Conan O’Brien’s tenure as host of The Tonight Show has come to an end. As CNN reported this morning, O’Brien and NBC agreed on a roughly $45 million payout for the redheaded host and his staff in a deal that will permit O’Brien to return to TV in September 2010. However, before his run concludes, CoCo turned to the Rolling Stones to exact a small slice of expensive revenge against his soon-to-be-former network. On last night’s show, O’Brien told the audience he had used NBC’s budget to introduce a new character to the show, the Bugatti Veyron Mouse, also known as one of the world’s most expensive cars with a pair of rodent ears. “As you can hear, the mouse’s theme song is the original master recording of the Rolling Stones’ classic ‘Satisfaction,’ ” O’Brien said.
He added, “Let me ask you a question: Is this appropriate music for a car that looks like a mouse? No. Does it add anything at all to this comedy bit? No, it doesn’t. Is it crazy expensive to play on the air, not to mention the rights to re-air this clip on the Internet? Hell yeah,” O’Brien said, noting that this comedy bit cost NBC a cool $1.5 million. If the Stones opt to go after NBC like they sued the Verve for using their music in “Bittersweet Symphony,” the clip could potentially cost NBC a whole lot more. The network apparently isn’t taking any chances, as this sketch isn’t included among the videos streaming on the Tonight Show‘s official site.
Tomorrow night’s episode is Conan’s last as host of The Tonight Show, and Neil Young — and not Jimmy Fallon’s “Neil Young” — will be the last musical guest of the O’Brien Tonight Show era. As Rolling Stone reported last year, the White Stripes ended their hiatus for Conan’s farewell from his Late Night show.
Update: It just dawned on us that Conan’s final episode might be bumped out of its usual time slot and into later in the evening depending on how long tomorrow’s Hope for Haiti telecast, which will run on NBC as well as a multitude of other channels, runs. If you were planning on simply recording Conan’s last Tonight Show as opposed to spending your Friday night indoors, maybe set the DVR for a couple hours past the show’s usual 12:35 a.m. end time.