(Video) Conan: ‘I Sleep Well at Night,’ But Not Sure About Leno

May 3, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Breaking up is sure hard to do, as Conan O’Brien can attest, after cutting ties with his nearly two-decade-long relationship with NBC, when it turned “toxic,” during the very public Leno-Conan battle for the top prize of “The Tonight Show.” Conan’s wife Liza, said it was painful for her to watch her husband’s “heart get broken.”

During his first contractually permitted interview, after leaving NBC in January, Conan appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to talk publicly for the first time about the acrimonious media circus surrounding his exit from NBC, after the network returned the coveted 11:35 p.m. time slot to Jay Leno. Conan says he believes he made the right decision in leaving and he “sleep[s] well at night.” But whether Leno can sleep at night is the question. “It’s hard for me to get inside his head, said O’Brien. There’s always Ambien, right?

During his Sunday night sit-down with correspondent Steve Kroft, Conan talked about what a long strange trip this past year has been for him, his new beard, the fact that he hasn’t heard from Jay Leno since leaving NBC and the quickly-developing “toxic” relationship with NBC that made leaving easier for him:

KROFT: “So what’s with the beard?”

O’BRIEN: “That first day that I woke up and was no longer the host of ‘The Tonight Show,’ I remember the first thought I had is ‘I am not shaving.’ And that was my small victory, you know. ‘Ok, so I lost the Tonight Show but I’ll show them, I’ll stop shaving,'” he replied.

KROFT: “This has been quite a year.”

O’Brien: “Yeah. That’s it. We’re done. This was a lot of fun. This year has been, is still incomprehensible to me. The amount of stuff that’s happened in my life in the last year is…it’s gonna take me a long time to process it,” O’Brien said. […]

O’BRIEN: “It just felt like the tone went very quickly from, ‘Take your time, we understand this is a tough decision,’ to you know, ‘Let’s go,'” O’Brien said. “And that probably helped me a little bit feel like, ‘You know what? This environment doesn’t feel right and I’ve been with these people a long time. And I don’t like, I really don’t like the way this is going.’ And when it started to get toxic and I started to feel that I’m not sure these people even really want me here. Let’s just…I can’t do it.”

But Conan doesn’t go so far to say he got “screwed,” accepting his fate, as stuff just happens. And maybe it’s all for the better, now that he has been on a successful live tour and has a new gig with TBS:

KROFT: “Well, I think most people think you got screwed. I mean, Jay Leno thinks you got screwed. Jay Leno thinks he got screwed.”

O’BRIEN: “How did he get screwed again?” O’Brien asked, laughing. “Explain that part to me. I’m sorry. Jay’s got ‘The Tonight Show.’ I have a beard and an inflatable bat. And I’m touring city to city. Who can say who won and who lost? I’m laughing ’cause crying would be sad.”

KROFT: “No calls?”

O’Brien: “No…I do not think I will be hearing from him. We should get him in here,” O’Brien said. “Is he… gonna be a surprise walk-on?”

Conan acknowledges that he doesn’t know for sure, but he thinks Leno felt like NBC pushed him out to make room for Conan as the new face of “The Tonight Show,” when Leno was still riding high:

O’BRIEN: “It’s hard for me to get inside his head and argue his side of this whole thing. Here’s what I can say: I’m happy with my decision. I sleep well at night. And I hope he’s happy with his decision.”

When asked if he believes Leno was behind the scenes pulling the strings to get his show back O’Brien said, “I don’t know. But what I know is what happened, which is that he went and took that show back.”

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One Response to “(Video) Conan: ‘I Sleep Well at Night,’ But Not Sure About Leno”

  1. All that glitters is silicon » Blog Archive » Conan on 60 Minutes: ‘I Can’t Answer That’ on May 3rd, 2010 12:26 pm

    […] last night, a talk whose choice details the network had already largely floated before the airing. (Video) Conan: ‘I Sleep Well at Night,’ But Not Sure About Leno ChattahBoxThe Coco Speaks NoControlView All (496) […]

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