Conan O’Brien Interview Letterman


hariya [Applause] I think the longer we just sit here the more uncomfortable it will make jail you know James watching right now he’s getting a live feed in a satellite truck right now he’s watching every second gonna pack it in soon yeah you all right I know from your perspective and that was all I had to do I know from your perspective it was difficult what are we talking about now the you know when you decided to go to TBS and all of that and you took our show and did a great job there then you have the Tonight Show did a great job there and then some kind of a mix-up I really don’t recall how do you find a long time until now on the other side of all of that you got to feel great you got a fan I feel I feel terrific I really do you know all I ever wanted to do was I mean I’m very lucky to get to go on television and to do my thing my way and TBS lets me do whatever I want they don’t watch it they don’t care checks come in they’re not watching no no that’s the magic and I have a great time I you know we took all of our people with us so everybody is happy and I so I’m thrilled that it worked out and I’m a lucky person so I and forgive me for making this all about me but that’s kind of what I do I was I was delighted by everything that happened except you losing your job I I will tell you I will tell you and this is honest the only consolation I took during that period was that you were happy it really I I did I felt this is a this is a sometimes Dave seems a tad unhappy in his life and if this is bringing you some measure of joy then to hell with my career I knew you would be just fine yeah I can forage for food no I don’t think that was ever gonna be a quest I can catch animals but you were happy I was happy for you let me illustrate this I’ve known Jay a long long time honey go back to the mid 70s back in Los Angeles at The Comedy Store Jay was always the guy the funniest guy he was the guy he was the guy you’d go to see he was the guy you wished you could be more like now he was funny he was also a bit of a brat a bit of a brat and so then oh you know when this came along I said to myself oh yes this is the Jay I know and I really and and I kind of you know I refer to that period as the golden age of television relevant [Applause] the period when I lost the Tonight Show week and a half period for you the golden age’ broadcast that’s right but it has nothing to do with you then I’m contented these and people this is a silly question I’ll ask it anyway any moments of genuine amusement during that ordeal yes I guess there were some there were moments when I was able to step outside my body and see the absurdity of it all there was a I had The Tonight Show I believe on a Friday stepped down left The Tonight Show on Monday we had things to figure out how to take care of people how to get things you know how to dismantle this this mechanism and I had I called my assistant so we got to get together and she said we have no office so we went to a Marie Callender’s restaurant in the valley and it was I’m not kidding there’s a Marie Callender’s in Burbank and I went there with my assistant Sona and she sat on one side and I sat on the other and I’m barking you know this is what we’re gonna do see we’re gonna take care of everyone and we’re gonna do the next thing – and a woman came by and said you didn’t know or care who I was do you want one of our nine pies I realized in that moment the disparity between sitting behind the desk as the host of The Tonight Show on a Friday and being demoted to a table at Marie Callender’s which by the way is a fine restaurant and it makes a killer pie but I thought this is yes this is and this is appropriate somehow yes it’s not everyone would agree that it’s a demotion going from The Tonight Show to Marie Callender’s because as you could the park but but you’ve worked through say you clearly were using my experience to work through slipping I’ve had my own trouble I’ve had my own Lord knows I’ve had my share of trouble so when I saw other trouble right and again it wasn’t here’s someone who’s been in a car accident who passed another guy lying on the road and said that’s right I was in one of those ones Oh let me it was terrible let me return to my position here it was it was the delight of seeing now how many times just between well between all of us how many times in your life have you seen a picture of Jay stopping by the side of the road to help elderly folks who have run out of gas or whose car has caught fire who have lost a tire or something and there is Jay being the Good Samaritan to help out those people like like the triple-a except the triple-a doesn’t bring a photographer that’s the only difference between Jay and the triple-a and and I just I just thought oh and so for that reason and other reasons I really enjoyed it and have you have you spoken to anybody at NBC know who in particular anyone come to mind no this is they’re all gone the people that I remember I think everyone involved in my situation with maybe an exception is gone so there’s no one there anymore that was there during my nobody at the Saban the crime yeah it’s it’s a whole different I’m told it’s a lovely group I wish them nothing but the best and put a polygraph on him your relationship with Jay because you knew Jay before the he demanded that he get his show back I was assured none of this would come up tonight I was told he would discuss our shared love of antiquing are many wonderful vacations together I was never informed that this would come up but what is your question again and you’ve repeated as many times as you like we can get you we can get you an office at Blimpie’s trust me but I’m so insecure now in my talkshow jobs that I’m always a little faster on you just you just should go there you just could be happy but you had a relationship with Jay before the felony felony took credit what was the relationship like with Jay before this occasional phone call and did you feel a kinship a camaraderie he’s it’s a busy world I come from a large but no I wish I would say up until this event we we didn’t have that much in common we’re quite we’re quite different fellows he and I I don’t know why I suddenly reverted to 19th century diction but he and I are different and and so we didn’t have a lot to talk about in common I don’t own many automobiles that were made before 1904 [Music] primarily of brass and leather and so I don’t know what to say honestly yeah we’re going there exactly there are very few ways and I don’t I’m not saying this in a disparaging tone at all there are very few ways in which he and I relate we’re not interested in I don’t think in the same things right but nonetheless you had a bond via NBC and you’re too late my lead-in he was the host of tonight’s show I was the host the late-night show right and he they put him on at 10 o’clock and then that didn’t work out and it was so then they said Jay are you busy no I just said working on my Kawasaki so he came back and they said we’re going ahead Wagner right back with Conan O’Brien everybody [Music] [Music] Conan O’Brien is here ladies gentlemen Conan how long how long did you do the late-night program at NBC the late-night program I believe I did it almost maybe about 16 years and I did it before you four to twelve twelve and a half years so you’re the longest-running host of that time period and before Paul and I did it what was it Paul it was the tomorrow show with Tom Schneider which was in its inception a tremendous show a brilliant show yeah terrific riveting interviews with with John line from The Sex Pistols John Lennon yeah there’s a lot of really nice stuff and now you’re at TBS and and things are great there you have a hit show on TBS and they leave you alone you get to do everything you want yeah how’s your family are they all settled and everything’s good now family’s terrific a lovely wife I have two kids I have a sick an 8 year old boy and a six year old tell me all about the eight year old because I have an eight year old I have an 8 year old girl

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