Embattled host Conan O’Brien could be kept off the air for three years by a secret clause in his NBC contract, according to reports.

Multiple sources say that Conan’s contact with NBC contains a non-compete clause with Jay Leno which means he’s legally prohibited from doing a chat-show that airs the same time as Leno’s 1130PM  Tonight Show slot.

In short, unless Conan does something completely different, he’ll be on deep-freeze for the remainder of his NBC contract which has 2 1/2 years remaining and a clause for a third that may be enforced.

"There’s a rumor that NBC is so upset with me, they want to keep me off the air for three years," the riotous firebrand quipped last night.

"My response to that is, if NBC doesn’t want people to see me, just leave me on NBC."

Meanwhile, NBC top dog Jeff Zucker is said to be more than displeased and blames O’Brien for the Leno prime time disaster – which makes no sense whatsoever.