O’Brien appeared on The Tonight Show to promote his HBO Max special. The former talk show host was unceremoniously fired as host of The Tonight Show in 2010.

Conan on Tonight Show

Tuesday night saw the return of former late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien to The Tonight Show. Coming on to promote his special Conan O’Brien Must Go, O’Brien shared hadn’t “been in this building” since he was unceremoniously fired as host of The Tonight Show back in 2010.

Conan on Tonight Show

“All these memories came flooding back to me,”

While not addressing the firing directly, in his interview with current host Jimmy Fallon, O’Brien joked about the time indirectly. When hearing that his old office is now Kelly Clarkson’s the comedian jokingly exclaimed that it was “[b]lasphemy” and “[t]hey should’ve burned it to the ground!”

Why was Conan Fired?

Following the exit of Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show in 2009, Conan took over as host. His hosting stint, however, was short-lived when Leno decided to return to late night. O’Brien was then fired from the job, in what was described as “the biggest television blunder of all time,”

Speaking with Kelly Rippa shortly after the incident, Andy Richter, O’Brien’s late-night sidekick, revealed the then-recently ousted host was taking money out of his own pocket to pay crew members that’d been made unemployed by the firing. There’d been a rumor at the time that O’Brien and company were paid upwards of $47 million.

During an interview with Larry King in 2015, Richter said the studio “just didn’t want to let anybody go,” and those in charge “made decisions and then backed off,”

In that interview, Richter revealed that the network came up with a deal to have a 30-minute show for Jay Leno before Conan’s Tonight Show. Because of the pushback due to Leno’s show, Conan would’ve been pushed back to around midnight. O’Brien ultimately turned the offer down, in a move that Richter said made him “proud” of O’Brien.

O’Brien eventually went on to host Conan on TBS until 2021.

Conan O’Brien Must Go HBO

After ending his talk show, O’Brien created the podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend with his assistant Sona Movsesian. As the podcast began to interview more ordinary people and not just celebrities, O’Brien revealed to Fallon that he had an idea to visit the callers in their home countries. This became the foundational idea of the HBO Max special Conan O’Brien Must Go.

Conan ended the interview with Fallon congratulating the host on all of his success.

“You’ve made it your own,”

The special drops on HBO Max on April 18th.

Are you going to watch Conan’s special?

Published by HOLR Magazine.

Image Credit: @fallontonight Instagram

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