Conan Opens Up On Leno Taking Back "Tonight Show": "I Wouldn't Have Done That"

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010  |  Updated 7:45 PM CDT
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Conan Opens Up On Leno Taking Back "Tonight Show": "I Wouldn't Have Done That"

NBC, Getty Images

After five months, The Jay Leno Show faltered in prime-time and the network decided to move Leno back to Tonight. Conan O'Brien accepted a $33 million (plus $12 million for his staff) deal to leave NBC and The Tonight Show after a heated debate over the future of the show.

Jay Leno offered his congratulations when Conan O'Brien landed his new TBS gig.

However, in a new interview with "60 Minutes," it appears CoCo isn't so sweet on the way Jay handled the whole "Tonight Show" situation.

"He went and took that show back and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know — I know me, I wouldn't have done that," Conan said.

In the interview with Steve Kroft, which airs on Sunday, Conan – whose new TBS late night series will debut in November – said had the roles been reversed, he would've handled things differently.

"If I had surrendered 'The Tonight Show' and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well — and then…six months later. But that's me, you know. Everyone's got their own, you know, way of doing things," he added.

So what would Conan have done in Leno's situation?

"[I would've] done something else, go someplace else," he insisted. "I mean, that's just me."

As far as his decision to leave NBC, Conan said he felt it was best for both sides to go their separate ways.

"I [thought] this relationship is going be toxic and maybe we just need to go our separate ways," he recounted. "That's really how it felt to me… and I started to feel that I'm not sure these people even really want me here….I can't do it [anymore]."

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PLAY IT NOW: T.G.I.F. - Is George Lopez Faking His Enthusiasm For Conan O'Brien? (April 19, 2010)
PLAY IT NOW: 2010 TV Land Awards Backstage: Jay Leno On Conan O'Brien's New Show - 'I Knew He'd Land On His Feet'

MORE ACCESS ON THESE TOPICS: Conan O'Brien - Jay Leno - NBC - tbs - Late Night

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