It’s a shame that it took a very public contract battle with NBC for Conan O’Brien to finally pull in the ratings he deserved as host of “The Tonight Show.” It was confirmed Thursday that O’Brien is leaving NBC with a $45 million payout for himself and his staffers, meaning Friday’s show is his last.
But according to O’Brien’s friend Louis C.K., who recently spoke to journalists about the debacle while promoting his new FX comedy “Louie,” cutting free from NBC is a blessing.
“Conan had ‘Conan.’ Nobody really called that ‘Late Night’ anymore. That’s how much he had made it
his,” said C.K., who credits O’Brien for giving him his first writing gig. “That was ‘Conan,’ and I don’t know why you’d want to give that up to host ‘The Tonight Show.’ It’s hurting Conan inside because he wants to be the host of ‘The Tonight Show.’ And it’s a little presumptuous for me to tell Conan that his dreams are misguided — but they are. Let Jay have it, you know. Conan will end up somewhere else, and he’ll go back to doing ‘Conan.’”