EUGENE, Oregon (Hollywood Reporter) - Conan O‘Brien kicked off his comedy tour Monday in Eugene, Ore., taking shots at his former NBC bosses and joking about his new gig at TBS with his trademark self-deprecation.
“This is the first time anyone has paid to see me. They’ve paid me to go away,” O‘Brien told the audience, who welcomed him and his band with a standing ovation.
The show started with 20 minutes-plus of stand-up, but there was nothing vindictive about his NBC barbs.
“Lawyers are listening,” O‘Brien said, and when the crowd chuckled, he added under his breath, “I‘m not kidding.”
Among the jokes aimed at NBC:
-- “I‘m not allowed to say word ‘peacock,’ but I can say the words ‘pea’ and ‘cock.'”
-- A video clip of an “NBC executive” was shown stroking a cat before introducing a show called “I‘m a Celebrity and I Eat Bark.” The executive then threw the animal, saying “I need a new cat!”
-- O‘Brien outlined the “eight stages of grief after losing your talk show”: “denial; blame myself; blame everyone else around me; anger; paranoia; 36 hours of Red Bull and Halo; buy everything Amazon says I would also like ... I bought a Team Edward thong!; and get your ass to Eugene, Ore.!”
-- He also joked that legally, no one is allowed to resemble him, which means saying goodbye to the Wendy’s girl, Jimmy Neutron and Tilda Swinton.
O‘Brien also referenced the fact that he cannot take his former bits with him on his new show, bringing out Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, who did a bit, and the Masturbating Bear. Putting a hood over the bear, O‘Brien said the character has been replaced by the “Self-Pleasuring Panda.”
O‘Brien also acknowledged his new talk show at TBS, which was announced earlier in the day after he was thought to be in negotiations with Fox.
“I‘m sure some of you heard I got a new job starting tomorrow: I‘m the new manager of the Eugene Banana Republic,” he joked.
Later in the show, O‘Brien came out wearing a crazy pink leather sequined jumpsuit. He joked that “right now, the people at TBS are watching, going (in a gruff voice), ‘What the hell? He’s wearing a pink leather outfit?'”
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