Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien took comedic jabs at their employer in separate monologues Monday, riffing off news that NBC plans to cancel Leno’s prime-time experiment and move O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” back a half hour.
"Welcome to 'The Jay Leno Show.' As you know, we're not just a show anymore, we are now a collector's item," Leno said at the show's open.
"As you may have heard, our show has been canceled. Fired again! That shows you that NBC's got nothing. Even when they fire people it's a re-run," he continued. "Didn't we just get fired in May?"
Leno said he wasn't sure where his show would end up, but that no matter the result, NBC's move had riled up all parties involved.
"Supposedly we're moving to 11:30, but even this is not for sure," Leno said. "My people are upset. Conan's people are upset. Hey, NBC said they wanted drama at 10. Now they've got it -- everyone's mad."
NBC announced this weekend it was letting go of Leno's program, paving the way to tentatively push it back to 11:35, moving Conan O'Brien's show to midnight. O'Brien took over the "Tonight Show" ropes from Leno last fall, losing millions of viewers in the switch.
Leno ended his monologue with a final poke at the network: "I take pride in one thing. I leave NBC prime-time the same way I found it -- a complete disaster," he joked.
The venting continued on “The Tonight Show,” where host Conan O’Brien said he planned to “steal as many [NBC] office supplies as humanly possible.”
“Good evening everybody. I’m Conan O’Brien, the new host of 'Last Call with Carson Daly,'” he said, kicking off his monologue with a reference to NBC’s latest late-night program, also affected by the proposed line-up changes.
O’Brien said he found it “hilarious” that NBC expected to lose $200 million airing the Winter Olympics.
“For them that’s a big hit,” he jabbed.
O’Brien has yet to sign on to NBC’s decision and is reportedly being wooed by the FOX network. The comedian joked Monday that he had plently of career “options.”
Among the choices:
- Star in a Lifetime original movie about a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her network.
- Go to ABC and star in a male redhead version of “Cougartown” called “Redwolf Village.”
- Host a show on B.E.T. called “White All Night.”
- Move to FOX and follow their hit “24” with a new show called “24:05.”
- Televise my own colonoscopy on the Bravo Channel in a show called “Project Funway.”
- Convince NBC to let me keep this time slot if I can gain 10 pounds of chin.
- Andy and I will become a team of wacky morning DJ’s called “Big Red And The Booger.”
- Pretend to put my son in a giant foil balloon, then sit back and watch the offers come pouring in!
- Perform the show live every night from Zanies Comedy Club at 7:30 and 9:30. (1/2 price drinks if you tell ‘em “Coco” sent ya!)
- Bring sanity back to NBC by hiring Gary Busey as head of programming.
- Leave television altogether, and work in a classier business with better people, like hard core porn.
O’Brien and Leno also made light of the drama surrounding their programs last week.