In an effort to stick it to his employers, embattled talk show host Conan O'Brien created one of the most expensive comedy bits ever: The Bugatti Veyron Mouse. How did he make it more expensive, and what was the pricetag? Find out inside.
This is the Bugatti Veyron Mouse, part of a new segment on the Tonight Show promising to deliver "new comedy bits that aren't so much funny, as they are crazy expensive." The bit evolved as part of a bitter rift between host Conan O'Brien and his show's broadcaster, NBC.
O'Brien and co-host Andy Richter took over the Tonight Show's reins less than eight months ago, but the network is said to be pushing them out. NBC reportedly favors putting former host Jay Leno back on at 11:30pm ET after pulling the plug on his primetime show, a ratings disaster.
As NBC is required to pay his show's budget before it is taken off the air, O'Brien and his team decided to acquire "the most expensive car in the world [and dress it] up as a mouse." To make it even more costly, the Veyron Mouse only plays "Satisfaction," by the Rolling Stones.
"Does [the song] add anything at all to this comedy bit?" the disgruntled host asked rhetorically.
"Is it crazy expensive to play on the air, not to mention the rights to re-air this clip on the internet?"
"Hell yes! ... Total pricetag for this comedy bit: $1.5 million. Sorry NBC!"
Conan O'Brien reportedly signed an exit agreement with NBC earlier this morning. The deal, supposedly worth $32 million to O'Brien and $12 million to show staffers, puts an end to the talk show host's 20-year career with NBC.
O'Brien was hired as a writer for the network's Saturday Night Live in 1988. After leaving SNL, O'Brien spent three years as a producer and writer for The Simpsons. He returned to NBC in 1993 as David Letterman's successor on Late Night, eventually being promoted to host The Tonight Show in 2009.
The last episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien is expected to air on Friday with guest Will Ferrell.