Conan O'Brien returns to 'The Tonight Show' for first time in 14 years: 'It's a weird feeling'

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He found himself on the other side of the desk.

Former late-night TV personality Conan O'Brien returned to “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday for the first time since leaving the job in 2010.

O'Brien, who was on the show to promote his upcoming Max series “Conan O'Brien Must Go,” spent most of his time reminiscing with host Jimmy Fallon, 49, about his time on the show.

Former late-night TV personality Conan O'Brien returned to “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday for the first time since being fired from the job in 2010. nbc

“It's strange to be back” O'Brien, 60 years old, Fallon said. “I haven't been in this building in a long time, and I haven't been on this floor in forever.”

When asked by Fallon if he had flashbacks to his brief stint as host, O'Brien stated that he did have “weird memories” of the studio.

“I mean I was here for 16 years during “Late Night”.' Displays “Before we go out to L.A.,” the funny man said. “All these memories came back to me.”

O'Brien later joked that the same thing would happen to Fallon one day. “When you're 98, you'll move somewhere else and there'll be someone else in the studio,” he said.

“When someone else is in your studio, it's weird,” O'Brien added, joking about The Kelly Clarkson Show taking over his old space.

O'Brien originally interviewed Fallon in 1999.

O'Brien later joked that the same would happen to Fallon one day: “When you're 98, you'll move on and there'll be someone else in the studio.” nbc

“You were my first talk show ever, and I thank you so much,” Fallon said, showing a photo of them talking. “I'm honored to be on your show.”

O'Brien met Fallon's parents at that time.

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“His parents were in the hall, and they were wondering, 'How was Jimmy doing?' O'Brien recalled, prompting the current host to bury his face in his hands and mutter, “Oh my God.”

When asked by Fallon if he had flashbacks to his brief stint as host, O'Brien stated that he did have “weird memories” of the studio. nbc

“So I just said, 'This kid's going to go all the way,'” O'Brien continued.

O'Brien originally hosted the late-night show from 2009 to 2010, but was dropped by NBC when his predecessor Jay Leno decided to return to the program.

Leno, 73, was replaced by Fallon in 2014 and has remained at Rockefeller Center ever since.

The duo also talked about how O'Brien interviewed Fallon in 1999. nbc

The network suggested that they move the show to 12:05 a.m. to accommodate “The Jay Leno Show” at 11:35, but it was immediately shot down by O'Brien.

“My crew and I have worked incredibly hard, and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction.” In a 2010 statement.

“Some people will argue that with DVRs and the Internet, a specific time slot doesn't matter. But with The Tonight Show, I think there's nothing more important.” O'Brien had moved his staff from New York to Los Angeles to head up “The Tonight Show” at the time.

O'Brien originally hosted The Tonight Show from 2009 to 2010 but was dropped by NBC when his predecessor Jay Leno decided to return to the show. © NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

In 2022, Leno appeared on Bill Maher's “Club Random” show and denied the accusations against him. He sabotaged O'Brien's show.

“This doesn't work,” he said. “It doesn't work that way. You try and do your best, and it doesn't work.”

Since his departure from NBC, O'Brien has led the TBS talk show “Conan,” which ran for 11 seasons from 2010 to 2021.

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In 2018, he launched a podcast called “Conan O'Brien needs a friend“, saying that this allowed him to conduct more in-depth interviews.

In O'Brien's new Max series, he will visit new friends in Norway, Thailand, Argentina and Ireland who he met through his podcast, “Conan O'Brien Needs a Fan.”

Conan O'Brien must go“It is scheduled to premiere on Max on April 14.




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