It’s the end of an era as Conan O’Brien has set a date for the end of his run as a television talk show host. On Monday, Team Coco announced that Conan on TBS will air its final episode on the network on June 24 after an 11-season run. The good news is that O’Brien isn’t through with entertaining us just yet, as he’ll next produce a weekly variety talk show that’s in the works at HBO Max.
“A very old Buddhist monk once told me that to pick something up, you must first put something down,” Conan O’Brien said in a statement. “I’ll be honest with you, he was drunk out of his skull and very belligerent. And I maintain you can pick up two things if you use both hands. He just got mad and started swinging at me, so I ended the conversation and took his advice.”
Noting that he’s “very proud” of everything the Conan team accomplished at TBS, O’Brien added: “And so what I’d like is I’d like these last couple of weeks to be a fond look back at all the absurd madness that my team and I have concocted,” he said. “Best of all, I just want to point out, there will be shockingly few, if any, references to Donald Trump because that’s always been my favorite kind of comedy.”
It should be noted that the comedian will still work with the network, as O’Brien will continue to make his Conan Without Borders specials for TBS. Additionally, he’ll still be working on his podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. His upcoming HBO Max series is described as the “fourth iteration” of O’Brien’s show, but the format will be noticeably different compared to the traditional television talk show. On Monday’s episode of Conan, the comedian further elaborated on the decision to make the move to streaming.
“We are winding down our TBS show,” O’Brien said. “The plan is to reemerge on HBO Max sometime in the near future with I think what will be my fourth iteration of the program. Imagine a cooking show with puppets, and you’ll have the wrong idea.”
Those of us who were there at the time will almost certainly remember the late-night TV fiasco involving O’Brien and Jay Leno. After hosting Late Night since 1993, O’Brien was tapped by NBC to replace Leno on The Tonight Show in 2009. Months later, the controversial decision was made at the network to move Conan back out of that spot by bringing Leno back again, leading to O’Brien leaving the network entirely. He launched Conan on TBS soon after and remains grateful for the cable network giving him the opportunity.
“For 11 years the people at Turner have been absolutely lovely to me,” O’Brien said on Conan. He also teased a fun look back in the show’s final remaining episodes with various special guests, culminating in an hour-long series finale on June 24. It will be interesting to see what else O’Brien can do on a streaming service like HBO Max which provides less restrictions than something like TBS. This news comes to us from Vanity Fair.
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