Conan is having troubles with NBC. In his statement about it, he is never anything but classy, respectful, and honorable about being fucked by his network.
People of Earth:
In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.
Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.
But sadly, we were never given that chance….
You can read the rest of the statement here. It’s worth your time.
Personally, I think Conan is hilarious. His time on both The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live were halcyon days for both those programs, no doubt due to his intelligence and quirky sense of humor. His late show has always been worth watching, even if you had to watch something else while Leno was snoozing it up on the Tonight Show. When he was given hosting duties on the Tonight Show, it was as if something magical had happened, as if Carson finally had a proper successor. To have it taken away so that Jay “Mr. Doritos” Leno can go back to putting us all to sleep at the 11:35 timeslot is a real shame.