Conan O'Brien continues to believe that everything that happened leading up to his dramatic departure from The Tonight Show was "screwed-up." The former late-night presenter and current podcaster was questioned about the incident involving Jay Leno in 2010 during a conversation with Adweek about his decades-long career.
At this point, O'Brien said, "even trying to explain to people all the numerous ways that I thought that was a screwed-up situation—and in some ways unjust—feels completely foolish and self-indulgent. But that was very significant to me.
In 2009, O'Brien, who had worked at NBC since 1993, was chosen to succeed Leno. However, Leno remained with the network and began his 10 p. As The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien made its premiere at 11:30 p.m., The Jay Leno Show replaced it. After O'Brien was fired after one season due to the failure of Leno's show, Leno retook control of The Tonight Show. (In a current interview, Leno refuted claims that he "deliberately" harmed O'Brien to regain the show.) As social media started to establish itself in popular culture, the restructuring incited criticism online.
"I'll be honest with you—I'm not a seer. No, I'm not a tech pioneer. I don't think in revolutionary terms. How fortunate I am to be alive in 2010, when the internet is just beginning to exercise its full potential. I was entirely unprepared for the online explosion that occurred. I failed to anticipate that, "O'Brien remembered. "People at NBC were at the time—I always see them in their black tower, asking, "How is he doing this?" with disbelief and fury. Set free a further falcon. Hold him off!"
O'Brien said the outcry was not planned by him.
"There were many young individuals who believed it to be nonsense. They also utilise the internet, therefore they started a local movement as a result. From that point on, there was an immediate sentiment of "Let's put on a show for these people," "The comic remembered.
O'Brien took his talent on the road and performed a sold-out tour across the country. Additionally, he relocated to TBS, where he spent 11 seasons hosting Conan.
"It's a fascinating illustration of the saying "use what you've got." Both my sense of humour and who I am as a person did not alter. However, the circumstance quickly went from me leading the illustrious Tonight Show, the longest-running late-night franchise in America, to that's over "said the Emmy winner.
"It concerns adaption. I wasn't looking for any of that craziness with NBC or Leno; I just didn't want any of it. But once it had already happened and this was the scenario, you reacted to it by applying your skills. What is the new reality, and how can you move forward in it?" O'Brien went on. "My current situation is that I am performing in theatres. Hey, this has a significant benefit. This place has a remarkable vibe. Furthermore, compared to a Tonight Show or another such programme, these theatre performances allow for a lot more vaudeville, for lack of a better description. The next question that followed was, "Who would we do the next show for?""
When asked what he wished he known before he began hosting Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 1993, the comedian gave an insightful response.
"I regret not learning about antidepressants sooner. Considering I didn't. The network and television critics were the only ones giving me comments, and it was all quite unfavourable. What I didn't realise for a long was that there were numerous 15- and 16-year-old viewers who had no issues with it. They exclaimed, "Oh my God, this is so strange and odd," right away. These are for me. However, they lacked a means of contact with us "As it was in the days before the internet, O'Brien stated. "I wish I had known that in some way."
"The saving grace," according to O'Brien, was the studio audience.
"I'm by nature a modest person. You don't, though, go through a couple of years like that and work that hard without emerging with some humility and a sense of [having been] fortunate. I constantly remind folks of this. We put a lot of effort into it, but I could have easily left in 1994 and become, as someone once put it, a trivia question "He revealed. "I did everything in my ability to ensure our survival, but we also needed some good fortune. And I didn't provide that. We just got lucky; I don't know where that came from. I'm aware that NBC tried to replace me, but things never quite worked out. When they finally did, someone observed, "You know, it's actually doing pretty well," which was when they realised what had happened."
Then, it appears that O'Brien is still in luck. The host of the Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend podcast just signed a contract with SiriusXM valued at approximately $150 million.