Hey, Jay, what's the opposite of above me? Well, that was easy. I guess. For Leno, anyway. For some reason he's got job security with NBC even if he doesn't put out the way they'd like. Conan wasn't producing the numbers they wanted either, but it seems he made the best of a shitty deal.
The NY Post reports this morning that Conan is set to walk away from the Peacock with a $40 million exit deal. While that's good for Conan, the best part is that he held out for his employees, many of which relocated from New York with him and were screaming (with good reason) about being stranded on the left coast. He gets $32.5 mil, his staff gets $7.5 million. Conan will not be able to work for anyone else until September, but I think if he plays his cards right he should be able to stretch his severance until then.
The idiot with the big chin who first gave him the job, and then took it back when his own feeble prime time effort got canned, did his best to be gracious in the face of the criticism he's earned for his Indian giving. Blaming the suits and claiming to be just a pawn, Leno went on for some time about being just as much a victim of all this as Conan, and praised him for being such a good sport about all this career upheaval. Says Jay, "... through all this, Conan O? Brien has been a gentleman. He? s a good guy. I have no animosity towards him." Sure, sure, but I doubt the feeling is mutual.