Ever since leaving NBC, Conan O’Brien has stayed by and large remarkably silent on anything and everything related to Jay Leno. There were restrictions in his buyout that was at least part of the reason why we have seen so little of this, but at the same time, Conan has recognized that nobody wants to see you beat a dead horse forever.
Well, Conan still had one great zinger up his sleeve tonight as Leno was leaving “The Tonight Show,” and it came courtesy of a joke about the Olympics. If you want to see a text of it, you can do so below:
“Yes, NBC has the Olympics. It’s a big deal. NBC will finally get to show somebody who’s okay with passing the torch.”
After telling the joke, Conan acknowledged that he “allowed himself one” joke to be told at the expense of Leno tonight, still obviously knowing that the last thing that he wants to do is become a burn factory. Given the applause he got for this one joke, though, it feels like he made the right move.
Conan clearly has a job over on TBS, and it feels like that is pretty well cemented for the immediate future. Even though his cable show is not necessarily a ratings warrior, he does post solid numbers night after night, and continues to also grab some pretty notable guests. Tonight, for example, he has the entire cast of “The Walking Dead” on as some really great counter-programming to what is happening over on NBC. We’ll wait and see if Conan says anything else moving forward.