Conan O’Brien has poked fun at his former employer NBC over its handling of President Donald Trump’s town hall – a dig that drew comparisons to the way the network bungled The Tonight Show succession.
The late-night host tweeted, “I can’t remember the last time I was this shocked by an NBC programming decision.”
This comes ten years after O’Brien left The Tonight Show in January 2010, a mere seven months after he got the gig. The fiasco came after NBC had moved Jay Leno to 10pm with The Jay Leno Show before returning Leno to his late-night slot in lieu of O’Brien.
O’Brien is the latest high-profile talent to slam the network for its decision to air a town hall with Trump against Joe Biden’s town hall on ABC – after the President of the United States refused to participate in a virtual debate following his contraction of COVID-19.
More than 100 writers, actors, directors and producers wrote a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and NBCU News Group chairman Cesar Conde, asking them to shift the time slot. These included the creator and cast of NBC’s flagship drama This Is Us, Law & Order: SVU star/exec producer Mariska Hargitay as well as Aaron Sorkin, J.J. Abrams, Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, Ava DuVernay, Seth MacFarlane, Damon Lindelof and Kenya Barris.
Trump himself this afternoon called NBC “the worst” and “fake news” and claimed that he was being “set up” “I’m doing this town hall with Concast, C-O-N, con, cause it’s a con job,” the former reality TV frontman said. “I figured, what the hell, we get a free hour on television.”
I can’t remember the last time I was this shocked by an NBC programming decision.
— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) October 15, 2020