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Conan on Leno: 'A Happy Ending'

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  December 10, 2008 07:18 AM

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One of the big questions yesterday was about how Conan O'Brien felt regarding the news about Jay Leno. Here's a transcript of his on-air response:

"I have to talk about something that's happening in my life. I woke up this morning and I saw something on the front page of the paper that absolutely shocked me. I was stunned and I have to say I didn't see this coming and I just had to share it with you for a second. Check it out ladies and gentlemen – today's New York Post [he holds up the paper and the camera zooms in past the NY Post's front-page Jay Leno headline to the weather]. It says here showers and 51 degrees. 51 degrees in December? It was 20 degrees yesterday, that's crazy! Check this out -- Daily News [again the camera zooms in past the Leno headline to the weather] 49 degrees? Well which is it? 49 or 51? Let's get our stories straight here, people! This is insanity!

"Let's talk about this on a serious note for just one moment, I've had many people calling me today saying, 'What is all this? "What's happening?' Jay Leno is going to be going in at 10:00 on NBC. I wanted to make something very clear here on the show this evening. I've known about this for a while. I've talked a lot about this with Jay. I am thrilled. I am absolutely thrilled that Jay is staying at NBC. He has been my lead-in on this program for 16 seasons. He is a fantastic lead-in. He is a huge part of my success. I am indebted to Jay Leno. And I love the idea that that relationship is going to continue. He is going to be my lead-in continuing, I hope, for a long, long time. So congratulations to Jay Leno. This is a happy ending. It's very nice. We're thrilled for him and we're thrilled for everybody at 'The Tonight Show.' Also I've talked it over with my producer and that means I can keep doing my Jay Leno impression."

Here's are clips of Leno's comments -- and guest Diddy's comments -- on the big news on "The Tonight Show":

And here's a clip from "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" featuring an interview with Leno:

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8 comments so far...
  1. That's Conan for ya, a class act goofball.

    Posted by DI$CO December 10, 08 08:08 AM
  1. What a mistake having Conan replace Leno. Conan is an idiot. He barely lets his guests talk, and his humor is juvenile and not even funny. He could have a talk show with no guests. I am happy to hear Leno is staying with NBC, but my television will be turned off after the 11:00 news.

    Posted by Ginger December 10, 08 10:10 AM
  1. Ginger, I totally agree with you. Never liked Conan, not even funny and surprised he gets anyone decent to come on his show because it's all about Conan!

    Posted by Lewis December 10, 08 10:19 AM
  1. Good, go to sleep Ginger. Leno was well-meaning but lame, way too scripted. Tonight show has needed a facelift for a while. Conan brings originality and self-effacing goofiness. Leno? He's good at mocking people on the street who don't know much about current events, but his stand-up is lame.

    Posted by December 10, 08 10:20 AM
  1. Leno is absolutely the worst. Conan's humor is less conventional and way better almost like a Mitch Hedberg kind of humor (which takes a higher mind to appreciate). Conan's opening monologues recently haven't been that great but Leno's has NEVER been even good except for Jay walking and headlines. Letterman is the best right now.

    Posted by Brian December 10, 08 10:35 AM
  1. Leno fits into an earlier time slot because his humor is so broad and lame. He's a great guy, truly a class act, but he doesn't represent late night comedy the way Letterman, O'Brien, and Kimmel do.

    Conan's writing staff hasn't been consistent lately (esp. on the monologues), but he is capable of being funny on-the-spot. I hope the move to L.A. gives him a fresh pool of sharp writers who can make the Tonight Show the comedy institution that it should be.

    I love Jimmy Fallon, but still need him to convince me that he has what it takes. I guess that's what the next three months of his video blog will be for.

    Posted by Patrick December 10, 08 02:11 PM
  1. Rock-on Jay and Conan.....two Massachusetts boys entertain the nation!!

    Posted by Pate December 10, 08 03:37 PM
  1. These comments clearly reflect a generational gap. Nobody under 85 (phyically or mentally) can stomach Jay's extremely lame and slow-moving program. Now the Leno loving oldsters can get their fix BEFORE they scare themselves to death with the local news and still get to bed in time to be up at 5am for breakfast at Shoney's.

    Posted by Dinese December 10, 08 10:06 PM

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