In an interview with FORTUNE, Conan O’Brien reveals that after his departure from NBC and The Tonight Show, the network was unhappy with the comedian’s sudden popularity on Twitter.
O’Brien tells FORTUNE‘s Douglas Warsaw that he recalls being told, “The network isn’t crazy about you tweeting. They’re not sure that’s cool.” O’Brien called their bluff: “Tell them I would be thrilled if they shut down my Twitter account. I’d love it if that got out. You think PR’s been bad up till now? Wait till you take away my Twitter account.”
The sting of losing The Tonight Show has still not faded for O’Brien, who returned to late night on TBS. He tells FORTUNE his experience reminded him of Raiders of the Lost Ark:
“You know that scene in the first Indiana Jones movie where he gets thrown through the truck windshield by a Nazi? I was thrown through the windshield of broadcasting. I made a decision and that decision very quickly led to me walking away from the crown jewel of old broadcasting and, in addition to that, being legally prohibited from going on television…. Ten years ago, if my situation with NBC had unfolded, none of this would have happened. Yeah, maybe I was 10 years too late to do The Tonight Show that I wanted to do. But I was just in the nick of time. Do you know what I mean?”
The interview hits newsstands Monday.
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