Conan O’Brien Returns To The Tonight Show 14-Years After Messy Exit

April 5, 2024 3:29 pm in by
Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

After a break of 14 years, Conan O’Brien, the renowned talk show host, is making his triumphant return to The Tonight Show. His comeback is scheduled as a guest appearance on the Tuesday episode (April 9), where he will introduce his new travelogue series, “Conan O’Brien Must Go”. The series will premiere on Max on April 18, marking O’Brien’s first television project since the ending of his talk show, “Conan”, in June 2021.

O’Brien’s history with The Tonight Show is filled with turmoil. Following a short stint as host from 2009 to 2010, he was replaced by Jay Leno. The replacement came with a proposal from NBC to move The Tonight Show to a later slot at 12:05 am instead of the usual 11:35pm. O’Brien publicly contested this decision, arguing that it would undermine the iconic broadcasting franchise he held dear.

BURBANK, CA – SEPTEMBER 5: Talk show host Conan O’Brien appears on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” at the NBC Studios on September 5, 2003 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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O’Brien stated, “I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.”

Years have passed since O’Brien’s turbulent exit, with Jay Leno having retired in 2014 and Jimmy Fallon currently running the late-night show. Despite speculation regarding possible friction between O’Brien and the current hosts, past appearances suggest there’s no bad blood.

O’Brien’s return to the show he once hosted is a momentous occasion. His brilliant wit and charm are set to light up the late-night television screen once again. As part of the audience, you can look forward to an evening filled with delightful humor and endearing reminiscence.

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 17: Conan O’Brien, winner of the Best Comedy Podcast award for ‘Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend,’ attends the 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards at the iHeartRadio Theater on January 17, 2020 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

The drama surrounding O’Brien’s exit from The Tonight Show, his multimillion-dollar payout, and the public siding with him over the change in time slot, all contribute to the anticipation surrounding his return. Clearly, time and a change of host have healed old wounds, allowing for O’Brien’s much-anticipated return to the show.

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Listen to Conan’s latest podcast on iHeart Radio.


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