Conan O'Brien Officially Scheduled to Leave the Tonight Show This Friday | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Conan O’Brien Officially Scheduled to Leave the Tonight Show This Friday

After Weeks of Speculation, The Deal is Done

Jan 21, 2010 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern
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It's official. After a week of rallies and fans praying for a just isn't happening. As reported by The Wrap, Conan O'Brien is officially leaving the Tonight Show and will host his final Tonight Show this Friday, January 22. Jay Leno returns to hosting the show on March 1, after the Winter Olympics. The following joint statement (NBC and O'Brien) was released:

"NBC and Conan O'Brien have reached a resolution of the issues surrounding O'Brien's contract to host "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien." Under terms of an agreement that was signed earlier today, NBC and O'Brien will settle their contractual obligations and the network will release O'Brien from his contract, freeing him to pursue other opportunities after September 1, 2010."

One thing that had held up the deal was O'Brien's push to get proper severance pay for his staff, many of whom relocated from NYC to LA for the show. O'Brien's manager, Gavin Polone said this to The Wrap about that aspect of the deal: "In the end, Conan was appreciative of the steps NBC made to take care of his staff and crew and decided to supplement the severance they were getting out of his own pocket. Now he just wants to get back on the air as quickly as possible."

As reported by TwentyFourBit, Neil Young will be his final musical guest. Other guests on his last show will include Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell.

Says Jeff Gaspin, Chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment of the change, "We're pleased that Jay is returning to host the franchise that he helmed brilliantly and successfully for many years. He is an enormous talent, a consummate professional and one of the hardest-working performers on television."

We? Has he missed the groundswell of support and general indignation?  If you're attending Conan's final show, feel free to register yours via the Oh Captain, My Captain project, where audience members are encouraged to stand on their chairs at the end chant "Oh Captain, my Captain" a la Dead Poets Society.

In slightly less classy (but certainly funny!) protest news, we have a few additional clips from last night's Tonight Show. Time to dry our eyes.

Firstly, Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover) sings a song for Conan:




Then, The Masturbating Bear returns:




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January 21st 2010

i’ll survive.