O'Brien Gets in Some Last Licks at NBC; Leno Says He's "Staying on the Titanic"
With the ink now dry on his exit deal, Conan O'Brien got in some last licks at NBC, joking: "I knew it was official this morning when NBC dropped off all my CDs and picked up its lava lamp."
NBC dumps Conan for $45 million payoff; reinstates Jay as Tonight Show host
On his next-to-last Tonight Show — which Jay Leno takes back March 1 — O'Brien cracked: "I'd like to apologize to the guests that were scheduled for next week: President Barack Obama, the pope, the queen of England, and our good friend, Elvis Presley."
O'Brien, who had just a seven-month run, later said: "All kidding aside, it was announced today that last night NBC and I reached an agreement and tomorrow night will be the very last Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Obviously this was not our first choice, but I'm determined to make the best of this situation. So here's the plan. Tonight and tomorrow night, we're going to have a lot of fun."
NBC exec calls Conan "chicken-hearted" and an "astounding failure"
Earlier, Leno talked on his prime-time show about his return as The Tonight Show host, saying: "I have chosen to stay on the Titanic. I don't believe the iceberg is that big. The biggest ship, this ship will never sink."
Then he joked about how band leader Kevin Eubanks can offer musical accompaniment if it does sink — referencing how the band legendarily played on as the Titanic went down in the icy Atlantic.
Leno brings Letterman's wife into late-night feud
On CBS' Late Show, David Letterman said the reason he's "beating up on Jay Leno" is simple: "it's fun."
He talked about O'Brien's golden parachute, adding that as part of the settlement, "Conan will not be allowed to badmouth NBC. Ah, don't worry. Leave it to me. I'll take care of that."