As NBC and Conan O’Brien’s team negotiate his exit terms, fans might have to say their final good-byes to his most popular characters.
NBC is keeping the copyrighted and trademarked elements of O’Brien’s shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That means they trap Pimpbot 5000 and Conando, as well as recurring bits like In the Year 3000 and Desk Driving, at NBC while Conan finds another home.
As for Triumph the Insult Dog, our favourite Conan character?
It’s unclear who controls Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the crass canine puppet that is perhaps O’Brien’s most popular recurring bit. Triumph was originated by writer and longtime O’Brien pal Robert Smigel, whose reps declined to comment on whether Smigel or NBC owned rights to the character.
Perhaps if Conan goes to HBO, he will create even more provocative characters, which were already bordering on inappropriate for network television. Conan “retired” the Masturbating Bear on his Late Show before he moved to his earlier The Tonight Show.
In the meantime, expect some of those characters to make their final appearance before Conan’s last Tonight Show on Jan. 22.
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