Conan Banned From Joking About NBC
Conan O’Brien, who hosted The Tonight Show for just short of 8 months before negotiating a multi-million dollar severance package for himself and his staff, will be muted again at the Emmy Awards Sunday night. The show is nominated for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series, and if the show wins, Conan is legally prohibited from bad-mouthing NBC.
Part of the funnyman’s deal is that he is prohibited from poking fun at the network, or performing on a competing network until after September 1 – 4 days after the Emmy’s broadcast. Coco, as he came to be known during the flameout, even poked fun at the deal by naming his nationwide live tour, “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour,” this summer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, O’Brien might be able to find a loophole as his contract bans him from making “disparaging” comments, and defines "disparaging" comments as "those that are false and would be viewed by a reasonable person to be insulting or defamatory." As long as O’Brien sticks to the truth, he has plenty of wiggle room to stick it to his former employer. –ANDREW BANKIN