Conan O'Brien Quits, Declares He Won't Do 'Tonight Show' at Later Time

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of "The Tonight Show." But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with the "Tonight Show," I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

VIDEO: NBC affiliates are losing money and hope to change Leno?s show time.
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Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.

Yours,

Conan

Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien Bash NBC

Both Jay Leno and O'Brien had some not-so-nice things to say about their network Monday night.

The comics, whose talk show schedules have been thrown off by NBC's decision to move Leno back to 11:35 p.m. ET, the time slot now occupied by O'Brien, addressed the TV turmoil at the top of their shows.

VIDEO:NBC Mulls Over Late-Night Lineup
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Leno started off his 10 p.m. ET prime time show with the quip, "But you know, we're not just a show anymore, we are now a collector's item.

"As you may already know, our show has been canceled, fired again," he went on. "See, that shows you NBC's got nothing, even when they fire you, it's a rerun. Didn't we just get fired in May?"

Leno's first guest Monday night, Bill Cosby, got in on the action, teasing, "Your ratings are so bad I thought we were going backward."

Following Leno, O'Brien told his applauding audience, "If you keep that up, this monologue won't start until 12:05.

VIDEO: Jay Leno is reportedly moving back to his old time slot.
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"This weekend, a 6.5 earthquake hit California. The earthquake was so powerful it knocked Jay Leno's show from 10 p.m. to 11:35," adding, "I plan to put on a great show night after night while stealing as many office supplies as humanly possible."

Oh, but he wasn't done yet. O'Brien went on to detail 11 things he could do in the wake of NBC's decision to move him out of the 11:35 p.m. slot to 12:05. Among them:

-- Star in a Lifetime original movie about a woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her network.

-- Go to ABC and star in a male redhead version of "Cougartown" called "Redwolf Village."

VIDEO: Powerhouse Roundtable: George Will, Liz Cheney, Al Hunt, Judy Woodruff and Robert Reich
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-- Host a show on B.E.T. called, "White All Night."

-- Move to FOX and follow their hit "24" with a new show called, "24:05"

-- Televise my own colonoscopy on the Bravo Channel in a show called "Project Funway."

-- Pretend to put my son in a giant foil balloon, then sit back and watch the offers come pouring in.

-- Leave television altogether and work in a classier business with better people, like hard-core porn.

Jerry Seinfeld Sticks Up for NBC

It's hard to blame the comedians for being a tad bitter. But at least one prominent comic defended NBC's controversial shakeup of its late-night stars: Jerry Seinfeld.

Jay Leno
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