After 28 years in Late Night, Conan O’Brien is ending his show. He will be starting a new travel series on HBO Max. Conan has had a storied career of ups and downs. Eventually becoming the elder statesmen of the industry.
Conan took over for David Letterman in 1993. He hosted “Late Night” on NBC until 2009. He was then given the coveted “The Tonight Show,” previously hosted by Jay Leno. Drama ensued as Leno returned, causing Conan to lose his job. He and his staff moved to LA to continue his talk show at TBS under the name “Conan” and adopting the fandom name Team Coco. The show struggled on the basic cable channel, but his loyal fans kept it alive. Team Coco grabbed the younger audiences that were not typical Late Night viewers. He would often attend Comic-con, review new games, and try wild stunts. A highlight of the series was the primetime specials where they would travel to other countries as clueless tourists. In 2019, the show was reduced to a 30-minute time slot. With Covid, most of the show was Conan and sidekick, Andy Richter, chatting in an empty theater. After a long career, it was time to hang up the towel.
Conan isn’t going away though! He is getting a new travel series on HBO Max. There are few details, but it’s likely going to be similar to the primetime specials from TBS. The team may stay together as Conan has always looked out for his crew. During the move from New York to LA, he paid for the employees moving costs. When the pandemic hit, Conan started Zoom segments to keep them employed. Team Coco is a tight crew and likely moving to HBO with the boss.
Conan is a legend in the Late Night and comedy writing communities. From Simpson’s writer to the veteran of his industry. His show will be missed but not forgotten. He was inspired by Letterman and improved on those antics. The industry has been changed because of him. Thank you Conan and Team Coco for a great 28 years.