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With Conan O'Brien's new TBS talk show just days away from its historic launch, the giant Irishman is psyched up... and conciliatory toward his former enemy and now head-to-head rival Jay Leno.
No longer contractually (or morally) obligated to shut up and take the high road, O'Brien spoke to the Playboy about his step forward... into basic cable... and how he feels looking back.
"He can come as the musical guest, because that I want to see; no one knows he has an operatic range. No, there are certain things I will not do, regardless of the price.
"I thought it could end up being the most important moment of my television career. It still could be. I have had too many good things happen in my career to end on any kind of bitter note. ... And as crazy as this sounds, my career with NBC was overwhelmingly positive until this.
"The entertainment business has an amazing way of turning really lucky people into bitter, angry, rage-filled, jealous, resentful wretches who can't believe they got screwed. Some things have worked out great for me, some things haven't. You keep going.
"A lot of people tuned in [to the final NBC shows], and I was really proud of what I was able to make in that situation. So this was good, this was bad, this was ugly, this was beautiful, this was fucked-up, this was sublime. It was cherry, it was vanilla, it was frogurt, it was mocha chocolate chip.
"I don't want to get lost thinking how this [new] show will be different from any other show I've done," he said. "At the end of the day, it's going to be me doing whatever is in my power to entertain people for an hour. I'll break any rule. I'll use dangerous chemicals if I have to. I will meddle with the laws of God." [Playboy, via Yahoo! News]
I still think Conan has a long road ahead rebuilding his audience in basic cable. Do you guys plan on tuning in on Monday for the show's premiere?