The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien premiered ten years in the past at this time.

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien premiered ten years in the past at this time. 1

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien premiered ten years in the past at this time.

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  1. We can just about thank this entire Conan/Leno saga for Community getting extra time to build an audience (and also probably Parks and Recreation as well).

    Because Leno had his prime time show axed and pushed Conan out of the Tonight Show, NBC had a ton of extra time to fill in primetime, so they ordered a few additional episodes of many of their shows during the 2009/10 season. One of those extra episodes that was produced was Modern Warfare – the paintball episode that arguably put Community on the cult show map. They needed an episode that could slide in without screwing up the storyline that was already written for the finale.

    Not only that, but NBC renewed most of its shows early that season without any fuss so Community got Season 2 renewed in March – the only season it didn’t have to worry about getting cancelled or getting its creator fired or rehired.

    So Conan got screwed, but Community got a signature episode and a second season in exchange. [This may have been their ‘thank you’](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48yo5_MzS_I). That and the guy who played Starburns was a writer and performer on Conan’s Late Night show.

  2. For those interested, in addition to Conan’s podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend”, there’s also “Inside Conan: An Important Hollywood Podcast”, hosted by his long time head writer Mike Sweeney, and current Conan writer Jessie Gaskell. They interview current and former cast and crew of Conan’s shows, including Jordan Schlansky, Jimmy Pardo, Allison Silverman, Deon Cole, and many others. It’s a great way to get a glimpse behind the scenes.

  3. I’ve been watching Conan since I was twelve. I will never not hate Leno for what a slime ball he was in this situation. (However, I think the current iteration of Conan is absolutely ideal in ways The Tonight Show would never have been.)

  4. There is no one in late night that replace Conan. Word is Fallon is in trouble. What an awful mistake by NBC.

  5. I grew up watching Conan late at night around 2002 or 2003 when I was in HS. That was some fine television. I remember when he got the Tonight Show job and I closely followed the drama that went down as NBC became impatient with the lack of progress and eventually canned him.

    Late Night with Conan initially suffered from poor ratings, so poor that they often joked about cancellation and Conan was not sure if the show would last. Conan to me is that type of comic. The more you watch of him, the more you get used to his quirkiness. Someone with very little hosting experience needed time to adjust. Remember Conan and Mr. T. “I’ve been on the air for ten years” “Yeah but you only been funny for 7.”

    I thought they would give him the same leeway when he started the LA show but NBC was not patient enough. Leno was phased out into doing his show at 10 PM which was so bad and sinking ratings that affiliate news broadcasts started complaining. So they canned that Leno disaster and now Leno needs somewhere to work. Cue Tonight Show, a prime target due to ratings drama. If they had just given Conan leeway to do his thing, there wouldn’t be no drama. Instead NBC was like, “Get outta here, we’re gonna give Jay his job back.”

    The Tonight Show with Conan was not typical. Conan isn’t typical. Conan wasn’t a pandering asshole like Fallon who laughs at everything and sucks up to guests and has dumb skits like racing puppies or slow boxing the news or whatever he does. Those games are not entertaining. They’re annoying! Conan was a bit quirky and his monologues were hit or miss but you could depend on a decent laugh every night from him and the writing staff. Plus the remotes were always classic. He was really done wrong by an impatient NBC eager to give Jay his spot back. If Jay had just retired then and there maybe we don’t have this discussion.

  6. Love Conan, but this show didn’t work. Glad he found a comfortable home, and here’s hoping he fulfills his destiny and does an irreverent travel show full time to end his tv career.

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