While most of the bits about Conan spending millions on new characters in his final days as 'Tonight Show' host were just a joke, one thing that was very real was the tab he was running up by playing famous songs as the intro music for guests. Those songs really do have incredibly high royalty fees and NBC really does have to pay them. First it was the Rolling Stones "Satisfaction" for Adam Sandler, then on Friday...
When Tom Hanks entered from behind a curtain to go to his seat, the band played The Beatles "Lovely Rita," which costs NBC half a million dollars. Questlove, who is the drummer for The Roots on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," almost instantly tweeted, "yo i hate spoiling but i will have you know that walk on song we just heard was half a milli. i know cause i got the list rate at nbc and tom's walkon music on conan is on my "restricted" list---wow a $500,000 walkon song lol."
This is why when I do talk shows I come out to 'Ava Maria'. It's in the public domain so no one has to pay any royalties. Also I think it would be nice if more people thought I was a messenger from God.
(watch toms full appearance here)