This photo was snapped by sexy reader Lauren at one of the many pro-Conan rallies held around the country yesterday. Despite driving rain in Los Angeles, a massive crowd showed up on MLK Day to support the lame-duck host of “The Tonight Show” (see video below). Other stories related to the late-night fracas:
- The settlement for Conan to leave may cost NBC as much as $45M to $50M, with Conan’s cut being in excess of $30M and the show’s staff all getting severance packages. Hey, remember when Jay Leno at 10 o’clock was supposed to save NBC money?
- Leno finally addressed the situation, telling his audience, “Hurrrrrr” and “Uh-doyyyyy.”
- O’Brien says that he’ll take whatever gig his audience votes for. At present, the porn appearance has a commanding lead, but a role as an IRA terrorist on “Sons of Anarchy” is also in the running.
- In a telling piece of insider news, NBC was prepared to yank Conan and replace him with Jay as early as December 2008 — five months before Conan took over “The Tonight Show.” The quote from 13 months ago: “…the $40-45 million penalty payment is not super relevant… NBC will do everything to try to keep Jay… They will try to keep Jay in the fold so if Conan fails on ‘The Tonight Show’ they will put Jay right back in there. Jeff Zucker will call Jay into his office with big wink and say, ‘if you say it publicly I’ll deny it, but if Conan fails, I want you back.’ That’s just the way NBC works.”
It should also be noted that throughout this mess, Conan’s ratings are higher than ever, while Leno’s have stagnated. At this point all I want is for NBC to continue to fail. I think I want the entire network to go bankrupt. Or at least for Jeff Zucker to get mauled by a mountain lion.