Conan O’Brien: I Would Never Do What Jay Leno Did to Me

Conan O’Brien

Timothy White/NBC

updated 04/29/2010 AT 6:15 PM ET

originally published 04/29/2010 AT 6:25 PM ET

If the tables had been turned during their late-night dispute, Conan O’Brien says he knows what he would – and wouldn’t – have done to Jay Leno.

“He went and took that show back and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know – I know me, I wouldn’t have done that,” O’Brien, 47, says in his first post-Tonight Show interview, scheduled to air on 60 Minutes Sunday.

In the interview, the new TBS late-night host tells Steve Kroft that he would not have “surrendered The Tonight Show and handed it over to somebody publicly and wished them well – and then … six months later But that’s me, you know.”

Adding that “Everyone’s got their own, you know, way of doing things,” O’Brien, who’s been on the road for his 30-date North American tour, says if he had been in Leno’s shoes, he would’ve “done something else, go someplace else.”

Leaving NBC, he says, was like severing a “toxic” relationship, especially one he didn’t see having a future with.

And though he may have negotiated with the network, O’Brien says he “started to feel that I’m not sure these people even really want me here.”

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