Late night will be saying a final goodbye to one of its titans next month, with Conan O'Brien's eponymous program set to end after eleven years on TBS. Conan has spent twenty eight years in total in late night.
A Bygone Era
Conan comes from a different era of late night. He took over Late Night in 1993 alongside longtime comedic partner Andy Richter. He wasn't a big name, or even a name period. He was an SNL writer people thought would be good on screen.
And he was. I mean, not at first, but he was.
Leaving on His Own Terms
It has to feel good for Conan to actually be leaving his show, on his terms. It was a long fought battle just to get him on the air in place of Jay Leno during the late night feud of the 2010s. If you're not familiar with the beef, this video does an excellent job of explaining it. Just in case you don't have 33 minutes to spare, here's a quick rundown:
Jay Leno was going to retire and hand The Tonight Show to Conan in five years time, announced in 2004. However, come 2009, Conan has left The Late Show to take Leno's mantle, only for Leno to decide he wants to remain on air, leading to a lengthy contract dispute and public feud, with Conan's fighting coming mostly from the mouth of David Letterman. Eventually, Leno does leave, Conan says no to NBC after the contract mistreatment, ends up on TBS, and now we have Jimmy Fallon.
Conan got royally screwed and still managed to make himself not just successful, but a legend. And now, he gets to say when he leaves. Bravo, Mr. O'Brien.
Not Done Yet
But don't worry! You'll be seeing more of our favorite poofy-haired Irishman very soon. Rather than continue on a different late night program, Conan will be making a home on HBO Max, where he will host a weekly variety series. That sounds very promising, but if that variety series doesn't include Sona and Jordan, the world will throw a fit. A fit this author will be participating in.
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