Conan O'Brien on 60 Minutes: The First Leno-Bashing Excerpt


It's been a big week for Conan O'Brien: he performed in LA, he cut Max Weinberg loose, and he made Time's "100 Most Influential Glee Cast Members and World Leaders" list. Still, it's all just prelude for O'Brien's some-holds-barred interview with 60 Minutes this weekend. CBS just released an excerpt -- what does the TBS-bound talk show host have to say?

As much as he can about Jay Leno... without violating the "don't be too hard on us" terms of his NBC exit deal, of course:

"He went and took that show back and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know-- I know me, I wouldn't have done that," O'Brien says. "If I had surrendered 'The Tonight Show' and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well-- and then...six months later. But that's me, you know. Everyone's got their own, you know, way of doing things."

Asked by correspondent Steve Kroft what he would have done, O'Brien says, "Done something else, go someplace else. I mean, that's just me."

O'Brien eventually left NBC, deciding not to play second-fiddle to Leno. He says he didn't see the point in giving his all in a relationship that seemed to have no future.

"I think this relationship is going be toxic and maybe we just need to go our separate ways," he says. "That's really how it felt to me...and I started to feel that I'm not sure these people even really want me here....I can't do it [anymore].

Well put. And don't worry -- though each of O'Brien's statements and moves during this ordeal has been handled with almost saintlike class, we'll always have Jay Leno around to liven things up by saying the exact wrong thing every time.

Conan: I would not have done the same to Leno [THR]


  • Evelyn says:

    Funny how Conan didn't mind bumping Lopez to a later spot on TBS.

  • Jen K says:

    He did, Evelyn - so Lopez called him personally to convince him to do it. George knows full well that Conan will be an amazing lead-in with all the buzz he's got right now.

  • Joanne says:

    I heard that Conan asked Lopez before he decided to take the TBS deal. He told Lopez that he didn't want to do the samething Leno did to O'Brien.