Andy Richter Still Fuming Over Leno, NBC Snub
By Sam Brand Posted Mar 9th 2010 03:43PM
Conan O'Brien got kicked off the air. Friends are bitter, too -- Jimmy Kimmel has made that all too clear. CoCo, himself, is bitter -- but getting over it, slowly, with the help of Twitter. But perhaps no one is more bitter than sidekick Andy Richter.
On Tuesday morning, nearly two months after NBC announced the end of Conan's tenure on the 'Tonight Show,' Richter told Kelly Ripa that his feud with Jay Leno and NBC is still very much alive.
"Yes, yes I do," Richter said, when asked by Ripa if he still had ill feelings for NBC or Leno. "Why wouldn't I?"
The response received applause from a crowd that seemed to share Richter's feelings and appreciated the star's honesty. Sitting in for a vacationing Regis Philbin on 'Live with Regis and Kelly,' Richter made his first appearance on television since "the hullabloo," as Ripa called the now-notorious late night television wars.
"I actually can be on TV," Richter joked. "Conan can't, in fact, I'm not even sure I can say his name."
Richter, 43, was Conan's sidekick on 'Late Night with Conan O'Brien' from 1993 to 2000. In 2009, he joined O'Brien's 'Tonight Show' as its announcer.
The longtime sidekick was vocal about his disapproval over the way NBC handled the shakeup. "Everybody said they were going to do something, and they didn't."
Richter never mentioned Leno by name on Tuesday, not that he needed to.
"It's very frustrating when somebody says ... 'I'm going to take this number one show and hand it over and hope that the next guy ... makes it a number one show,' and then doesn't."
Richter suggested Leno's excuse, that he was contractually bound to re-take 'The Tonight Show' after Conan's ouster, was inadequate: "You know how multimillionaires are always being forced to do things they don't want to do."
Richter later admitted, "I've calmed down about it," but not before Ripa could finish his sentence.
"But it's still very much at the surface."
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