Newsom skips out on Conan

Mayor Gavin Newsom canceled an appearance last night celebrating TV host Conan O’Brien’s visit to San Francisco, citing a scheduling conflict.

Neither the mayor nor his canoodling with a friend’s wife have been off limits for the Harvard-educated O’Brien on his show this week, but officials from Newsom’s office said none of that had anything to do with the cancellation.

The Mayor’s Office proclaimed Wednesday “Conan O’Brien Day,” but when it came time for Newsom to partake in the free public event hosted by NBC’s local affiliate KNTV to honor O’Brien, the mayor was mistakenly double-booked.

Media alerts of the mayor’s schedule, which is subject to change, had gone out to the press Tuesday night, but come Wednesday morning, there was no Conan event.

Newsom instead gave an interview to ESPN’s “SportsCenter” about Barry Bonds in preparation for the San Francisco Giants’ slugger breaking Hall of Famer Hank Aaron’s career home run record of 755.

In Wednesday night’s game, Bonds hit his ninth home run of the year, putting him 12 behind Aaron. Swinging the bat well this season, many expect Bonds to catch and pass Aaron sometime this summer, but that is weeks away.

O’Brien and his “Late Night” crew are taping shows all this week at the Orpheum Theatre and have poked fun at medicinal marijuana, Coit Tower and the sitcom “Full House,” which was set in The City.

On Monday, during his first show in town, O’Brien jokedabout receiving flowers from Newsom.

"When I tried to thank him, he said, ‘They’re for your wife,’” O’Brien said, referencing Newsom’s dalliance with former campaign manager Alex Tourk’s wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, for which the mayor has publicly apologized.

Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard said the cancellation had nothing to do with the barbs, noting the proclamation of “Conan O’Brien Day.”

“Clearly, [there are] no hard feelings about the jokes,” Ballard said.

Meredith Smith, a spokeswoman for KNTV, said the station received notice in plenty of time and the event went on as planned. Newsom is not scheduled to appear on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” this week, she said.

dsmith@examiner.com

Each day until voters go to the polls Nov. 6, The Examiner lays odds on local figures beating Mayor Gavin Newsom. Check out our exclusive blog: San Francisco's Next Mayor?

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