Conan O’Brien: A Talk Show Host Who Redefines Humor

Related Articles

Conan O’Brien: A Talk Show Host Who Redefines Humor

For more than 20 years, Conan O’Brien has been an icon on the late-night television circuit. O’Brien, born April 18, 1963 in Brookline, MA, is most well-known for hosting his own eponymous, continuing talk show, Conan, which first aired on TBS in 2010, but his career has spanned network television, cable, and digital media. O’Brien is one of the leading comedic voices today and is beloved by millions of fans around the world for his clever and irreverent brand of humor.

Early Career

O’Brien began his career in 1985 when he wrote for the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He then wrote for various other comedy TV shows and films, including The Simpsons, where he served as a writer and producer from 1991-1996. O’Brien was eventually hired as a writer and producer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1993, and the show went on the air in September of that year. It was this show that launched O’Brien’s career and made him a true household name in the United States.

Late Night with Conan O’Brien

O’Brien’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien show was a combination of talk show and sketch comedy, with a focus on “ironic wit” and surrealism. During the show’s lengthy run (1993-2009), O’Brien became a beloved figure in the world of talk show hosts and made a name for himself through his unique and often unpredictable brand of entertainment. He was well-known for his quirky “24-hour Energy Drink” sketches, his mock outrage-delivered segments, and even his improvisations. He was praised by critics as a talented writer and performer, as well as a master at creating memorable catchphrases and continuously making the viewer’s laugh.

The “Late Night” Legacy

O’Brien’s Late Night show lasted 16 years and was one of the longest running late night television shows in history. It consistently rated high and was never overshadowed by its competition. It received 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, among many other awards. While it was on the air, Late Night became one of the most influential shows of its time due to its groundbreaking format and O’Brien’s clever writing and delivery.

Conan’s Move to TBS

In 2009, O’Brien made the move from NBC to the cable network TBS, where he started the new show, simply titled Conan. In this show, O’Brien continued to make use of the same type of “ironic wit” featured in his NBC show, while also incorporating more sketches, celebrity guests, and digital media elements like YouTube videos. This “updating” of the late night talk show format allowed O’Brien’s show to reach viewers in more progressive ways, and thus stay relevant in a steadily changing entertainment industry. O’Brien also created a popular YouTube channel in 2016.

Reinvention and Recent Projects

Recently, O’Brien has gone beyond television, creating his own online series, podcast and comedy tour. O’Brien kicked off his very first comedic tour, “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour” in May 2010, shortly after his move to TBS. The tour featured O’Brien telling stories from his career, as well as stand-up bits and impersonations of popular celebrities. When the tour finished in June 2011, O’Brien started a bi-weekly podcast that features stories from his life and interviews with guests from the entertainment and media industries.

O’Brien also began his own travel/talk show for TBS titled, Conan Without Borders in 2015. The show featured O’Brien traveling to countries around the world and interacting with people who live in different places. This show was critically acclaimed and won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special.

O’Brien recently wrote and produced a special, titled “Conan O’Brien & The Legally Prohibited Band Reunited” in 2018. The special features guest appearances from all of O’Brien’s band members from his late-night show, including Andy Richter and “The Legally Prohibited Band.”

Classic Conans Jokes

No discussion of Conan O’Brien’s career would be complete without a mention of his wonderful one-liners and comedic bits. From “The Walking Dead: The Musical” to his “Strip Atari” game show, O’Brien has always elevated the conversation with an unique take on jokes and pop culture. Here are some of his most beloved lines over the years:

  1. “It’s time to take the knowledge that I have acquired and bestow it upon you, but not in the traditional sense, like a teacher or loving father would…more like a lazy older brother.”

  2. “I’m certainly not anti-religion; I’ve attended church services, volunteered for Meals-on-Wheels, and I only had minimal manslaughter charges from Operation Desert Storm.”

  3. “I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade…And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.”

  4. “I’m happy to be with you, unless of course I’m not. I’m happy to be here, or possibly not.”

  5. “You can’t have everything…where would you put it?”

  6. “They say that when one door closes, another one opens. But I find that I’m more comforted by a window than a door. That way, I can still see the door that was closed.”

O’Brien Today

Conan O’Brien is a trailblazer in the comedy world and the acclaimed host of a late-night talk show that consistently entertains millions of viewers around the world. He has won Emmys and numerous other awards, and his jokes and sketches still resound even with the younger generation. O’Brien’s latest two books, also titled Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend and To Binge or Not To Binge, were both bestsellers, and his talk show continues to air on TBS. Whether O’Brien is hosting his own show, having a chat with celebrity guests, or entertaining on the road, he has continued to redefine humor, and will continue to do so for many decades to come.

More on this topic



Popular stories