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Conan O’Brien says he’ll bring his trademark gags over to his new TBS show, which premieres Nov. 8.
“If there’s something we did for a long time that we’ve established as ours, we’ll figure out a way to do it,” O’Brien tells Rolling Stone. “I won’t be denied my Masturbating Bear!”
“What I really wanna do,” O’Brien added, “is be sued over the bear and then appear in court with the Masturbating Bear. ‘Your Honor, this bear can’t help himself!’ “
O’Brien also opens up about his short-lived stint as host of the Tonight Show.
“Knowing what I know, I’m quite confident that what happened really didn’t have much at all to do with what I was doing,” O’Brien said. “That’s not to say that my show was perfect… But given the situation, I don’t think, even if I had done a radically different show, anything would have been different.”
O’Brien said he went easy on Jay Leno, whose ratings have dipped below his in the coveted 18-49 demo since he returned to air.
“If you look at the tapes, I probably made three jokes about him,” O’Brien said, “Which I think I was entitled to do. But I was very careful not to go to town.”
The two weeks that it was rumored he would be replaced by Leno made him “feel like, ‘OK, I’m going to go for broke. I have got nothing to lose.’ Let’s face it: I’m not going to do another television show after this one.
“There were times when I’ve told myself, ‘Maybe I could have gone on and done ‘The Tonight Show’ for 15 years, but never had the impact that I had doing those last six shows,’ ” O’Brien went on. “So maybe that moment’s a gift.”
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