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Dasher 02-15-09 02:30 AM

CONAN O'BRIEN PACKING UP FOR MOVE WEST
 
CONAN O'BRIEN PACKING UP FOR MOVE WEST
The Associated Press, February 14, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nearly two dozen guitars are scattered on the floor and sofa in Conan O'Brien's office in Rockefeller Center, most of them gifts from musicians like Eddie Van Halen, Los Lobos, Les Paul and Brian Setzer.

Moving day approaches.

O'Brien is about to pack up the guitars — and himself — for the trip West, when he replaces Jay Leno as host of NBC's "Tonight" show in June. First things first, though, as a nostalgic O'Brien prepares for the last week of his 16-year run at "Late Night." Feb. 20 is his last show before turning it over to Jimmy Fallon.

He usually enters his office from the Sixth Avenue side, where Rockefeller Plaza is indistinguishable from any other New York office building. Lately, though, he has looped around to the Fifth Avenue side, walking past the skating rink into the far more impressive eastern entrance.

"For a while, I was in denial — `Oh, we'll just stop doing this show and we'll move on to the next one,'" he says. "That's very me, very male. Men don't like to say goodbye. My wife told me about six months ago, 'I think you have to admit that you have mixed feelings about leaving this late-night show, it's very emotionally charged for you. That's OK.'"

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