Conan O’Brien opened up about a subject that never seems to go away, which he called the “inevitable clusterf–k” at NBC back in 2010 concerning himself, Jay Leno and who would end up with the “Tonight Show.”
“Without getting into specifics, there were a few people who I felt were not being good human beings,” O’Brien said of the NBC late-night fiasco in an interview with Vulture. “But I see that what happened was an inevitable clusterfuck. I had a bad feeling the minute NBC said, ‘You’re going to go do “The Tonight Show” but Jay’s also going to be on at 10 doing a “Tonight Show” before your “Tonight Show.”’ It’s like when the Bachelor can’t decide: All three of us were not going to fit in that hot tub.”
O’Brien also commented on the recent news that his TBS show is being cut back from an hour to a half-hour in 2019. According to O’Brien, it was more of a creative decision than a business move.
“The truth is that the initial resistance to half an hour came from the business side,” he told Vulture. “They didn’t want to stop selling an hour’s worth of ads. But we’re not going to be giving them less content. We might even be making more content and just putting more of it directly online.”
O’Brien suggests in the interview that the standard hour formula in late-night may be a bit stale, and says the wildly popular travel shows he has been doing “changed my thinking. There was no one standing over me saying, ‘This is what those shows have to be.’ It was just, ‘Let’s go do them.’”
He adds: “I like interviews but does it have to be three guests a night? There are parts of late night-that feel very pro forma. At this stage in my career doing half an hour could shock me into coming up with new stuff.”
We encourage readers to click on the link above to Vulture to read the in-depth interview.