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Late Night with Conan O'Brien
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 moved to The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien starting June 1, 2009.
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.
|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|
- At a Glance: Additional information about the series
- Recurring Bits: A listing of recurring sketches, segments and characters from the series.
|10th Anniversary Special||August 10, 2004||1||
|The Best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog||August 10, 2004||1||