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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


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conan is a great guy,period

not his fault he lost his job

he was in line to take over the tonight show and he did,but if jay leno has gracefully bowed out and not made his own show on another network,COMPETING with the guy who has taken his place as tradition,none of this would have happened

conans ratings suffered because jay leno went and did his own show,so people still watched leno instead of conan

leno is a nasty person but with a conscience coz he sure is apologizing about it wherever he can

leno will get whats coming to him,not becoz of superstition but usually guys like that are in their own way sooner or later

conan,u are a class act,truly an example of how people should live with eachother
(takes off my hat to you,sir)

1687 days ago


let's see now-about 50 stage hands making what?
maybe $500 a week if they're lucky

that's ....let's see....
and multiply that times 6 weeks.....

and then subtract the total from what....over 30 million

so the poor guy is left with only how many million?

and the unemployed stagehands will have to pay how much income tax on it...

Conan isn't stupid-it's very calculated-right down to it being "leaked" to the press

he couldn't have bought such PR for that small amount of money -lest anyone be fooled

had he cared about the crew he would have accepted the bump back of half an hour for the show temporarily and seen how that worked until he could have come to a better deal with NBC

so 6 weeks pay vs. years of pay and benefits and pension
wonder what the stage hands would have voted for if they were consulted on Conan's ego driven decision

1687 days ago

Sloane those of you who are worried avbout the integrity of the Tonight Show and not moving it a half an hour-because of years of tradition for the show

check your facts-the show used to be an hour and a half long-you're probably not old enough to remember

so NBC has changed things when it was necessary
they are not locked into things
especially if they aren't working

1687 days ago

Laine Zane    

Conan is a class act. I no longer watch Jay Leno. Hope his ratings go way down. He is boring. Team Coco all the way.

1687 days ago

I am Me    

Of course he should have paid the severance money... it was his own damn fault!

He could have still been on TV and they would have all still had jobs... booooo boooo conan...

p.s. I cant stand Jay Leno either... booo on you both

1687 days ago


Dear Internet,

It's a sad situation when someone does something good and gets trashed for it. Seems that Leno fans are always on the defensive. Hmmm....wonder why? Team Conan!

1687 days ago

La Toya Jackson    

NBC should be ashamed ! Its a 'sin'

1687 days ago


How selfless! Hope to see Conan back on TV in September.

PS. Join this fan page on facebook

1687 days ago


Most people would think that thinking about the money or keeping the job is important, no matter where the show sits.

But that didn't matter to Conan. There is no one who respected the Tonight Show as an art more than Mr. O'Brien. He'd rather have lost his job than sacrificed the integrity of the program. Sure, the show used to be an hour and a half. I think that Saturday Night Live is the only variety show left on television that still remains that long. But Conan was no stranger to performing for only an hour. He did it for sixteen years.

If you think he mistreated his staff, then just listen to what everyone says. Everyone says his staff loves him. Tom Hanks says his staff will follow him anywhere he goes. The staff moved across the country to be with him, for God's sake. They'll most likely follow him wherever he goes in September. He very publicly fought for his writers during the writers' strike. And now he gives $7 million to his stagehands? How many of you have $7,000,000? How many of you have $1,000,000? Sure, it's a drop in the bucket compared to what a millionare owns. But for a stagehand, can you imagine? You can live on that for a good while! I personally live from paycheck to paycheck. Would your boss pay out of his pocket for your benefit? If my boss did that for me, I'd gladly work for him (and lose my job because of him) more than once!

I don't argue whether or not Jay did this for his staff. To me, this isn't about Jay. This is about how Conan is human, whether he's a millionare or not. Everyone else would have said, "Hell, I'll stay for the money." Or, "This is TV! You roll with it, with whatever works!" Sure, but... don't any of you wish TV didn't work that way? Don't any of you wish you had the freedom to do what you believed in, instead of doing what you do for the money? BECAUSE he makes that much, he CAN do what he believes in instead.

For this reason, my fandom remains loyal. I'm not here to drag Jay through the mud. I'm here in support of a good person.

1687 days ago


marzgurl...couldn't have said it better myself. if i were one of his staffers, i would gladly follow him wherever he went.

1687 days ago


Conan is a CLASSY, decent man. He's also really funny to those of us under 80 years old. Can't wait to see what network he goes to, because we plan to follow him!

1687 days ago

La Toya Jackson    

Team Coco

1687 days ago


I totally agree with "7"!!! That donation will be a "Tax Writeoff" for Conan. And all the help for Haiti is fine but people in the US are homeless, living in tents..without jobs, medical insurance, and nothing to eat while we send billions to help a country that doesnt even like us?? Not to mention they are ruled by a dictator..

1687 days ago


Conan you are pure class! I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you soon... Take some time off and then go be creative...
Love ya!

1687 days ago



It's his fault those people are losing their jobs. He's obligated to do something like that. And it's not only about his own personal gain: it's about his staff. His selfishness caused hundreds of people to lose their job. It's good that he's doing what he's doing, but it's fault why they lost their job. Conan quit his job because of some warped sense of integrity, which caused people who would have been more than happy to move back a half an hour. Leno got hurt too when they fired him twice. However, Leno kept taking deals NBC threw at him because he actually cared about his staff. Leno respects the TTS too, but his staff came before the franchise.

1687 days ago
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