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Conan O’Brien: ‘I Won’t Be Denied My Masturbating Bear!’

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Conan O’Brien says he plans to bring the Masturbating Bear with him to TBS, despite the possibility of an NBC lawsuit over intellectual-property rights.

“If there’s something we did for a long time that we’ve established as ours, we’ll figure out a way to do it,” the New York Post quotes O’Brien as saying in the magazine’s Nov. 11 issue. “I won’t be denied my Masturbating Bear! […] What I really wanna do is be sued over the bear and then appear in court with the Masturbating Bear. ‘Your Honor, this bear can’t help himself!’ ”

It seems unlikely that O’Brien, or the Masturbating Bear, will be pulled into court. Earlier this week, NBC Universal TV Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin said the network “wishes Conan well,” and is ready to move past The Tonight Show debacle. Gaspin pointed out that NBC already granted O’Brien permission to use Triumph the Insult Comic Dog during his 30-city “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.”

Granted, there is precedent for NBC digging in its heels over recurring characters and segment: When David Letterman left the network in 1993, he had to change the title of the “Viewer Mail” feature to “CBS Mailbag,” and the late comedian Calvert DeForest was forced stop using the name of his character Larry “Bud” Melman.

Conan premieres Nov. 8 on TBS. The new issue of Rolling Stone goes on sale Friday. Until then you can read excerpts, and watch a video from the photo shoot, at the magazine’s website.

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Comments

  • Lando

    No Masturbating Bear! No Peace!

    yea…that sounded wrong.

  • Louie

    It may be time for Conan to move on from playing the victim in this case vs NBC. Everyone knows the network brass are souless pricks, so what. Its time to get funny. Conan was rewarded generously with $40M and all he had to do was chill out for a few months. In this economy, I call that a win.

    While I’m glad that he will return to TV, I would hope that he has more in his bagof tricks than to try to gain sypathy from getting the shaft from NBC. I just hope he can change the tired old talk show format that is so 20th century. There are too many at the preent that do it far better than he did. I truely hope he can thrive at TBS and I will watch him, but if it is just the same old show format that earned him 3rd place in the late night wars, then I don’t see him lasting too long. Get funny Coco, or go home.