Celebrating Conan O’Brien’s Career: 5 Most Significant Moments

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Celebrating Conan O’Brien’s Career: 5 Most Significant Moments

Celebrating Conan O’Brien’s Career: 5 Most Significant Moments

Conan O’Brien, often referred to as the “elder statesman of late-night TV” by Stephen Colbert, has had an illustrious career spanning nearly three decades. With his recent retirement from late-night television and an upcoming variety show on HBO Max in 2022, it’s the perfect time to look back at the five most significant moments of Conan O’Brien’s career.

From Harvard Lampoon to Saturday Night Live

After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University, Conan O’Brien began his career in comedy by writing for the renowned Harvard Lampoon. This experience led him to join the writer’s room of Saturday Night Live from 1988 to 1991. During his time at SNL, O’Brien created memorable sketches such as Mr. Short-Term Memory and Girl Watchers. Despite his success, he eventually left the show due to burnout, setting the stage for the next chapter in his career.

Writing Memorable Episodes for The Simpsons

Conan O’Brien joined the writing team of The Simpsons during its golden era, penning some of the show’s most iconic episodes, including “New Kid On The Block,” “Homer Goes To College,” and “Marge vs. the Monorail.” Although initially intimidated by the talented writers he worked with, O’Brien quickly found his footing and left an indelible mark on the beloved animated series.

Stepping into the Spotlight with Late Night

When David Letterman left Late Night, Conan O’Brien seized the opportunity to audition as his replacement. Despite a rocky start and harsh criticism, O’Brien persevered, and the show eventually gained commercial and creative success. His tenure on Late Night solidified his status as a formidable presence in the entertainment industry.

The Tonight Show Drama and Feud with Jay Leno

Conan O’Brien’s time as host of the Tonight Show was marred by a public relations disaster involving Jay Leno and NBC. The conflict ultimately led to Leno’s return to the show and O’Brien’s departure from the network. Despite the tumultuous experience, O’Brien remained gracious, urging his audience not to be cynical and to believe in the power of hard work and kindness.

Reinventing Late-Night with Conan and Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend

Following his departure from NBC, Conan O’Brien found a new home at TBS with his self-titled show, Conan. The show pushed boundaries, with O’Brien becoming the first American TV host to visit Cuba in 50 years. After an 11-year run, O’Brien retired from late-night television in 2021. In addition to his TV work, he also launched the successful podcast Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend in 2018, featuring interviews with notable figures such as Barack and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Quentin Tarantino, David Letterman, and Tina Fey.

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