After 28 years with his own daily late night talk show, Conan O’Brien is moving onto the next thing. Luckily, we now know what that next thing is!
Today, Conan announce he’ll be ending his stint as the host of Conan on TBS after 11 years. Prior to this, he of course hosted Late Night with Conan O’Brien from 1993 until 2009 and then The Tonight Show from 2009 until 2010. With O’Brien leaving TBS, this now makes Jimmy Kimmel the elder statesman in the late night world.
However, he isn’t going very far. Warner Media brass also announced that O’Brien will host a weekly variety series on HBO Max. Additionally, he will still be doing his Conan Without Borders travel show, though it’s unclear when the show will be able to return given the pandemic.
“In 1993 Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: ‘As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform.’ I’m thrilled that I get to continue doing whatever the hell it is I do on HBO Max, and I look forward to a free subscription,” says O’Brien.
“28 years is a monumental achievement in late-night television,” said Brett Weitz, General Manager for TNT, TBS and truTV. “We’re incredibly proud of the groundbreaking work that Conan and his team have accomplished during the 10 years at TBS and are so glad that we will continue to have his presence on our air with the Conan Without Borders specials. We celebrate his success and are glad to see it grow across our WarnerMedia family.”
“Conan’s unique brand of energetic, relatable, and at times, absurdist, comedy has charmed late-night audiences for nearly three decades. We can’t wait to see what he and the rest of Team Coco will dream up for this brand new, variety format each week,” said Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer, HBO and HBO Max.
This move isn’t actually all that surprising. When O’Brien launched his podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend in 2018, it felt like it was almost as if this was starting a new phase in his pretty impressive career. And in subsequent interviews, O’Brien hinted that he may not be hosting his talk show for much longer. Add onto his hour show restructuring to a half hour and a larger digital footprint, the sea change was coming for a while now.
Nevertheless, the important thing to take away is that Conan O’Brien isn’t going anywhere soon. And that’s definitely the best news of the day!