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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

No Avatar
61.

juniper    

conan would make a good wax statue at the hall of nbc flops, bozo humor at its best

1688 days ago
62.

Claire    

everyone whining about conan bumping the show, well what does that do to the other late night hosts on the channel that had contracts that said HEY JIMMY YOUR SECURE FOR LATE NIGHT @ 1230, hey Carson your signed for 130.

so they loose out on viewership and ratings to accommodate jackass leno?

since it was 5 years int he making, not only did Jay have ample time, NBC had plenty of time to figure things out instead of this last minute jay leno show disaster.


Conan did the best thing and got out of a place that was just tarnishing everything he stands for.

noone stands up for themselves anymore...only stand up to bitch & complain and settle for some mediocrity.

1688 days ago
63.

Butterfly    

THIS IS FOR URBAN, #28 YOUR DEFINITION OF 'CLASS' IS, GOOD DEEDS, SELF CONTROL, AND NOT VINTAGE CARS. Perfect, I agree but, you left out a few more admirable traits. For instance, Jay and Mavis Leno have a humanitarian foundation which they do not brag about. THAT is 'class.' Mavis Leno travels to poverty stricken countries bringing them medical and financial aid. THAT is 'class.' Jay Leno rarely makes unkind comments against his enemies. THAT is 'class.' Against all the trashing from O'Brien supporters, Jay Leno has conducted himself with PRIDE and DIGNITY. THAT is 'class.' Jay Leno's reputation both personal and professional is IMPECCABLE. THAT is 'class.' Jay Leno has NEVER scraped the bottom of the barrel for laughs, on his show, as O'Brien has done. What comes to mind is when O'Brien displayed vulgarity and disrespect for his audience by, (please forgive me) 'playing with his nipples' for laughs. Jay Leno would never, ever stoop THAT low. THAT is 'class.' My question to O'Brien supporters is, "How deeply has he reached into his pockets for humanitarian reasons during the past several years as Jay Leno has done?" Let us know so we can commend him, too.

1688 days ago
64.

Arlene    

CONAN O'BRIEN IS MY HERO ON THE TONIGHT TV PROGRAM.....WILL BE WATCHING HIM .... IN SEPT. MOST LIKELY ON FOX.

1687 days ago
65.

amberdoe    

why is everyone putting down Leno? It wasn't his fault that Conan could not generate ratings. Whenever you don't perform you get canned. No one is talking about how Jay was pressured out of a job that brought in top ratings to make room for Conan. Get over this Jay bashing and learn the facts.

1687 days ago
66.

King    

On Oprah, Leno claimed repeatedly that when NBC offered to put him back as host of The Tonight Show, it came as "a complete surprise" to him and that he had never, in his wildest dreams, imagined this "totally unexpected" move. Yet he ommitted the fact that he had publicly suggested during a press interview six weeks before any of this musical chairs scenario became reality that if NBC offered him back The Tonight Show, he would accept it. So Leno lied again to cover up his underhanded and unethical behavior—imagine my shock!

1687 days ago
67.

Sadie    

As someone who has worked backstage during a theatrical production in various positions (from wardrobe, to make up, to props, and this time around light board op...I'm in college) I seriously applaud Conan as what they do is hard work and the show wouldn't go on without the hard work of everyone involved in a show.

Yeah, he makes a lot of money, yeah it'd be not sweat off his back to give something to his crew, but with so many greedy people out there it's nice to see someone who values his crew. He didn't have to do it, but he did. Major kudos to Conan.

1687 days ago
68.

Cait    

This man is the epitome of class, dignity, grace and generosity. To all of those misguided and misinformed individuals blaming Conan for people losing their jobs, you clearly don't understand the half of it. He acted out of INTEGRITY for the history of the franchise. He did not quit, he just told NBC "no deal" because he rightfully believed that moving the show would destroy a piece of broadcasting he holds so dear. He sacrificed his dream so that the legacy that Allen, Paar and Carson created could continue. NBC made the decision to let go of Conan and his staff - leaving was NOT his first choice. He is a good man who absolutely loved his job and the people working with him. He is known for taking good care of his staff and this situation is no different. Perhaps outside of the arts a job is a job, but within the industry it is so often the integrity of the work that matters more. Employees are loyal to a boss for a reason. This is it.

