Conan O'Brien and NBC Battle For Custody of Triumph, Masturbating Bear

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As Conan O'Brien supporters rally in the rain this afternoon to protest NBC's mistreatment of the redheaded Tonight Show host, O'Brien and the network are nearing a deal that would award the host around $40 million for walking away. Two sticking points have surfaced in the negotiations, though: a non-disparagement clause that would prevent the host from bashing NBC for a certain period of time, and the custody of Conan's intellectual property. Among the characters in question are Triumph the Insult Dog, Pimpbot 5000 and the Masturbating Bear. (As for Andy Richter, NBC will get to visit him once a month, but only at the Burbank Ikea for a light breakfast).

Everyone wants a fresh start after a bad divorce, so it might be a good idea for Conan to leave his furniture, his bits and the other sour Tonight Show memories at NBC. On the other hand, sources close to the negotiations say that the network is willing to let Conan keep the characters if he agrees to other clauses. Of all the bits, Conan has the best chances of retaining Triumph the Insult Dog, who might be considered the property of writer (and Triumph's puppeteer) Robert Smigel.

This is not the first time the network has stripped a late night host of his material. Back in 1992, NBC famously retained the rights to several of David Letterman's trademark Late Night skits when he moved to CBS, including the Top Ten List and frequent character Larry "Bud" Melman. Letterman was able to incorporate the same ideas at his Late Show by renaming his Top Ten the "Late Show Top Ten List" and inviting Calvert DeForest, the actor who played Melman, to be a frequent guest on his new show.

The details of Conan's contract, which are said to include severance packages for his Tonight Show staff, will be announced later today. Conan will reportedly tape his last Tonight Show on Friday, celebrating his final week with guests including Tom Hanks and Howard Stern., thenJay Leno will return to the Tonight Show perch on March 1, after NBC airs the Winter Olympics.

While Coco fans anxiously await the formal announcement, which will also reveal how long Conan will have to wait before joining another network, let's take a moment to remember Triumph at his best, interviewing Star Wars fans.

· O'Brien's NBC Departure Leaves Bits Behind [THR]



Comments

  • Bill G. says:

    Nice, going to be interesting to see how this whole thing pans out!! Luckily, he has our support in NYC http://www.businessinsider.com/team-conan-rallying-outside-30-rock-2010-1 and I think the rest will be easy

  • SunnydaZe says:

    A legal dispute over a contract containing the term "Masturbating Bear" is one of the TOP TEN reasons I love showbizness....

  • Kip Cricket says:

    Leno has been piling on the lies and hypocrisy!
    Too many are buying into NBC's PR machine which has every intention
    of rewriting history!
    Don't be swayed, check out the following link to read of Leno's
    deceit:
    http://www.therestrainingorder.com/?p=2250

  • Bib Fortuna says:

    why would NBC want to retain the Masturbating Bear? Unless of course they give him Carson Daly's show to host.

  • It's always the children who suffer. Masturbating Bear chooches himself to sleep every night to the sound of Mommy and Daddy fighting.

  • Martini Shark says:

    Judging by that network's fumbling the past few weeks they'll probably fight hardest to retain the rights of the cutting-edge bit "In The Year 2000".

  • Brenda Jones says:

    Conan, you didn't deserve this! Wish you the best and enjoy your $40mil.

  • Jim Smith says:

    Whats this World coming to these days. Fighting for rites to a Masturbating Insulting Dog or Bear. Man i need to train my weenie dog to do some tricks.

  • j says:

    Robert Simgel's dog is that GREAT and NBC knows this !!
    it is the ownership of the writers and Conan, NBC u fools!

  • HDHARDTAIL says:

    Im glad to see conan go, I quit watching the tonight show the day he took it over, I haven't watched a single show, I think the guy is sick and has a warped since of humour!Pretty bad when you have to pay 30 million to get rid of someone that has destroyed the Tonight Show.

  • charles ortiz says:

    I watched the Conan Show for a while and I liked it.
    Jay Lenon Show is good too, however The Conan Show has a bit of
    spice in its jokes and is great.
    Conan is excellent, Jay Leno is like a dinasty, and that's OK.
    However , sometimes , time will tell that shows are supporting by
    FANS and FANS will support Conan al the way.
    Give a chance to new shows, something different.
    Give Conan the place that he deserves.

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  • Aldo Tigar says:

    Run with your head in a fixed position. This saves so much energy. You could chip off at least 30 seconds with keeping your head straight forward and not bobbing around.

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