Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Conan O'Brien at the upfronts: "What the f**k happened?"

Exactly one year after his last appearance at the upfronts -- that's the time of year when the networks unveil their fall schedules to advertisers -- Conan O'Brien was back. Last time, he was, of course, promoting NBC and "The Tonight Show." Earlier today, he was fired up about his new gig, as host of an upcoming TBS talk show.

What has he been up to for the past year? shared some of Coco's best jokes, including this one: "For the last 12 months, I signed on as the host of 'The Tonight Show,' I launched 'The Tonight Show,' I left 'The Tonight Show,' I grew a beard, joined Twitter, launched a nationwide comedy tour, joined the Obama administration as undersecretary of the interior, resigned in a sex scandal, perfected the mechanical human heart, and here I am at TBS."

"If anybody can explain what the f**k happened four months ago," he quipped. "The plot to 'Lost' is more plausible than the last year, it makes more sense."

The New York Times reported that after the jokes, O'Brien "turned a bit serious, saying of his bosses at TBS: 'They believe in me, I believe in them, and I cannot wait to get back to having fun on television again. That’s all I want to do.'

"Mr. O’Brien, who is on a nationwide tour, flew from Minneapolis for the upfront presentation, and said he was flying to Chicago to resume the tour later that day.

"'My live tour has been my happiest experience in 20 some odd years in show business,' he said. 'I am learning stuff on the road that is changing me as a performer.'"

Conan closed with a staple of his live show, a version of "On the Road Again" with new lyrics: "My own show again, I can’t wait to have my own show again… My own show again on any network, even Oxygen….I’d change my sex if I have to… Off the road again, please get me off the road again… I’m sleeping on the bus with 27 men, I’d sell my soul to have my own show again."

Coco fans shouldn't miss Aaron Barnhart's interview with the comedian, conducted prior to his Kansas City performance. "I don’t know if I’ll ever get to do anything like this again. But I’ve given up predicting," said O'Brien. "I realized the last time I was in Kansas City was 14 months ago to visit the affiliate for my dynastic new 'Tonight Show' that was going to last 30 years. If you’d told me I’d be back in 14 months doing a rock ’n’ roll show with an inflatable bat that was sold out across the country, I would have said, 'How is that possible?'"

Conan added that he's happy that his TBS schedule will allow him to cut back to four shows per week. "That extra day of production is huge. I love to do remotes. We still did them on 'The Tonight Show,' but they were backbreaking. So here you get a little more quality control, a day of production to shoot and gather our wits. And it’s like we developed that muscle, doing five nights a week, so we drop down now, it’s like losing 10 pounds, because I like to use weightlifting analogies."


  1. Anonymous said...

    Fun on television is what it's all about. A friend suggested that "Fun on Television" could be the name of his new show.

    I'm looking forward to more remote segments. I always wondered why they moved away from those starting on Late Night, I'm thinking it probably happened when they started airing a 5th show on Mondays.