Conan Finally Opens Up on 60 Minutes
The ex- late night Prince sets the record straight.
You can always count on Conan O’Brien to make a snarky remark; it’s what he does best. Leaving NBC in January, he walked away with two things: a $32 million dollar settlement and a gag order courtesy of his contract. May 1st was the first time he was legally allowed to speak out on air. Conan chose his venue wisely and sat down with CBS’s 60 Minutes correspondent, Steve Kroft, about what really went on backstage at the Peacock.
“He (Jay Leno) went and took that show back, and I think, in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know — I know me, I wouldn’t have done that,” said Conan. When Kroft asked if Leno’s return to the Tonight Show was less than honorable, Conan replied, “I can’t answer that.” However, it was dually noted that Conan later added, “I sleep well at night.”
What would he have done in Leno’s situation? “Done something else, go someplace else. I mean, that’s just me,” he said.
While Conan strongly disagrees with Leno’s actions, he has no regrets whatsoever about his own. “I don’t regret anything,” he said. “I don’t regret one decision I made in that week and a half period. I wish it had ended differently. But, I’m fine. I do believe, and this might be my Catholic upbringing or Irish magical thinking, but I think things happen for a reason. I really do. And I think that this all happened for a reason.”
Conan and NBC’s partnership deteriorated to the point where quitting actually looked like a good thing to do. “I think this relationship is going to be toxic and maybe we just need to go our separate ways,” he told Kroft. “That’s really how it felt to me…and I started to feel that I’m not sure these people even really want me here. I can’t do it.”