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The Real Reason Conan Won’t Host The Tonys

No, it’s not because NBC wouldn’t let him

Conan O’Brien will not be hosting this year’s MTV Movie Awards.

Nobody ever said he would be doing so, of course. And as far as we can tell, nobody at MTV made a serious play to land Coco. (The LA Times’ Showtracker blog has reported that the awesome Aziz Ansari is expected to get the gig, actually).

But MTV clearly has missed out on a chance to get some free PR for its award franchise, since these days, asking Conan to do something he’s never going to do anyway has become a great way to get a few seconds of love from the pop culture machine.

Earlier this month, the producers of "Idol Gives Back," the "American Idol" charity special, apparently looked into whether Coco could appear on their show next month. Answer: Nope, O’Brien isn’t allowed to do TV before May 1. Case closed– but feel free to leak it out to get some buzz.

Over the weekend, Deadline reported, accurately, that CBS and the folks who stage the Tonys had asked O’Brien to do their low-rated June show. Answer: Nope, can’t do. Case closed– but feel free to leak it out if it makes you feel any better. (Or, perhaps in this case, somebody on Team Coco was bored and decided to leak it. Who knows?)

In the case of the Tonys, there’s a very good reason O’Brien would never host the Tonys — and it has nothing to do with big, bad NBC.

He’s got this little comedy roadshow he’s doing, see. The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour. He’s in active rehearsals for it right now, and is expected to be on the road through May.

The Tonys are in early June. Unless you’re a total loser of a celeb, you don’t host a major awards show without weeks of prep. Particularly if you’re a comedian who wants to actually be, you know, funny.

If you’re touring the country with a brand new show, that doesn’t leave much time to prepare schtick to be funny. And so Team Coco didn’t have to think hard about politely declining to discuss the matter further with the Tony folks.

Case closed.