Though he's legally prohibited from being funny on television — until he debuts on TBS in November anyway — Conan O'Brien brought laughs, jabs at his former employer and even a new character on the road with him as he kicked off his live comedy tour.
"This is the first time anyone has paid to see me. They've paid me to go away, " O'Brien told the adoring crowd in Eugene, Ore., Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Conan O'Brien going to TBS
With his trademark self-deprecation, the funnyman listed the "eight stages of grief after losing your talk show." They include: "denial; blame myself; blame everyone else around me; anger; paranoia; 36 hours of Red Bull and Halo
; buy everything Amazon says I would also like — I bought a Team Edward thong!; and get your ass to Eugene, Ore.!"
Tossing barbs at NBC, O'Brien shared that he can't say the word "peacock," but is allowed to say "pea" and "cock." He also played a video of a bald network executive stroking a cat as he unveiled a new show called I'm a Celebrity and I Eat Bark
. The executive then hurled the cat, saying, "I need a new cat!"
Check out photos of Conan through the years
The show was chock-full of familiar faces: Sidekick Andy Richter
is along for the ride, as is the Max Weinberg 7 (minus Weinberg). Indie rock band Spoon
, 30 Rock
's Jack McBrayer
and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog also stopped by.
But in a wink at intellectual property law that prohibits O'Brien from bringing his Late Night
bits and characters to his new show, he transformed the Masturbating Bear into the Self-Pleasuring Panda.
Live on stage: Conan hitting the road for live comedy tour
Of his new show, O'Brien said: "I'm sure some of you heard I got a new job. Starting tomorrow, I'm the new assistant manager of the Eugene Banana Republic."
But, no really, O'Brien's going to TBS — though probably without the sequined pink jumpsuit he later wore.
"Right now, the people at TBS are watching, going, '"What the hell? He's wearing a pink leather outfit!'" O'Brien said.
O'Brien's next stop is Vancouver on Tuesday.