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Conan O'Brien Says "I Didn't Get Screwed"

Apr. 30 2010, Published 4:15 a.m. ET

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Conan O’Brien says “I didn’t get screwed,” in the first TV interview Conan O’Brien has given since being booted off the Tonight Show, has learned.

The talk-show host who is joining the TBS network in November denies that NBC lost money when he hosted the Tonight Show and that six months wasn’t enough to declare the show was a failure with viewers.

Conan sat down with 60 Minutes Steve Kroft who reminded Conan that NBC Universal Chairman Jeff Zucker said that after six months, ratings indicated viewers did not want him on the show, O’Brien says, “In my opinion, I don't think that's fair or accurate.  But he's entitled to his opinion. I think for anyone to say that the results were in after six months-- that doesn't ring true to me,” he tells Kroft.  Also reminded that NBC said The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien was losing money, Conan refutes it.  “I honestly don't see how that's possible.  It's really not possible.  It isn't possible.”

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VIDEO: George Lopez Welcomes Conan O’Brien

Following are excerpts from O’Brien’s 60 MINUTES interview:


“I don't regret anything. I don’t regret one decision I made in that week and a half period.” Conan said, “I wish it had ended differently. But, I'm fine. I do believe, and this might be my Catholic upbringing or Irish magical thinking, but I think things happen for a reason.  I really do.  And I think that this all happened for a reason,” he tells Kroft.

Jay Leno: Jimmy Kimmel Sucker Punched Me

Was He Screwed?

The biggest thing people come up and say to me in gas stations and restaurants; I have so many people say this to me.  “Hey partner, you got screwed.”  I don't-- and I always tell them, "No, I didn't.  I didn't get screwed.  I'm-- I'm fine.  It just-- it didn't work out."  But I don't want people thinking, you know, that I got screwed.  Because it just didn't work out.

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VIDEO: Jimmy Kimmel’s Hilarious Impression Of Jay Leno

Resolved His Issues?

No, I have not resolved all my issues.  I am mostly very happy. I love this tour, it's the most thrilling thing I've done in my career. And so I'm in a really great place in a lot of ways.  But I'd be lying if I said I don't-- have my moments of everything, you know, anger, disappointment-- frustration and just confusion.

VIDEO: George Lopez Says “I’m Not getting Lenoed”

The interview airs at 7 p.m. on Sunday on CBS.



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