Conan Begins National Tour

After three months off the air, Conan O’Brien performed before an audience on Monday for the first time since his ugly $32 million buyout from NBC in January. "This is the first time anyone has paid to see me. They've paid me to go away," O'Brien told an audience of more than 2,500 in Eugene, OR. Playing up his adventures through the NBC machinery, O’Brien brought back familiar favorites like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and a handful of guests like his sidekick Andy Richter and several members of his Tonight Show band. One of his best-received bits was about the “eight stages of grief” after losing his late-night gig, which included "Blame myself," "Blame everyone else round me" and "36 hours of Red Bull and Halo"—though he said he didn’t spend too much time blaming himself, "because what the hell did I do?" O’Brien, who is expected to return to television in November on TBS, will tour until June.