Yeah, Conan, we get it. You got screwed out of a job. Now that your ill-advised interview on 60 Minutes is over, it's time to lay that to rest before your fans begin to turn against you.
Don't get me wrong: I love Conan and plan to watch his show on TBS. But he better cool it with the references to being booted from NBC. When he was first forced out of his gig hosting The Tonight Show so that the network could reinstall their simpleton jester Jay Leno in the 11:35pm time slot, his rage was understandable. His jokes against his employer and the man taking his job were subversive and required, especially because a late night talk show host is supposed to make jokes about what everyone is talking about and, at the time, everyone was talking about the "late night wars." But now it's time to move on.
Hopefully his confessional on 60 Minutes will be the last step in his recovery process. His performance last night wasn't endearing because he said exactly what we thought he would say and didn't look good doing it. He's mad at NBC, he doesn't think Leno behaved honorably, and he's been depressed for the past few months. "I didn't get screwed. I'm fine," may have been what he said, but he certainly didn't seem fine as he cackled at Jay Leno for saying he got screwed. He waited until just after the deadline passed when he was contractually barred from talking about his ouster to give 60 Minutes the interview, like a kid who was fidgeting in the corner waiting for his time out to be over so that he could go back to terrorizing everyone in the house. Maybe he should have waited a few months until he'd calmed down a bit and had a new talk show to flack rather than when he still has an axe to grind?
Everything that O'Brien has done so far has been a reaction to his trouble at NBC. That's what the interview was about, that's what all the bits in his new comedy tour seem to be inspired by, and it even informed the title of his show, the "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on TV Tour." It's great that Conan is getting his revenge with his sharp humor—always his most powerful weapon—but his jokes are about to turn from "stick it to the man" salvos of an underdog into the whiny musings of someone who is still upset that he got paid $32 million dollars to walk away from a job.
Just look at what happened to post-The View Rosie O'Donnell. She was also at the center of a very tumultuous and public exit from TV. She's still bitter about the split and is constantly bringing it up, which is why—years later—she's still asked about her fallout with Barbara Walters. Rather than moving on with new projects, she is now defined as "the lady who left The View."
Hopefully, come November, Conan will have gotten all the hate out of his system and his TBS endeavor will be an all-you-can-eat buffed of the inspired, absurd fare that we've been gorging on for years. His legacy needs to be one of a brilliant talk show host, not a jaded curmudgeon who used to be funny. When this whole debacle was going down, everyone got together and rallied around Coco. It would be shame if his bitterness disassembled all that good will. We understand you went through some shit, Conan, but it's time for your anger to make like your Tonight Show job and come to an end.