Conan O'Brien

Conan O'Brien

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Updated Jan 26, 2020 at 03:33AM EST by Y F.

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Conan O’Brien is an American comedian, television host and producer best known for hosting several late-night talk shows for well over two decades, most notably NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien from 1993 to 2009 and TBS' Conan which premiered in November 2010.

Online History

O'Brien began his career in the entertainment industry by joining Saturday Night Live as a staff writer in January 1988 after catching the eyes of Lorne Michael. In 1991, after three years of writing comedy sketches and making cameo appearances on the show, O'Brien left Saturday Night Live to work as a writer and producer for the animated TV sitcom The Simpsons.

Late Night With Conan O'Brien

In April 1993, after working on The Simpsons for two seasons, O'Brien was picked as the host of NBC's late-night talk show Late Night in the light of its predecessor David Letterman's departure from the network. On September 13th, 1993, the pilot episode of Late Night With Conan O’Brien premiered, which was initially met by negative reviews from the critics, many of whom noted that O'Brien, a virtual unknown to the public, appeared too nervous on-camera, or "too smart, too East Coast, too sophisticated, too young and even too tall to be successful." Despite O'Brien's struggle with ratings and critical reception in the beginning, the reception of the show steadily improved over the course of the years. By 2005, Late Night With Conan O'Brien had garnered an average of 2.5 million viewers, and by 2009, it had been widely recognized as one of the most popular shows in the late-night programming bloc on network TV.

The Tonight Show

As early as 2004, O’Brien negotiated a renewal of his contract with NBC which stipulated that he would replace Jay Leno as the host of The Tonight Show in 2009. However, as the planned date of the contractual transition approached near, NBC put forth an alternate proposal offering O'Brien to take over The Tonight Show as the new host, while Leno would retire from the program and host a new nightly primetime talk show. Upon the premiere of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and The Jay Leno Show in June 2009, the network's effort to retain both of its late-night talk show stars quickly crumbled as neither shows were able to attract substantial viewership. As NBC tried to streamline its late-night talk show programs, O'Brien was ultimately asked to start his show at 12:05 a.m. in order to accommodate the adjusted start time of The Jay Leno Show at 11:35 p.m. In January 2010, after several failed attempts at finding the middle grounds, O'Brien announced that he would exit as the host of The Tonight Show as a result.


On November 8th, 2010, O'Brien returned to the late-night talk show circuit as the host of Conan, a brand new talk show that was launched by TBS to court the celebrity comedian and host following his fallout with NBC in the year prior. The show was met by favorable ratings from the critics and viewers alike. As of 2017, O'Brien renewed his contract as the host of Conan through 2022.


Conan has produced viral skits and interviews with his celebrity guests which are uploaded to his youtube channel.

On July 18th, 2014, the Conan youtube channel uploaded a video of O'Brien and celebrity guest Dave Franco using the dating app Tinder. As of August 2017, the video has over 17 million views.


Since his debut as the host of Late Night in 1993, O'Brien has successfully built a dedicated fanbase through his goofy and self-deprecating style of humor, though his public persona reached the status of an icon in the wake of his highly publicized contractual feud with NBC, which ultimately led to his departure from the show and the network. As the drama continued to unravel, an outpour of public backlash against NBC ensued on the social media, including the longtime fans of O'Brien and many others who sympathized with his situation.

"I'm With Coco"

The online backlash soon snowballed into a full-fledged, grassroots campaign on the social media and on the streets in major cities across the United States, with more than a million people joining the TV host's two most prominent fan groups on Facebook, while pro-O'Brien hashtags like #TeamConan and #ImWithCoco began trending on Twitter and elsewhere. One of the most widely circulated images during this time was a poster of Conan O'Brien illustrated by artist Mike Mitchell in the style of the Obama "Hope" poster (shown below).


Conan Is…

Conan is… is a series of YTMND sites based on Conan O'Brien's "alligator snapping jaw" motion on Late Night with Conan O'Brien during an interview with Matthew McConaughey.. In typical fashion, the fad cross-bred with other popular internet memes and fashioned into newer, stronger YTMNDs.

Future Conan

Future Conan is a YTMND fad featuring Conan O'Brien cast in the role of "Big Brother" from George Orwell's 1984 utilizing footage from Late Night With Conan O'Brien and the 1984 Apple Computer Super Bowl commercial.

Dear Internet

Dear Internet is a phrase popularized by Conan, that debuted on January 22nd, 2010, during Conan O'Brien's last Tonight Show, he made a joke about angry people posting online. It began with, "Dear Internet,". Then he stopped and laughed and said, "Does anyone actually say 'Dear Internet'?" The phrase took over the twitterverse in 2010.


O’Brien is known for his awkward, irreverent and self-deprecating style of humor and on-stage persona. Following the retirement of David Letterman in May 2015, O'Brien became the longest-working host of all current late-night talk shows in the United States, at 22 years.


Since 1989, O’Brien has been nominated for 28 Primetime Emmy Awards and won a total of three, one People’s Choice Awards and six Writers Guild of America Awards. O’Brien has been nominated for both writing and hosting.[6]


Personal Life

O’Brien was born on born April 18, 1963, in Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S. After O'Brien graduated as valedictorian in 1981 from Brookline High School he attended Harvard University where he studied history and literature. O’Brien graduated Harvard with magna cum laude in 1985 and shortly began his writing career in L.A.

O’Brien met his wife Elizabeth Ann Powel in 2000 when she wrote for an advertising skit on Late Night. The couple married in 2002 and have 2 children together, a daughter, born October 14,2003) and a son, born on November 9th, 2005.

Victim of Stalking

In 2006, O’Brien became a victim of stalking by Father David Ajemian, who later came in contact with O’Brien’s parents. Ajemian and O’Brien both attended Harvard University at the same time and when Ajemian was denied seats in the Late Night audience he threatened O’Brien writing “Is this the way you treat your most dangerous fans???” Ajemian later tried to enter a taping of Late Night but was caught and arrested. On April 8th, Ajemian pleaded guilty to stalking and was ordered to sign a two-year restraining order for O’Brien.[4]

Search Interest

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Recent Videos 8 total

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Top Comments


"O’Brien met his wife Elizabeth Ann Powel in 2010 when she wrote for an advertising skit on Late Night. The couple married in 2002 and have 2 children together, a daughter, born October 14,2003"

They met after they got married and had children?


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