It's a sad day for comedy, for a couple of reasons.
Conan O'Brien's last Tonight Show could indeed come as soon as next Friday as the redheaded funnyman is said to be nearing a deal with NBC that will allow him to get the hell out of there while Jay Leno returns to weeknights at 11:35 p.m.
The Los Angeles Times reports that an announcement could come as soon as tomorrow that O'Brien and NBC are parting ways after their longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship turned into an increasingly acrimonious game of finger-pointing.
O'Brien's departure will be sad because, one, what ultimately started out as a well-intentioned scheme—keep viewers laughing for three hours (and save a little money) by putting Jay, Conan and Jimmy Fallon on every night—turned into a ratings debacle. And because the quality of Conan and Jay's jokes over the last week has benefited from all that seething animosity underneath the service.
Case in point...