NBC Pays Conan O’Brien $45 Million to Go Away

In the network-TV equivalent of a high-profile divorce settlement, NBC is shelling out big-time to part ways with Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien, following a very public, very ugly feud over the network’s late-night schedule.

Just how big of a payoff is O’Brien getting? All told, the funnyman—who has been with NBC for 17 years, and was abruptly ousted from his Tonight Show chair to make room for his predecessor, Jay Leno—will be collecting $45 million. And because he’s just that classy, O’Brien will be giving $12 million of that to his suddenly unemployed staff.

According to O’Brien’s manager, Gavin Polone,

“In the end, Conan was appreciative of the steps NBC made to take care of his staff and crew, and decided to supplement the severance they were getting out of his own pocket.”

The other good news? According to Polone, his client “just wants to  get back on the air as quickly as possible.” Which hopefully means we can look forward to The NBC Is Run By Big, Fat Poopyheads Hour With Conan O’Brien sometime in the near future.

Congrats on the big payday, Coco! Though we still get the feeling that, somewhere, Heather Mills is chuckling and scoffing, “Is that all?” right about now. And wiping the tears of laughter from her eyes with $100,000 bills.