1687 days ago
69.

urban    

To Butterfly #63

Hey, Butterfly... thanks for being decent. Maybe I spoke too harshly.

Wow. Jay has a charity he does't brag about? I'm not being sarcastic. I really do think that is commendable. I love anonymous charity... it's the best kind of charity and I believe he's going to get blessed for that.

The thing is, a lot of us "Conan Supporters" believe in Pressure Pains too. Pressure has a way of bringing out peoples' true character. Under pressure, we watched Conan leave The Tonight Show by thanking NBC. He wasn't bitter. He didn't snap. He kept negotiating with NBC to hand over a bigger severance package for his staff. He didn't stomp on Jimmy Fallon and Carson Daly by moving his show to 12:30. Conan showed a lot of HEART. He was just grateful he had the chance.

On the other hand... under pressure, Jay kept pretending that he didn't know what was going on. He kept playing his audience for fools by trying to convince them that he was the victim in all of this. He kept saying NBC was "canceling him". People these days don't fall for simple ploys like that... and attempting to do so is downright disrespectful... Disrespectful to himself, his staff and, more importantly, to the intelligence of his audience.

I just don't think Jay handled this particular problem in the right way... which makes me doubt all of his past motives. Did he steal The Tonight Show from David Letterman way back then?... or was that all a misunderstanding too? You have to admit, it's starting to look like a pattern.

Remember that saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

I'm not saying Jay is the most sinister man on earth. The truth is, I've always liked Jay.

I just think he should have just retired from The Tonight Show... to do a car show (he would have been the BEST at that). It was his time to retire. He's a comedian... he's a master of timing.

Hopefully, one day, I'll see for myself how hard it really is to "age gracefully"...

But until then, my whole group of family and friends are still on

TEAM CONAN!!!

1687 days ago
70.

urban    

Sorry... I meant Butterfly #65

1687 days ago
71.

D    

Uh, Billy? Get your facts straight before you open your mouth. Haiti's president, Rene Preval, was democratically elected in 2006. And the people of Haiti are actually quite fond of Americans.

I can assure you, having visited Haiti before the quake, that the quality of life for the average Haitian is probably comparable to or worse than that of the average American homeless person.

1687 days ago
72.

Wellington    

IMO this is an excellent article. It reflects a point I've made here which is people don't turn the station after watching the last prime time show they watch because all local news shows look and sound alike but people do switch channels after the news to the program they want to see. I've always found the lead in excuse Conan's camp has used bogus since there was always 35 minutes between Leno's show and Conan. If anything having Conan directly follow Leno at 12:05 may have improved Conan's ratings in that many of Leno's viewers may have watched Conan if he started at that hour. Certainly that is something we'll never know since Conan never gave it a chance.


Dear Local News, Don't Blame Jay Leno
Differentiate Your Product First, Then Market It

http://adage.com/smallagency/post?article_id=141864

1687 days ago
73.

UGGGGHHH    

CONAN LOST
LETS MOVE ON

CONAN SHOULD PAY HIS STAFF FOR HIS FAILURE.

1687 days ago
74.

Butterfly    

HI, URBAN, #73 I APPRECIATE YOUR RESPONSE AND, NO, YOU WERE NOT HARSH AT ALL. The beauty of being Americans is we can exchange thoughts and opinions without sarcasm. So, thank you for your gentle comments. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate it.

1687 days ago
75.

w    

MarzGurl, I could not have said it better, your comment is THE best comment on this Jay and Conan issue I have read since this all started, well said, I dont need to comment on this because you said it all. ^5 Gurl!
Also Kings comment helped clear a bit up for me too, Thanks :-)

1687 days ago
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