O'Brien returns to late night with 'Conan'

Nov. 9, 2010 at 11:17 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Conan O'Brien started up his new late-night talk show in Los Angeles Monday night by ribbing his new home TBS and ridiculing his former network NBC.

O'Brien left NBC after the network attempted to bump "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" from 11:35 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. to make room for Jay Leno's show earlier in the evening.

O'Brien's "Tonight" was on for only several months in the 2009-10 television season before Leno returned as host.

"Thank you and welcome to my second annual first show," O'Brien told the "Conan" audience Monday night.

"Yes, I know what you guys are thinking, 'Hey, it's the guy from Twitter,'" he quipped. "Welcome to my new show, 'Conan.' People ask me why I named the show 'Conan.' I did it so I'd be harder to replace. This is an exciting night. I'm glad to be on cable. The truth is, I've dreamed of being a talk show host on basic cable ever since I was 46. And things are going well already. I'm happy to report that we're already No. 1 in TBS's key demographic -- people who can't afford HBO. I'm going to be honest: It's not easy doing a late-night show on a channel without a lot of money and that viewers have trouble finding. So that's why I left NBC."

O'Brien also noted a lot has happened in the news while he was in between TV gigs.

"And I was hoping I could cover it all in one joke," he said. "But then I realized that's like trying to keep an Icelandic volcano from wearing Lady Gaga's meat dress while a trapped Chilean miner cleans up the BP oil spill."

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