!!

1641 days ago
23.

Googie    

In essence, Conan started the whole thing in 2004 by threatening to leave NBC if he didn't get the Tonight Show, saying he was getting offers from the other networks. NBC did not want to lose Conan & wanted to give him the Tonight Show. NBC asked Leno to leave in 5 yrs because they wanted to give Conan the show, Five years later Leno's Tonight Show is number one and he was being thrown out & Conan got his wish.

If Conan hadn't started the sholw thing then, it wouldn't have come to this. Leno never wanted to retire, only said it to save face. Conan wasn't thinking of his staff, only of Coco.

1641 days ago
24.

Googie    

Shelly, you are right. Conan wasn't thinking of his staff. Because if he was he would have stayed to do the 12:05 show. It was an afterthought and that's why he's giving up some of his millions only because people are pointing it out now!

1641 days ago
25.

Nachtkommen    

Sam:

So what you are saying is that NBC wanted to fix something that wasn't broke?

He was consistently beating Letterman in the ratings for years. (So I've read.) Why force him to retire from a show that's bringing in big money for NBC, just to keep Conan? If Leno would have refused to retire from The Tonight Show, what would NBC have done? Oust Leno altogether to make way for Conan? BS. We all know that Leno is NBC's favorite child that gets what he wants.

1641 days ago
26.

Nachtkommen    

Shelly:

He was thinking about the integrity of the show. Like people have said before, airing The Tonight Show into the next day @ 12:05 AM, it ceases to be The Tonight Show. TTS has been in the 11:15-11:35 time slot for around 6o years.

Conan will take care of them and prolly see to it that they'll have a job at whatever network he decides to go with after these seven months are up.

1641 days ago
27.

King    

"And chuck, NBC DID force Jay to resign to give Conan the tonight show. For some stupid reason, NBC didn't want Conan to leave and they had to promise him the Tonight Show so he wouldn't. Jay was NOT ready to retire. All this mess is NBC's fault and NBC alone. Well them and Conan for being a completly unfunny, immature idiot!"

"Shelly, you are right. Conan wasn't thinking of his staff. Because if he was he would have stayed to do the 12:05 show."

"Six weeks isn't much severance pay. Let's see how the crew feels six weeks from now if they still don't have jobs because Conan and his giant ego quit.

Conan is getting $32.5 million for failing at his job and then quitting."

It's nice that some of you have this incestous little pro-Jay propagana campaign going in the Conan threads, but that doesn't change the facts. Conan was contractually promised The Tonight Show because he appeals to a young demographic, which NBC sought. They wanted to keep Leno arund to prevent him from going to a competing network. NBC reneged on their contract with Conan after he refused to let them slip Leno back in immediately before him when the affiliates complained to NBC that Leno's show ahead of the news was killing their local news ratings and therefore their station revenues. NBC found it less expensive in the short run to buy off Conan than to buy off Leno.

None of the events have anything to do with Conan's ratings or whether he is, in your opinion, "funny" or not. It was all precipitated by Leno's failure to provide an audience for the local nightly news shows. Conan was the victim of Leno's failure and NBC's clumsy attempts to ameliorate it. A Tonight Show following a 1/2-hour Leno show would have been both a compounding of the problem and an effective violation of NBC's contact with Conan; he was right to refuse to water-down the legacy of Tonight just to humor Leno.

1641 days ago
28.

urban    

Everybody says Jay is classier than Conan. What Conan is doing for his staff is the real definition of "class". Having "class" comes from good deeds and self control... "class" doesn't come from driving vintage cars to expensive restaurants.


TEAM CONAN!!!

1640 days ago
29.

Butterfly    

SEBASTIAN CANADA, #9 GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. At least open your mind and learn how to comprehend what you read. During the writers strike, Jay Leno PAID HIS CREW out of his own pocket, too! That is something Coco and his 'people' would never, ever admit!

1640 days ago
30.

woodin    

6 weeks, another Conan screw job to his staff

1640 days ago
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