Conan O'Brien took to the airwaves tonight on the day he announced he'll leave NBC if he has to follow Jay Leno with another NBC/Leno-bashing broadcast. David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Craig Ferguson joined in, while Leno stayed mostly quiet.
All the noteworthy clips from tonight—believe me, this is ALL of them—are grouped below by show and labeled accordingly.
Onto the videos!
I. THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN
12:00 AM ET: O'Brien's monologue, which aired just moments ago, included several jokes at the expense of NBC and Leno.
Shortly thereafter, O'Brien played a video with "statements" about the controversy—courtesy Muammar al-Gaddafi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Fidel Castro—before inviting friend Howie Mandel on stage for a makeshift game of Deal Or No Deal, with the briefcases representing O'Brien's opportunities for the future. The briefcase O'Brien ended up with left little to the imagination about his feelings for Leno.
12:25 AM ET: After O'Brien's monologue, he invited Tonight Show writer Deon Cole on stage to explain the situation with NBC from a different perspective. Cole likened NBC to a "pimp" and O'Brien, Leno, Jimmy Fallon and Carson Daly to "hos."
Later, O'Brien had veteran NBC anchor Tom Brokaw on for an interview. Brokaw took a couple of minutes at the beginning of the interview to discuss the NBC situation with O'Brien, both seriously and comically.
II. JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!
1:00 AM ET: Jimmy Kimmel opened his live show tonight as Leno and performed a full monologue in the former (and future?) Tonight Show host's style. Complete with a grey wig and prosthetic chin—even a makeshift Kevin Eubanks in band leader Cleto Escobedo—Kimmel decimated Leno with every passing second. Here's a few minutes of the hilarious—and hilariously biting—monologue.
1:45 AM ET: Later in the show, Kimmel did a mock Headlines segment (still as Leno) and then held an interview with Chevy Chase, who came out as Conan O'Brien, orange wig and all.
III. THE JAY LENO SHOW
10:20 PM ET: Just moments ago on his show, Leno mostly avoided speaking about all that has transpired in the past few days, offering only a few passing mentions of his show's cancellation—and no mention of O'Brien's shocking letter from this afternoon. A video of Leno's remarks is below.
10:30 PM ET: Sandra Bullock, Leno's first guest tonight, just poked fun at the host by asking him, "By the way, is this gonna be on the air tonight?"
Leno responded by jokingly calling Bullock "Smart Ass" and confirming that, yes, it would air. Video below.
10:55 PM ET: Finally some NBC-bashing from Leno's show, courtesy of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (who was on for the 10@10 segment). Video below.
IV. THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON
1:10 AM ET:On The Late Late Show tonight, Craig Ferguson suggested a remake of The Late Shift—the 1996 movie about Leno and Letterman's fight for The Tonight Show—and offered his casting suggestions.
Later, Ferguson took another shot at NBC, calling the network "lying rat bastards."
V. THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN
7:00 PM ET The Late Show has already posted an excerpt of Letterman's monologue to its YouTube channel, and it appears as though Letterman will go big with Jay "Big Jaw" Leno-bashing. On the heels of his advice for NBC from last night's show, Letterman suggests the network fill its 10:00 PM time slot with a new show called Law & Order: Leno Victims Unit. Watch below.
Fun fact: you may have noticed the quote "There is no off position on the genius switch" flash quickly at the end of the video and wondered about the significance of it. Well, it's a reference to Letterman's disastrous interview with Joaquin Phoenix last February. The more you know! Edit: Looks like we were mistaken. A couple of commenters have mentioned that Letterman has been using the aforementioned phrase for a while now as a cap to his Internet videos, among other things. Apologies!
7:45 PM ET: The Late Show's YouTube channel just posted another excerpt from tonight's show, in which Letterman analyzes the NBC late night catastrophe.
After issuing an anecdotal recap of things as they were and as as they are now, Letterman asserts that—surprise—it's all about money (fast forward to about 3:15 in for the hard analysis).
Here's part of Letterman's statement: "Here's the deal. Anytime there's a big stink like this, and—believe me—there hasn't been a big stink like this in years, it's money. Don't kid yourselves, it's all about money. And as nice a guy as Conan is, he's a smart fellow, and he knows that if he takes a hike, he's gonna lose an enormous sum of money. So he just now says, 'Well, I'm not gonna follow Jay, you guys do something about it.'"
Letterman also continued his two-day tradition of making some hilariously harsh jokes about Carson Daly. Look for them at about 3:00 in and again at about 4:30 in.
8:10 PM ET:Maybe Letterman has resigned himself to the fact that all eyes will be glued on O'Brien and The Tonight Show at 11:35 tonight, because The Late Show has just released two more clips to YouTube. Here's another excerpt of Letterman's monologue, in which he talks about the then-breaking news that O'Brien would opt not to follow Leno on NBC. We've clipped out the relevant part, but the full video can be viewed by clicking here