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Conan on the Run

Fans Rally for Conan O’Brien in Los Angeles

"I'm With Coco" Rally Included Appearances from O'Brien, Andy Richter, La Bamba, and Max Weinberg

Jan 18, 2010 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Conan O’Brien
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Hundreds of Conan O’Brien fans braved heavy rain for the “I’m With Coco” rally outside of the Universal Studios lot in Hollywood where O’Brien currently tapes The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Fans were protesting NBC’s decision to return Jay Leno to The Tonight Show after Leno’s 10 pm show flopped and O’Brien refused to move to a later time slot to accommodate Leno’s return to late night TV. The rally was organized by the people behind the I’m With Coco Facebook group, which is spearheaded by Mike Mitchell and already has over 352,000 fans.

Fans chanted such slogans as “We want the hair, not the chin,” in reference to O’Brien’s infamous red hair and Leno’s large chin. Such curious protest signs included “Conan Saved Me from Scientology” and “Jeff Zucker is a Scientologist,” the latter in reference to the CEO of NBC (who’s generally considered the villain in these proceedings by O’Brien supporters). Other sign slogans included: “Respect the Cone Zone,” “I’m Loco for Coco,” “Zucker Can Zuck It,” “Retire Leno,” “Don’t Go Conando,” “NBC = Never Believe Contracts,” “Put Conan on Telemundo,” “I’m Cuckoo for Coco,” and “Colbert/O’Brien 2012,” which was jokingly advocating a Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien presidential ticket.

Eventually, O’Brien made an appearance at the rally. But first Tonight Show trombonist Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg was driven around the block standing in a glass box, à la the Pope. Then the classic character The Masturbating Bear worked the crowd. Finally, O’Brien himself ran out of the studio gates, was immediately mobbed by fans, but still kept running up Lankershim Blvd., past all the fans (most of whom ran with him), and back into the studio via the next gate. The police briefly had to shut down the studio side of the street, as fans flooded in front of traffic. As soon as O’Brien appeared, the relentless rain actually subsided and the sun came out, prompting fans to chant “Conan stopped the rain!,” which was in part a reference to Tina Fey’s comment on the red carpet at last night’s Golden Globe Awards that the rain was “God crying for NBC.”

All the fans then gathered outside gate 2 and soon O’Brien appeared on the roof facing the gate, causing the protestors to go wild. He did his famous puppet string dance and waved to fans. Sidekick Andy Richter addressed the fans with a megaphone, thanking everyone for their support and admitted that the lawyers had told him that he couldn’t say much more. Tonight Show bandleader Max Weinberg and graphic designer/comedian Pierre Bernard both also waved from the roof and “LaBamba” briefly played the trombone from up there. Meanwhile, plenty of free pizza courtesy of O’Brien and his staff was passed out to the crowd.

All of this will probably do little to stop NBC from booting O’Brien. Rumors widely circulating the Internet say that NBC is paying O’Brien between $30 and $40 million to hand The Tonight Show back to Leno and that O’Brien’s last Tonight Show will be this Friday. Somewhere Johnny Carson is turning in his grave.

Click here for a full gallery of photos from the “I’m With Coco” rally.

www.tonightshowwithconanobrien.com



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Laura
January 19th 2010
3:24am

Heck yea! I’m with Coco!

Frank
January 19th 2010
3:54am

You bet! Me too. Thanks for the coverage.

GreatLoverOfMtns
January 19th 2010
4:25am

Support for Conan from the mountains in TN… No Conan no NBC. I will stop watching NBC altogether. What moron made this decision should be tar’d and feathered naked and place on a LA freeway for all to see what a moron that person is. Better yet strip them naked pour honey all over them and release them in the mountains with the black bears. You morons should have made Jay retire he is boring… Old hat… Model T.

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ipod fiyatları
July 21st 2010
8:45pm

i am the biggest fan of conan! i love this man.. really he is the one on tv! we love you o’brien

Green
November 21st 2010
5:59am

Bad decision for NBC and also not cool that Jay get his show back after his “next big thing” did not pan out well.
Or maybe I’m just too young for Jay

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