Conan O’Brien On Having Neil Young’s Support During The Tonight Show Conflict
TV networks often make controversial decisions to increase their profit. One particular controversy sparked when NBC decided to replace Conan O’Brien with Jay Leno after Conan’s Tonight Show failed to receive as much viewership as its predecessor. O’Brien discussed this challenging period with Howard Stern and addressed Neil Young’s support for him.
“I don’t know if he is because it’s all a blur to me now,” O’Brien said when Howard asked him about the conflict and if Young was one of his last guests. “I have PTSD, and I’m medicated [laughing]. Neil Young came on, and I think he did ‘Long May You Run,’ and this was such a beautiful thing; it was amazing.”
Howard then pointed out that Young was one of the artists who had voiced his support for the late-night host. Conan then showed his appreciation for Neil by calling him a mensch, a person of honor. He said, “He was, to use my people’s term, he was a mensch; he was a mensch about the whole thing. He was great; he is a really lovely guy.”
O’Brien then disclosed if he had built a personal relationship with Neil after the conflict. “Not really, no. I gotta say, I don’t know; I get intimidated by that. If I was going to meet Neil Young for a cup of coffee, I would get in my head about it because it is Neil Young.”
Even though Conan joked about the controversy and seemed to have moved on, he made it clear that Neil’s support meant a lot to him. While the comedian thinks of Young as a lovely person, he is still a little intimidated about forming a personal relationship with the singer.