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At Globes After-Parties, the Talk Is of Conan

“It’s like having two girlfriends and refusing to choose between them”

The HBO party in the post-Golden Globes scrum was packed, packed, packed. An hour’s wait to get in for some (the not so lucky) to sip the Moet and watch Arianna Huffington on her way out – “But thank you for all you are,” said a young adorer, grasping her hand as the Arianna beamed munificently. (But Chloe Sevigny was just arriving, clutching her Globe, while Keira Knightley flitted down the stairs, weighing 3.2 lbs fully dressed.)

In the corners, however, the talk was not of the Golden Globes but of the ongoing horror show that is the Jay Leno-Conan crisis.

One stand-up comic who wouldn’t allow his name to be used inveighed against Leno for not having the good grace to step aside for Conan to retain "The Tonight Show." (I personally found that a little unrealistic, but that was his view.)

“The guy can’t read a room,” said this comic bitterly. “Jay is going to be damaged goods. He’s going to lose a piece of his audience. He can’t go home again.”

Ah, camaraderie.

An executive shook his head at the antics of NBC. “It’s like having two girlfriends and refusing to choose between them,” said this person.

I couldn’t help but wonder aloud if HBO were already planning a follow-up to its film about the late-night wars. I was assured by HBO exec Sue Naegle that it has not been considered. Premature, perhaps, but we journalists can’t help but think it.

Apparently all this a lot more interesting than wondering whatever happened to the “Up In the Air” juggernaut that has so far failed to materialize.

Upstairs, at the party of the network where the bloodletting continues, there were no NBC executives to be seen. Apparently entertainment chief Jeff Gaspin had made an appearance, but there was no Jeff Zucker (I’d been told before he wouldn’t be there).

Hard to see how people could be much in the mood to celebrate, what with "30 Rock" failing to win best TV comedy, and with everyone preparing some kind of press statement – apparently for Monday – about Conan O’Brien’s exit deal.

It was that kind of a night.

Meanwhile, in the lobby, bloggers took pictures of passers-by on their cellphones, while new media couple Nicole Laporte and Richard Rushfield stood and co-tweeted about an odd lady dressed in pink, with pink hair and a fluffy dog, also dyed pink.

It was that kind of night, too.