Skip Nav
Award Season
Announcing the 2016 MTV VMA Winners!
Beyonce Knowles
Beyoncé Accepts Her Video of the Year Award With a Very Special Dedication
Beyonce Knowles
Watch Beyoncé Give the Only VMAs Performance You Actually Have to See

Summer Reading: Conan Takes On Tonight

I hope you've got big plans to grill up some food and sip some drinks (ideally with little umbrellas) on this Memorial Day, but if you need some light reading to keep you company, I recommend checking out the New York Times Magazine's take on Conan O'Brien. O'Brien, whom a lot of you have been missing these past few months, steps into The Tonight Show's vaunted hosting seat on June 1, and the Times profile explores whether his brand of humor can work on the legendary show.

Writes reporter Lynn Hirschberg:

O’Brien’s approach to comedy and television is analytical and exact. There’s a split in his psyche: he can be goofy, but he obsesses over the nuances of that goofiness. He’s constantly trying to puzzle out how best to be funny five nights a week for an audience of millions.

To see what makes this piece worth checking out, just


The profile talks about his "Darwinian" approach to crafting a show (and includes some glimpses of early Tonight Show ideas), as well as glimpses of how much serious thought went into O'Brien's last Late Night show back in February. There are also a few revealing tidbits about Jay Leno's move to 10 p.m. after he vacates Tonight — including Leno bragging that, "We can do five of my new show for the cost of one CSI: Miami" and an NBC executive's revelation that he once wanted Oprah to do a five-nights-a-week talk show in primetime and resurrected the idea with Leno instead to get him to stay at NBC.

But my favorite parts of the profile are the ones that really get at what O'Brien's dealing with as he gets ready to take the high-profile spot. In one passage, he says:

"I just have to block that nonsense out. In entertainment, you have to stake out what you think is right, you have to put out that signal, make sure it’s pure and then do it and do it and do it and know that they will come. And if they don’t, you have to pack up your bags and say: 'I enjoyed my time here. Sorry it didn’t work out.' But the biggest mistake would be to alter my signal to make sure that I reach all these different people. Because then you’re lost."

In all, this extended peek into O'Brien's psyche just gets me even more pumped to see what happens when he's behind the desk at The Tonight Show next week. Take a peek and then let me know what you think.

Photo courtesy of NBC

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
penguins268 penguins268 7 years
I'm excited for June 1st! Pearl Jam's playing and I want to start watching Conan. I like him, he's hilarious.
Alexander Skarsgard Talks Drag Queen Photo on Conan Video
Mayim Bialik and Johnny Galecki Kiss on Conan 2016
How Eva Longoria Almost Snapchatted Her Proposal
Conan O'Brien and Kids at the Clippers Game January 2016
Kevin Hart and Ice Cube on Conan O'Brien January 2016
Cindy Crawford Talks George Clooney on Conan O'Brien
Cindy Crawford Hair Flip on Conan

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Entertainment