Mary Ellen Matthews/Celebrity Pix/CORBIS OUTLINE

O'Brien jokes with PEOPLE about the "very tight trousers" he'll wear hosting the awards show

August 26, 2006 07:30 AM

Late Night poobah Conan O’Brien, who is getting ready to host the 58th annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, talks to PEOPLE about fatherhood (daughter Neve is 2 and son Beckett is 9 months), taking over Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show gig (he starts in 2009) and his Emmys hosting strategy.

Will you have to tame your humor once you’re on The Tonight Show?
This is the sense of humor I’ve been working with since the first grade. I don’t think I could change if I wanted to. If I got a network note that said, “You need to become more of a cross between Charlie Rose and Dick Cavett,” I’d say, “You know what? I appreciate the shot, but I gotta go.”

How will you sex up the Emmys?
First of all you’ve got me hosting. And I’m gonna wear very, very tight trousers, like matador pants. That’s gonna do a lot for women and a third of the men watching.

Is it hard working long hours now that you have kids?
It is tough. My son’s still too young, but when I leave for work my daughter says, “No, Daddy, I want you to stay.” (Pause) But then I just scream, “We need the money!”

Is your daughter funny?
She’s hilarious. She s extremely verbal. (Last year) a bug was crawling on her arm and she said, “I’m frustrated with this bug.” We were like, “Whaaat? You’re 1 1/2 years old!”

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