NBC and Conan Go Another Round

With a contract settlement apparently still at least another day away, Conan O'Brien couldn't resist getting in a few more jabs at his estranged employer on Tuesday night.

Referring to his imminent ouster as NBC's "Tonight Show" host, O'Brien announced at the top of his monologue: "Hi, I'm Conan O'Brien, and I'm just three days away from the biggest drinking binge in history."

O'Brien explicitly referenced media gossip that he had been forbidden from badmouthing the network. However, he pointed out, "nobody said anything about speaking in Spanish. NBC esta manejado por hijos de cabras imbeciles que comen dinero y evacuan problemas." (Which translates to "NBC is run by brainless sons of goats who eat money and crap trouble.")

He also addressed the latest reports that he might not be able to retain intellectual property rights over some of the material he created at NBC. "Isn't it great to live in a country where a cigar-smoking dog puppet and a bear that masturbates are considered 'intellectual property?'" he joked.

O'Brien's last show is expected to be this Friday and he has made no attempt to suggest otherwise this week. Some show biz heavyweights are scheduled to pay a visit to the "Tonight Show" between now and then, including Adam Sandler, Robin Williams and Barry Manilow. O'Brien's final show will feature Oscar-winner Tom Hanks and comic actor Will Ferrell. Ferrell was O'Brien's first guest when he made his debut at the host of the "Tonight Show" last June.

O'Brien's latest digs come at at time when NBC had recently been striking back against claims that the outgoing "Tonight Show" host is battling to protect his soon-to-be jobless staffers; the network has accused the flame-haired comedian of launching "a PR ploy."

O'Brien's agent, Gavin Polone, told ABCNews.com that negotiations on O'Brien's exit agreement -- which would allow O'Brien to leave the network, making room for former "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno to reclaim his old turf -- were being held up as the two sides tried to reach consensus on how O'Brien's staff members will be compensated when the show ends.

"The main issue at this stage is how well they're planning on taking care of the people who are out of work, and that's Conan's main concern and that's the focus of all negotiations at this point," Polone said.

But in a strongly worded statement sent to ABCNews.com and other media outlets, NBC offered a different perspective.

"It was Conan's decision to leave NBC that resulted in nearly 200 of his staffers being out of work. We have already agreed to pay millions of dollars to compensate every one of them. This latest posturing is nothing more than a PR ploy," the network said.

The back-and-forth comes as the rancorous late-night programming squabble between NBC and its two biggest comedians appears to be entering its final stage.

Jay Leno announced Monday night on his prime-time talk show, "The Jay Leno Show," that "we should have an answer tomorrow" about whether he is going to displace Conan O'Brien and return to his former 11:35 p.m. "Tonight Show" time slot.

O'Brien is expected to receive a settlement of $30 million to $40 million plus severance and buyouts for his staff.

Leno on Monday night explained his side of the events that led to the standoff with NBC and said he considers O'Brien -- who publicly rejected a proposal to host his show at a new, later time -- a "great guy."

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