Upfronts 2012: TBS’ Conan O’Brien Takes Shots at Les Moonves, Rupert Murdoch and Oprah Winfrey
12:37 PM PDT 5/16/2012 by Lacey Rose
Others at the receiving end of O’Brien’s upfront presentation barbs included Disney’s Bob Iger and Ted Turner.
Conan O’Brien strutted out on Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom stage to remind advertisers he had taken a downgrade.
“You’ve got to hand it to Turner when it comes to the upfronts,” he told a packed theater early Wednesday. “They were really on it, and they locked up the coveted 9:30 a.m. slot right next to Penn Station. I feel bad for CBS; they’re stuck with cocktail hour at Carnegie Hall.”
In between the usual jabs, many of them at his own expense, O’Brien managed to pimp the area in which his recently renewed late-night show is growing: his digital footprint. “We’ve got 5.5 million on Twitter, 1.84 million ‘likes’ on Facebook and a pedophile on MySpace,” he joked of his show, which debuted on TBS a year and a half ago after the host had spent 16 years at NBC.
But rather than take time onstage to blast his former bosses as he did a year earlier, O’Brien used the platform to poke fun at other industry execs. In fact, about the only mogul he bypassed as he presented a segment entitled Audience Craigslist was NBCUniversal’s new chief, Steve Burke.
Here’s a look at who he did take shots at as he read aloud a handful of faux Craigslist postings to big laughs:
MAN SEEKING WOMAN: I’m your ultimate fantasy, if you spend a lot of time fantasizing about being underneath Newman from Seinfeld. (Photo: Turner’s Steve Koonin.)
MISSED CONNECTION: You couldn’t keep your eyes off me, and neither could I. How about we meet somewhere romantic and both look at me? (Photo: Turner’s Michael Wright.)
LEARNING ANNEX SEMINAR: David Levy Presents: “How to Succeed When You’re an Adult Version of ‘Turtle’ From ‘Entourage.’” (Photo: Turner’s David Levy.)
HOUSE SWAP: My $20 million house in Brentwood for my 30 million house in Malibu. Ha, just kidding! They’re both my houses! God, I’m rich. (Photo: CBS’ Leslie Moonves.)
SEEKING: East African village willing to accept 5 million “John Carter” T-shirts. Size XXL. (Photo: Disney’s Bob Iger.)
MISSED CONNECTION: YOU: beautiful, checking your voicemail. ME: goblin-like, selling your voicemail. (Photo: News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch.)
FOR SALE: Controlling interest in OWN. $10 or best offer. (Photo: OWN’s Oprah Winfrey.)
WANTED: Proofreader for my new book, “Battle for Daytime: The Montel Williams Story.” (Photo:New York Times writer and The War for Late Night author Bill Carter)
FOR SALE: Broken remote control. I keep changing to TBS, but there are no Braves games. Where are the goddamn Braves? (Photo: Ted Turner.)