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Report: Longtime Conan O'Brien bandleader Max Weinberg eyeing Leno gig?

April 6, 2010 |  3:43 pm

Conan face Is there mutiny on the couch? Longtime Conan O'Brien bandleader Max Weinberg may be a turncoat in the O'Brien-Jay Leno late-night war, according to a new report.

Film site Movieline alleges that Weinberg is eyeing the gig as Leno's new emcee, after Kevin Eubanks announced he'll soon be leaving Leno's side.

Weinberg was jazzed last year to assume the position when Conan took over the "Tonight Show" reins, but in light of the Team Coco flush, he's made "overtures" to return solo.

"I used to think when I was a kid what a great job that must be -- you know, same place, every time, everyday. Lo and behold, here I am 40 years later, doing it," Weinberg gushed about the gig to Inside Jersey magazine in August. 

As if buzz about a switch to Leno's show isn't controversial enough, the Movieline report goes on to say ...

... that Weinberg wasn't necessarily a beloved member of Big Red's team:

Weinberg would send interns to do gardening work at his house on the New Jersey shore, and would involve staffers in his pay disputes with the network -- at one point, even enlisting an intern to tabulate every minute of screen time Weinberg had racked up over two years in an argument for a salary raise.

An NBC spokesperson had no comment regarding the report. 

Do you think Weinberg would make a good addition to the "Tonight Show" team? Does this make Leno look even worse? Tell us in comments.

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Conan O'Brien during life before wartime, at the TV critics tour Jan. 15, 2009, in Los Angeles. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images.

Related late-night dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

The Conan-NBC fracas, as interpreted by Pee-wee Herman

'Coco and the Chin': #Conan O'Brien apparently 100% OK with this #LenoFAIL situation [Updated]

Conan O'Brien apologizes to Levi Johnston, with William Shatner's help

Taylor Lautner brings a slice of 'New Moon' to Jay Leno

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