How Conan O'Brien Lost His Way

ConanThere's a whole bunch of chatter about Jay Leno's 10pm show getting chopped and Leno going back to 11:30 once the Olympics are over. That slot currently belongs to Conan O'Brien. I'm not sure what that move would mean for Conan.

Here's something I wrote six years ago about Conan O'Brien.

I have nothing but positive feelings about Conan O'Brien. I knew him first as a writer and producer of some of the funniest Simpsons episodes ever. He wrote Homer Goes to College and Marge vs. the Monorail, two of my personal favourites. As a late night talk show host, he's certainly one of the best. My brother Steve and I made it a point to stay up and watch Conan during his first few seasons. This was a time when it was perfectly reasonable for me to go to bed at 1:30 in the morning. Conan O'Brien is directly responsible for a great deal of the laughter I have expunged throughout the past decade.

The next year, my brother Steve and I watched Conan tape his show at the Elgin Theatre. You might remember that infamous episode as the one in which Triumph the Comic Insult Dog took a poop on French Canadians. Good times...

When Conan moved to 11:30, I decided to record each episode in an attempt to recapture some of that funny I remember from Conan and Andy. After about 20 episodes I stopped watching. Conan seemed to lose something when he went to 11:30. He lost that quality that made him so much funnier than Jay Leno. It wasn't the same show I once loved.

By watering things down for an 11:30 Leno loving audience, Conan lost his way. He no longer appealed to those like me, and he was still too out there for those who wanted Jay Leno. Now he's in limbo.

I wish they'd move him back to 12:30 so I can reset my PVR and enjoy Conan and Andy as I remember them.

February 12, 2004 - Conan O'Brien

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Comments (13 - click here to join in!)


I appreciated Conan as a writer for the Simpsons in the same way that you did. I could never get into him as a talk show host. IMO, he is one seriously unfunny dude.

January 8, 2010 @ 2:44 PM


Would you please, please stop that "AS I SAID IN MY BLOG ....." almost every post has you quoting yourself from a past entry...

Yes you've been doing this for a long time... Yes you have a ton of entries.. But how often do you see newspaper writers or news reports saying "AS I SAID..."

Very annoying.

January 8, 2010 @ 2:55 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


As I said back in January of 2007, it's all about me.

January 8, 2010 @ 3:01 PM


I'm gald that David Letterman lost the 11:30 NBC slot to Jay leno all those years ago...they would have forced him to become "Johnny Carson II" just as they are trying to make Conan - Jay Leno CBS Letterman was given carte blanche to re-invent himself anyway he wanted. Conan was forced to fit into an established mode. His comedy is lost on the NBC 11:30 crowd...

January 8, 2010 @ 3:09 PM


Have never found O'Brien even likeable on TV at all. Maybe Andy Richter should have been given the Host position, he's readily more audience favoured IMO - if without that leering & sour "hoohaw humour".

January 8, 2010 @ 3:13 PM


That fine, its about you... Then you read it.

When a writer loses interest in what his readers have it say, he loses his readers.

January 8, 2010 @ 3:13 PM

Mississauga Mike

I hate to say it, but I agree. I used to love Late Night and it seemed like after the first few nights he was getting back into his groove but, certain bits like Twitter Tracker were so painfully unfunny, it didn't seem like his style which sucks.

Odd foreshadowing, was in NYC in 2002 and got a Late Night t-shirt that has survived a great deal of accidental dryers and such (and still fits fine), but was in NYC a month ago and got a Tonight Show mug. Somehow despite being in my hand the entire time in a little bag, when I returned to Canada it was shattered. Gift wrapped and all. Maybe some of his merchandise will go on sale now cause there's one shirt they were sold out of when I went.

January 8, 2010 @ 4:11 PM


I just lost interest in Luke.

January 8, 2010 @ 4:16 PM


Elvis leave the building

January 8, 2010 @ 5:48 PM


@elvis Hahaha funny.
The segments have definitely been dumbed down on Conan since his move to 11:30.
There's only one show I still watch and its Craig Ferguson, he's dead honest about the show and himself, he even acknowledges the pot smoking viewers.
Here's their ending to the 1000th episode which was an all puppet show. The puppets is an on-going joke(like much of Craigs jokes) so if you haven't seen the show before you may not understand why they're doing it.

January 8, 2010 @ 6:14 PM

jason |

Dude, Conan had a contract that guaranteed him that show after 5 years. Otherwise he was going to pack his bags and leave for ABC.

Word around the campfire is Leno and Conan will spilt the time slot. It's pretty much a loophole to get around the 'guarantee' in Conan's contract.

Conan is getting screwed.

One more thing - don't quote me on any of this. I did read it, but this is the 'net and I can't even remember the source.

IMHO tho - Conan is getting screwed.

January 8, 2010 @ 7:29 PM

Mike from Lowville

@ Luke. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

January 10, 2010 @ 12:22 PM


For a couple of years I watched both Leno & Conan religiously. I've recently started watching Letterman (wasn't getting his show here in India until recently) and for me Leno is the best.

January 10, 2010 @ 9:29 PM

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