Andy Richter speaks!
While Conan O’Brien is still gagged by his exit deal with NBC — preventing him from going on television until September — sidekick Richter apparently didn’t have the same restrictions.
Appearing on “Live with Regis and Kelly” as a guest co-host alongside Kelly Ripa, Richter finally shared his take on what went down during the Great Late Night Debacle of 2010.
The actor/comedian still bit his tongue, and appeared to hold back from sharing too much — but when asked if he held any ill will toward NBC and Jay Leno, his answer was pretty cut-and-dry: “Yes. Yes, I do.”
“Everybody said they were going to do something and then they didn’t,” he told Ripa. “(Our ratings) were pretty good all summer. And then our lead-in changed (a reference to “The Jay Leno Show” and they weren’t so good anymore.”
Airing the “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” a half-hour after “The Jay Leno Show” was a big mistake, he said.
“It was very difficult,” Richter said. “I don’t think it was a good plan.”
Then, without mentioning Leno by name, Richter said he was particularly peeved that O’Brien’s predecessor made a point of publicly handing the “Tonight Show” franchise over to O’Brien — but then blamed his NBC contract in taking the show back.
“It’s very frustrating when somebody says and especially when they’re on video tape saying this, ‘I’m going to take this No. 1 show and hand it over and hope that the next guy makes it a number one show… and then doesn’t — and says things like, ‘I didn’t have any choice — they wouldn’t let me out of my contract,” Richter said.
“You know multimillionaires are always being forced to do things they don’t want to do,” he quipped. “It’s very frustrating… (but) I’ve calmed down about it.”
Below, video of the appearance, via AOL’s TV’s Top 5 site: