Late Night with Conan O'Brien

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Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Premiere September 13, 1993
Finale February 20, 2009
Creator Lorne Michaels
Conan O'Brien
Host Conan O'Brien
Network NBC
Style 60-minute comedy talk
Company Broadway Video
Conaco
Universal Media Studios
Seasons 16
Episodes 2725
Origin USA

Late Night with Conan O'Brien is a late night talk show hosted by comedy writer Conan O'Brien. The series is the second to take up the Late Night brand on NBC, with the first being Late Night with David Letterman. It was replaced by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. O'Brien will move to The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien starting June 1, 2009.

Contents

History

In 1992, when Johnny Carson decided to retire from comedy, David Letterman, the host of Late Night with David Letterman vied for the vacated hosting position for The Tonight Show (reportedly with the blessing of Carson himself) but lost out to Jay Leno. After Letterman left NBC for CBS, NBC was faced with the task of reinventing Late Night entirely.

The network brought in Lorne Michaels, executive producer of Saturday Night Live, to develop a new incarnation of Late Night. Michaels suggested O'Brien as a potential host, who was then an unknown writer for The Simpsons but previously worked on SNL with Michaels. When the first choices, Dana Carvey and Garry Shandling, turned down offers to host the show, the series was given to O'Brien despite protests from NBC, who expected a seasoned comedian to take up the gig.

The first three years for the series were intensely turbulent behind-the-scenes. O'Brien's contracts were short-term, lasting 13 weeks each, and the series was in constant jeopardy of cancellation. The series found difficulty booking guests in its first year until Letterman made an appearance. Letterman had called the studio and specifically offered himself as a guest to help the struggling show. O'Brien's inexperience with being on camera also showed through until he found his groove. On the 10th anniversary special this was mocked by Mr. T, who gave Conan a gold chain with a large seven on it because he had "only been funny for seven" years.

In 2000, long-time sidekick Andy Richter left the show in order to pursue an acting career, which caused O'Brien to dramatically refocus his comedy so that his commentary was directed at the audience and the non-sequitor humor became more and more prominent. O'Brien attempted to replace Richter, as such, with Max Weinberg 7 band leader Max Weinberg, but only in small doses which mainly make fun of their lack of chemistry. Other band members, particularly La Bamba, are also used as comedic foils from time to time.

The series came to an end in February 2009 when O'Brien left the show to replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. The Late Night brand continued with Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with former Saturday Night Live cast member Jimmy Fallon as the new host.

Cast

Person Role Duration
Main Cast
Max Weinberg Bandleader
Andy Ritcher Announcer 1993-2000

Seasons

Season Premiere Finale #
NBC
Season One September 13, 1993 September 9, 1994 230
Season Two September 12, 1994 September 8, 1995 228
Season Three September 11, 1995 September 13, 1996 195
Season Four September 17, 1996 August 22, 1997 162
Season Five September 9, 1997 August 28, 1998 170
Season Six September 15, 1998  ??? 160
Season Seven September 7, 1999 August 18, 2000 166
Season Eight September 5, 2000 August 17, 2001 157
Season Nine September 4, 2001 August 16, 2002 160
Season Ten September 3, 2002 August 15, 2003 160
Season Eleven September 3, 2003 August 13, 2004 153
Season Twelve August 31, 2004 August 19, 2005 166
Season Thirteen September 6, 2005 August 30, 2006 162
Season Fourteen September 5, 2006 August 31, 2007 195
Season Fifteen September 4, 2007 August 29, 2008 163
Season Sixteen September 2, 2008 February 20, 2009 98

In-Depth

  • At a Glance: Additional information about the series
  • Recurring Bits: A listing of recurring sketches, segments and characters from the series.

DVD Releases

Title Release Date #
Individual Episodes
10th Anniversary Special August 10, 2004 1
Segment Collection
The Best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog August 10, 2004 1

External Sites