You do some very funny comedy about the situation, is what you do.
O’Brien spent a decent portion of his monologue Tuesday (Jan. 12) making light of the situation (quick recap: NBC screwed the pooch with its Jay Leno-at-10 plan, wants to move Leno back to 11:30 for a half-hour and bump Conan and Jimmy Fallon back, Conan doesn’t like it) but at times doing a not-great job concealing a bitter edge.
As the audience gave him a big ovation at the start of the show, he pleaded, “I may not have that much time — please.”
“My name is Conan O’Brien, and I may soon be available for children’s parties,” he continued. “… Welcome to NBC, where the new slogan is ‘No longer just screwing up primetime.'”
And this: “NBC says they’re to have the late-night situation worked out before the Winter Olympics start. And trust me — when NBC says something, you can take that to the bank.”
He later had a taped bit with world leaders — Muammar Ghadafy of Libya, Mahmoud Ahmedenijad of Iran and Fidel Castro of Cuba — offering their subtitled thoughts on NBC’s predicament. The caption for Ahmedenijad read: “They sweet-talk Conan into bed and then they pull this Dutch oven? Not cool.”