Conan O’Brien, left, and Jay Leno (Photo: Dave Bjerke/NBC)
AFTER HE HOSTS “THE TONIGHT SHOW” FOR THE LAST TIME ON FRIDAY, Conan O’Brien doesn’t have to work another day in his life.
Hey, even if he hasn’t put a dime of his huge salary away over the past few years, that $33 million severance package from NBC ought to tide him over nicely.
And speaking of nice, how about his insistence that another $12 million go to severance for his staff?
But if there’s anybody on the planet who thinks we’ve seen the last of Conan O’Brien on late-night TV, I don’t know who that would be. He’ll be back. The only question is where.
O’Brien, who certainly had his struggles as host of “The Tonight Show,” comes out of this looking like the good guy. Like the wronged guy. Like sort of a winner.
Meanwhile, his “Tonight Show” predecessor/successor, Jay Leno, gets his old job back on March 1 at the cost of his good-guy image.
Apparently, Leno wanted his old job back desperately enough not to care.
And now O’Brien has to stay off the air until Sept. 1. You’ve got to wonder if he’ll actually be back on the air on that date … because it’s a Wednesday. But not long after that, you can bet he’ll be back on the air someplace.
Fox? Comedy Central? ABC?
Yeah, well, probably Fox. Which might be an excellent fit for both that network and O’Brien.
Stay tuned …