Conan O’Brien hits the road

Conan O’Brien rolled out his 30-city Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour on Thursday, billing it as “a night of music, comedy, hugging and the occasional awkward silence.”

The comedian’s live tour will begin in Eugene, Ore., on April 12 and make a stop, on April 24 and 25, at Universal Studios in Los Angeles (yes, the same entertainment complex owned by O’Brien’s longtime employer, NBC Universal, and just a stone’s throw away from the glitzy studio that NBC built for O’Brien to host “The Tonight Show,” a job that lasted less than eight months).

The tour, sponsored by American Express, is being arranged at a time when Fox executives are crunching numbers to figure out how to make a late-night comedy program work financially on their network.

O’Brien famously surrendered his job hosting “The Tonight Show” on NBC when the network decided to bump O’Brien’s show to after midnight to make room for Jay Leno’s return to late night. Leno this month reclaimed his job as host of “The Tonight Show.”

NBC’s decision to move O’Brien’s show in January sparked an Internet furor, and enormous ratings, in the comedian’s waning days at the network.

O’Brien, sidekick Andy Richter and members of O’Brien’s band will make stops in Vancouver, British Columbia; Boulder, Colo., Chicago; Atlantic City, N.J.; and in New York City at Radio City Music Hall -- across the street from NBC’s corporate headquarters, 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Tickets start at $39.50.

“It was either a massive 30-city tour or start helping out around the house,” O’Brien said in a release announcing the event.