Conan Celebrates 20 Years In Late Night, We Look Back at ‘Late Night’
It’s hard to believe that Conan O’Brien has had a late night talk show for 20 years. Granted, he’s had three of them: Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, and Conan, but that’s still no easy feat. He could have gone the way of Pat Sajak and Chevy Chase a long time ago. Actually, that was expected of him. Very few critics foresaw Conan having a long career and many, as demonstrated in this review from Entertainment Weekly, were unnecessarily harsh. It didn’t help that they were fueled by NBC’s decision to renew Conan’s Late Night contract on a weekly basis.
In hindsight, it is hard to watch Conan’s first night as host of Late Night, especially knowing the terrible treatment he received. Even hardcore Conan fans have to admit, on his first night, he was very green. To be fair, Conan did acknowledge it in a funny way and immediately addressed the fact that everyone kept hounding him with some variation of “better be as good as Letterman.” Conan had potential and viewers were willing to give him a chance, even though his bosses only kept renewing his contract because they had nothing else to throw on the air.
Over the years, Conan came into his own. Fans still have fond memories of their favorite Late Night characters, whether its The Pimpbot 5000, The FedEx pope, or The Masturbating Bear, and sketches, such as Conan going to an old-timey baseball game, SAT Analogies, or anti-everyone who isn’t him Crooner Ghost Artie Kendall. For those who want to know how the writers came up with sketches, Vulture interviewed Conan and found out his favorite bits and the history behind them.
Of course, there’s The Tonight Show and Conan, but nothing will capture the magic that was Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
What do you miss about Late Night? Are you a fan of Conan? Share your thoughts and favorites moments in the comment section.
Posted on September 13, 2013, in Late Night, NBC, Network Television, Talk Shows, TBS and tagged artie kendall, conan, conan o'brien, first episode of late night with conan o'brien, late night, the fedex pope, the tonight show. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.