A no holds bared Conan O’Brien spoke about his imminent split with NBC on The Tonight Show Thursday, as the Peacock Network prepares to replace his spot in the host’s chair, presumably with former Tonight Show host Jay Leno.
“Hi, I’m Conan O’Brien, NBC’s ‘Employee of the Month,’” he said, adding, “there’s a rumor that NBC is so upset with me, they want to keep me off the air for three years. My response to that is, if NBC doesn’t want people to see me, just leave me on NBC.”
The 46-year-old host said in a letter earlier this week that drastic changes to the Tonight Show, notably its start time, would “seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting.”
On Thursday’s show, he again put the show’s long, venerated history into perspective, saying that “no matter what happens, it’s been a real honor to sit in the same chair as Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and Jay Leno.”
O’Brien responded to a real offer he received from an adult film producer by reading a list of potential titles for a late night-themed XXX film.
He said the issues between him, Leno and NBC are minuscule compared to the ongoing Haitian earthquake relief efforts, and suggested viewers donate to Ben Stiller’s charity, stillerstrong.org, where all proceeds would be forwarded to victims of Tuesday’s tremor.