After securing a permanent job with a new late-night talk show on TBS earlier in the day, Conan O’Brien kicked off his “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television” tour last night in Eugene, Ore., and several news outlets were there to cover his opening night. Noting that “lawyers are listening,” O’Brien refrained from mentioning his former employer NBC by name. (His settlement with NBC over his exit from The Tonight Show prohibits the comedian from bashing the network just yet but he did throw in several subtle jabs.
“Believe it or not, this is the first time anyone has ever paid to see me perform,” he said. “People have paid to make me go away….” A series of video bits featured O’Brien as a Dr. Evil-esque “generic network executive” and in his monologue, he discussed the “eight levels of grief over losing your talk show,” which included stages such as denial, anger and “36 hours of Red Bull and Halo.”
O’Brien also referenced his new gig at TBS… sort of. “You may have heard I’ve got a new job,” he said. “I’m the new assistant manager at the Eugene Banana Republic. I’ll be in the corduroy section.” Later, dressed in an 1980s-inspired leather outfit and performing “The Girl Who Looks like Conrad Bain,” he chuckled, “You know people at TBS are watching, going: ‘What the hell?’” But he also gave props to his new bosses, tweaking the words to “On the Road Again,” to “Thank you, TBS, for giving me my own show again.”
Source: THR, EW, Rolling Stone