Conan O'Brien's Might as Well Do This While I'm Not on TV Tour

By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, March 12, 2010

Former "Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien is hitting the road with a "Nuts to You, NBC!" tour that comes to Washington's DAR Constitution Hall on June 8.

Not coincidentally, his "Tonight Show" sidekick Andy Richter and members of O'Brien's TV band are traveling with him on the two-month How to Improve My Bargaining Position in Fox Late-Night Show Talks tour.

It's Team Coco's way of circumventing his exit deal with NBC, which precludes him from performing on TV for a period of time.

News of the tour -- which, for accuracy's sake, is actually being called the "Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television" tour -- was first reported on Web site the Wrap, complete with the straining-to-be-funny quotes from all parties involved that always seem to accompany these kinds of announcements:

"It was either a massive 30-city tour or start helping out around the house," O'Brien said in his statement.

"If we don't get Conan in front of an audience soon, there's gonna be real trouble," Jeff Ross, O'Brien's "Tonight" and "Late Night" producer, said in his canned quote.

Each tour stop will be a "night of music, comedy, hugging and the occasional awkward silence," the tour promoters added for good measure.

Stop! Stop! I can't breathe!

But enough of the funny stuff. Coco knows when to get down to business:

"I'm headed to your town on a half-[heinied] comedy & music tour," he tweeted Thursday morning. "Go to for tix. I repeat: It's half-[heinied]."

The tour will run from mid-April to mid-June and will include the stop at the 3,700-seat DAR Constitution Hall. Other venues include the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, Calif. -- Universal City being owned by NBC Universal, which owns NBC, which owns "The Tonight Show," from which Conan walked away after network suits informed him in January that they wanted to move the show to just after midnight.

Ticket sales were so hot, venues were selling out within hours. In Washington, at press time, there were still some tickets available, though it appeared they were all gone in the cheaper price ranges and at the Meet & Greet Package level, where a mere $696.50 buys you the right to meet Conan and get your picture taken with him.

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