Conan O’Brien Talks ‘The Tonight Show,’ Humility, and Traveling the World for His TBS Show

conan_in_cubaIf you’re a Conan O’Brien fan, The Washington Post has a great interview out today with the late night host that covers his entire career, from his Simpsons and SNL days to his rocky start as host of Late Night to his short reign as Tonight Show host to his recent success going international for special remote episodes of his TBS series. The interview is full of great quotes; here’s O’Brien explaining why he doesn’t play games with guests on his show:

“I don’t have anything personally against anyone doing that. That’s just not my thing, and it wouldn’t be organic. It wouldn’t look right,” O’Brien says. “I don’t want to make Dame Judi Dench ride a pogo stick. If Dame Judi Dench shows up and says, ‘By the way, I happen to love riding my pogo stick,’ great! But I don’t want to make her ride a pogo stick. Because when she falls, then we’re at war with Britain and it’s my fault.”

Will Ferrell reflecting on NBC’s choice to move Conan’s Tonight Show time slot:

“Conan really represented our comedy, our kind of viewpoint, our comedic style for a whole generation of comedians,” Ferrell says. “And NBC in a sense was basically saying: ‘Nope, this doesn’t work. You guys aren’t funny enough for this slot.’ They just weren’t giving it enough time to develop and find its footing, and it felt like a real kind of slap in the face.”

O’Brien on humility:

“I’m not here to say, ‘You’ve gotta check out me, see, I’m the bee’s knees! I’ve got it all, I’m Conan O’Brien!’ I’ve never had that instinct.”

O’Brien on his current perspective on his career:

“I have a picture of me with Johnny Carson in 1993; we’re both wearing silver suits with red ties, which is just an accident. We’re both laughing, and I look like a 14-year-old girl,” O’Brien says, smiling at the memory. “I love that photo because I look at that sometimes and think: ‘You have no idea what you’re in for. But it’s all going to be fine. It’s going to be bumpy, but it’s going to be fine. And you’re going to have a lot of fun.’”

Check out the rest of the interview over at The Washington Post.

From Our Partners