Conan O'Brien waved to a sea of screaming fans from the roof of his studio in Burbank, California. They gathered in pouring rain to rally against the late night shakeup bumping Conan and bringing Jay Leno back as host of The Tonight Show.
Cameras captured Conan running through the streets. He emerged on the rooftop as the masses cheered below in a scene straight out of Evita.
Conan continued taking shots at NBC last night, but came up with clever ways to deliver the jabs.
Meanwhile, Jay Leno put jokes aside and seriously addressed the late night fiasco and praised Conan: "Through all of this Conan O'Brien has been a gentleman, he's a good guy, I have no animosity towards him. This is all business. You know folks, if you don't get the ratings, they take you off the air."
"Last night was definitely an attempt by Jay Leno to not only shore up his image, but to say to Conan O'Brien, 'Good luck pal,' " says J. Max Robins of the Paley Center for Media.
"Obviously we made a business decision here, and we believe we made the right business decision," said embattled NBC president and CEO Jeff Zucker, speaking out for the first time about the shakeup. While appearing on PBS's Charlie Rose he revealed that he's actually been receiving death threats over the debacle.
"Death threats, over moving the program back?" asked an amazed Charlie Rose.
"Oh yeah, it's been crazy...but that's okay," said Zucker. "Look, I feel terribly that Conan isn't going to be at NBC where he was given a chance 17 years ago and was a homegrown star...and that ultimately it will end this way."
David Letterman continued his angry tirade against NBC, this time taking aim at Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports. Last week Ebersol attacked Conan and Letterman for picking on Leno.
"I'm telling jokes and making fun of Jay Leno, over and over and over, relentlessly, mercilessly, simply for one reason, and that is, I'm really enjoying it," said Letterman, responding to Ebersol on his show.
Published reports have said Conan not only walks away with $40 million, but also the freedom to appear on another television network.