When Conan O’Brien lost his hosting gig at The Tonight Show in early 2010, Jay Leno was the most hated person in late night talk show television. The second? That’d be then-NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Zucker, who flew the Leno flag with pride throughout the highly-publicized controversy. He was the face of corporate culture at NBC, and everyone hated him for it.
So, color everyone surprised when O’Brien — the man who made a touring comedy show out of his understandable hatred for all things NBC — approached Zucker at the 2015 Upfronts event on Wednesday, May 13:
[It] was O’Brien…who quietly made the approach. The men chatted briefly and cordially by the door, as members of O’Brien’s (impressed) team, led by longtime producer Jeff Ross, watched from afar. A low-key O’Brien returned minutes later with a “life’s too short” shrug.
Even though Zucker left NBC for CNN (i.e. he was paid a sh*t ton of money to GTFO), he’s still the man responsible for much of the pain O’Brien and his staff experienced back in late 2009. So, the fact that O’Brien possessed the decorum to approach him in casual conversation — let alone be in the same room with him — speaks volumes.
Just in case you need a reminder of how unpleasant Conan felt about Zucker et al., here’s a telling snippet from his 60 Minutes interview in 2010:
It’s literally like watching a former married couple speak to one another at a public function for the first time in years. Incredibly awkward, yet somehow peaceful and non-threatening. That, or Conan secretly slipped a hand-drawn target onto Zucker’s back when nobody was looking.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)