The comedian hits the road on a 32-city tour
Will Conan O’Brien fans be able to sit back at home and watch new footage of the ex-”Tonight Show” host sooner than expected?O’Brien’s exit package from NBC keeps him off air until September — but doesn’t ban him from taking to the stage, via his just-announced 32-city tour, “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television.” Now the question remains: Will fans smuggle in Flip cameras, record the shows and post them online? And, more importantly, will O’Brien’s camp aggressively yank those videos down? If not, then the I’m With Coco army may ultimately help tide O’Brien fans over with fresh video of the Man in Orange — until he officially returns to the smallscreen. Insiders believe that NBC wouldn’t have much recourse if O’Brien chose not to enforce pirated video of the shows. (One said that the Peacock could suggest that O’Brien take them down — but can’t make their former employee enforce piracy laws regarding his own intellectual property.) As a result, eagle-eyed O’Brien fans may be able to find nearly 40 new “episodes” of the host’s “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” online in the coming months. Meanwhile, although O’Brien can’t host a new show until September, his deal with NBC allows him to start conducting interviews — both televised and in print — starting May 1. He still can’t make disparaging remarks about NBC, however. O’Brien’s ability to appear on chat shows comes soon after his tour launch on April 12 in Eugene, Ore. He makes it to L.A. — specifically, Universal City — on April 24. O’Brien’s show will take place at the Gibson Ampitheater at Universal Citywalk, which means O’Brien will be back near his old “Tonight Show” stage, and on NBC Universal turf. (NBC U owns the Ampitheater, but doesn’t operate it.) What’s more, Conan’s dates in New York will take place at Radio City Music Hall — just steps from NBC’s Rockefeller Plaza headquarters. As usual, Hollywood makes for strange bedfellows. Peacock insiders believe the choice of venues wasn’t a coincidence. The tour will include O’Brien’s sidekick, Andy Richter, as well as members of the “Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien” band (known as the “Max Weinberg 7″ during their “Late Night” tenure). Weinberg himself, however, will not be able to tour with the group. The big event will span at least 20 states and two Canadian provinces, according to organizers. “It was either a massive 30-city tour or start helping around the house,” O’Brien said. Tix for the tour, sponsored by American Express, will start at $39.50. “It promises to be a night of music, comedy, hugging and the occasional awkward silence,” the organizers quipped. According to O’Brien’s tweets, the response was overwhelming enough that second nights have already been added to the Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, and Los Angeles stops.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more