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Conan O'Brien on NBC-- It Was 'Toxic'

5/1/2010 1:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Conan O'Brien says he wouldn't have done what Jay Leno did to him -- and that there was nothing NBC could have done to repair his relationship with the network.



Conan sat down with "60 Minutes" to discuss the "Tonight Show" fiasco and how he felt he needed to part ways with NBC no matter how they went about things.

The full interview airs tomorrow night.

239 COMMENTS

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31.

fan    

Leno was the luckiest whining imbecile on TV
ever since he was gifted the show in '92.
He forgot to mention Johnny Carson the night he started hosting. Jackhinee.
Leno pretends he's humble & funny,
but he annoys his own fans
with repulsive insults against victims of extortionists.
He steals dull schtick from other comics.
Last week, he said "people wanted me torn down".
Too bad it didn't become tragic for him.

1583 days ago
32.

AJB    

Where does this sense of entitlement come from? I think what Conan and Jay need to understand is that the "Tonight Show" ended with Johnny Carson. When he retired it just became a "time slot" for NBC to fill as they saw fit. NBC is the employer and has the right to put whoever of there stable of well paid, contract employees they want in a particular spot in order to maximize advertising revenue. Are we supposed to feel sorry for Conan for underachieving and being asked to move? I guess we should feel sorry for the millionaire starting QB that got benched for poor play. Conan and Jay are employees that are paid MILLIONS. Act like a man, do what your boss asks of you, collect your pay and provide for your family. You should not be treated any different than the rest of us. You are doing better than 99.999% of the people who watched you. Nobody wants to hear you complain.

1583 days ago
33.

Knockers De Clown    

I'm with Coco

1583 days ago
34.

what a beautiful day     

whaaaaa whaaaa whaaa
conan you got 32 Million. Why are you still whining? Move on and wait for your show to start and see who will be watching...



stop acting like a BABY...

1583 days ago
35.

Big Momma    

come on conan, you haven't had this much attention/press EVER so you ought to be thankful you got dumped, raked in $40+ millions, have a travelling comedy show and going back on tv on another network that will maybe appreciate you. by the way, didn't you do the same thing to jay leno? demand the spot or leave so they set a 5 year program in place and got rid of jay? get some dignity man.



p.s....just where were all your fans when your show was on? absolutely dismal ratings. i have never found you funny...but apparently many do, they just don't care to watch you on tv.
MAN UP.

1583 days ago
36.

Former TV Director    

Yes poor Conan. Seems like no one got his humor when he first started at NBC. His humor takes time to build. But since you all know the world of TV so well my comments will go right over your head. Jay/NBC promised Conan the Tonight show, what?, 10 yrs ago? that Jay wanted to retire. I saw the show. After a year of Conan's first show, I started to think that Conan's humor really was funny. But when Jay is thinking how many more cars he can buy and how much gas he can burn, well something has to go,,,and you don't think Jay isn't making the King's ransom? Pulease! Conan got the shaft, Jay whined until he got his job back, hell he couldn't even stay off the air to give Conan time to build an audience. Typical Americans, I want it yesterday...Have to wait? Ya all ever thought of running a hedge fund? Always bed against the good.

1583 days ago
37.

wisey    

Wow alot of you people are naive. Jays ratings for his short lived show were horrible. Jay was given better guests and more publicity. Suddenly the tonight show was the second talk show of the evening on NBC. How could that not affect ratings?! Conans tonight show run was treated like it was a 12:35 show by NBC from the beginning. It wouldnt surprise me if NBC planned to bring Jay back all along.

1583 days ago
38.

ManiacalZebra    

No matter how individuals in the situation feel about it, it was a business decision. Nothing in Hollyweird is permanent. Ever. No ratings, no show. That's just how it goes.



As to the "not doing what Jay did" stuff, he might have reacted differently if he'd had the dream job of hosting the Tonight Show for more than 5 months ... like maybe 17 years and not really wanting to give it up but having no choice because the guy in the timeslot after you wants your job.

1583 days ago
39.

I'MWITHCOCOFORREAL    

You guys don't have your facts straight. Conan didn't get fired, he QUIT! I don't know what else to say to get that through your thick skulls. The only audience Jay has is senior citizens. So give it a few years, and then there will be no audience for Jay Leno, and then Jimmy Fallon will be laughing all the way to the bank. And all you Conan haters out there saying that he wasn't funny, I believe people were saying the same thing about Leno when he first took over the tonight show. Conan was not given any time to win over the "Tonight Show" audience, and he was given a horrible lead in...Leno. Sorry, Leno is not funny, just funny looking. Look at the ratings Conan had before Leno had his show at 10, and then after he got his show at 10. The proof is in the pudding.

1583 days ago
40.

hmmm    

Conan, is stuck on TBS. does anyone even watch the George Lopez show? LoL He might get good ratings his first week but they're not gonna last long. I only watch TBS when they play A Christmas Story all day on X mas eve. Lmao Why didn't he go to Fox or ABC? oh they didn't wnt him either did they? LoL

1583 days ago
41.

Ken    

Am I supposed to feel bad for someone who got like $30M to leave NBC? He got a helluva lot more than I got from the bank when I was laid off. A giant $3,500.00 severance. And I worked at the bank 1 year longer than this guy worked at NBC. ... So cry me a river.

1583 days ago
42.

Jane    

Jay didn't decide to retire five years ago. He was told by NBC he would be replaced. The story he was going to retire was just that, a story, to hide the real reason. Conan keeps jumping on the crying train. He doesn't really appreciate the fact he has nothing to cry about. He he and his family are healthy and more than comfortable financially. That is what really matters and him milking this situation to get people to feel sorry for him is disgusting. Man up,
Conan. Stop whining and concentrate on your new job and how lucky you really are.

1583 days ago
43.

Jane    

Conan says if it he had been in Jay's place and handed over the show to someone and wished them well, then he wouldn't have taken the show back if given the opportunity. He seems to be forgetting, or not caring, that Jay was forced out by NBC because they believed Conan would appeal to a younger audience and that is suppose to be the holy grail of for an audience that keeps sponsors and ratings. At the time Jay's ratings were better than Letterman and he asked couldn't they at least wait until his ratings went down and their decision made sense? Jay didn't have a choice, that was the bottom line. Jay and NBC agreed to put out the story he was planning on retiring in five years so Jay could save face. That would work with the general public, but not with people in that industry. I find it hard to believe Conan didn't know from the beginning why Jay stepped down. Just because Jay did it with a smile on his face and good manners doesn't mean he wasn't upset, just as Conan is now. Did Conan really believe that Jay was content to be pushed aside five years in advance by NBC based on nothing but would probably happen to the ratings in that time as Jay got older? Think Conan, since you keep wallowing in your own pity. Would you really have not taken your job back given the same set of cir***stances?



NBC treated both of them incompetently and Conan needs to move on and quit whining. It makes him look like a cry baby and he seems to have selected memory when it comes to the details of everything that happened.

1583 days ago
44.

Scott    

The fact that you are all calling COCO a whiner puzzles me. Sure he wasn't funny but he had to change his style when moving shows, the jokes were NOT the same. Sure he got paid off but like ANY disgruntled employee you want to be heard and you want to tell how company that had been so good to him could screw him around. He was promised the Tonight Show and to myself and Coco the Tonight Show isn't 30 mins long! I mean look at HOW LONG NBC gave Conan before booting him off.

1583 days ago
45.

Jake    

go away conan, you just are not good enough for TV. NOT in my house for sure.

1583 days ago
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