Conan O’Brien Breaks His Silence on NBC, Again

Conan O’Brien (The Hollywood Reporter)

The Hollywood Reporter is, today, the beneficiary of a recent Conan O’Brien publicity tour that’s seen him getting interviewed by fellow NBC jiltee David Letterman–and it seems like his last publicity tour, complete with a documentary, was less than a year ago! Mr. O’Brien, with a TBS program, lacks the platform of contemporaries like Jimmy Kimmel (on ABC), Craig Ferguson (CBS), or Jimmy Fallon (NBC), or the cultural currency of Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Mr. O’Brien does, though, have an interesting narrative, one he’s able to access by hanging out with other hosts that hate NBC or by commenting on the now more than two-year-old imbroglio that ended his relationship with the network.

On Jay Leno, Mr. O’Brien says: “He certainly isn’t calling me. It’s not like he’s going to sneak up on me in traffic. He’s a guy you see coming from a ways off because he’s usually driving a car made of copper that runs on manure and has gas lanterns.” The shade-throwing continues, though Mr. O’Brien says that he will likely never speak to Mr. Leno again.

Mr. O’Brien’s shows ratings have reportedly leveled off after a long period of erosion and Mr. O’Brien has learned, a bit, how not to come off incredibly poorly in an interview, though he still has the streak of self-pity that colored his last publicity tour: “Tall people getting older is funny because they often don’t,” he says, because tall people… die sooner, it would seem.