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One-liners fly as NBC's late-night plot thickens

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Even before the Internet and Twitter exploded on Tuesday with Conan O'Brien's epic statement that he would not host "The Tonight Show" if NBC moved it to 12:05 a.m., he and his fellow talk-show hosts held forth Monday night on the late-night mess. While Jimmy Fallon and Carson Daly stayed mostly quiet (hanging on for dear life in NBC's 12:35 a.m. and 1:35 a.m. time slots, respectively), Jay, Dave, Conan and Craig dove right into the controversy.

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-- Emily Yahr

CHEAP SHOTS

Conan O'Brien: "I could convince NBC to let me keep this time slot if I can gain 10 pounds of chin."

Craig Ferguson: "It was really awkward this weekend at the late-night host clubhouse. . . . David Letterman is king of the household. He gets his own room. No one knows what goes on in there, except lawyers and the FBI."

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

Conan O'Brien: "I could star in a Lifetime original movie about a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her network, . . . pretend to put my son in a giant foil balloon then sit back and watch the offers come pouring in, . . . televise my own colonoscopy on the Bravo channel on a show called 'Project Funway.' "

David Letterman: "Here's what you do. [Conan and Jay] are co-hosting 'The Tonight Show.' Conan comes out and says, 'Good evening, ladies and gentleman, welcome to 'The Tonight Show.' And now here's Jay to tell his little jokes.' "

POOR CARSON DALY . . .

David Letterman: "And then now also out there in the ionosphere is Carson Daly, who I've never seen in my life. He's got a show. He's like the Pluto of talk shows. It's like, is it really a show? Is it a planet, is it not a planet? We don't understand."

Craig Ferguson, on the late-night host clubhouse: "Carson Daly doesn't get a room at all. He sits in the corner of the kitchen rocking, 'TRL. TRL.' "

HARSH TRUTHS

Craig Ferguson: "This is not Jay Leno's fault. None of this is Conan O'Brien's. The whole mess is a direct result of atrocious management by a once great American network."

Jay Leno: "My people are upset, Conan's people are upset. Hey, NBC said they wanted drama at 10, now they got it. Everybody's mad."

JUST BECAUSE

David Letterman, on one of the Top Ten signs NBC is in trouble: "Tina Fey is having a hard time making fictional network executives dumber than the real ones."

Craig Ferguson: "Over the weekend, TMZ was following all the late-night hosts around. Pounding them with questions. 'Jay, you going to 11:30?' 'Conan, you staying with NBC?' 'Craig, it's 4 a.m. -- why are you giving that transvestite a ride home?' "

BOTTOM LINE

Jay Leno: "I take pride in one thing. I leave NBC prime time the same way I found it -- a complete disaster."

Craig Ferguson: "It is a bunch of middle-aged white guys arguing over who gets X million dollars. Who gives an ay-carumba?"


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