Is Conan O’Brien Returning To The Tonight Show 14 Years After Being Fired? Find Out

The Tonight Show will once again welcome Conan O’Brien back as a guest to promote his upcoming Max series’ Conan O’Brien Must Go.

Published on Apr 06, 2024  |  01:52 PM IST |  79.5K
Conan O'Brien Is Making A Comeback To The Tonight Show After 14 Years
Conan O'Brien (PC: Getty Images)

The 60-year-old comic, who briefly hosted the show from 2009 to 2010, will make his comeback as a guest on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night talk show. April 9th is his episode that will appear as part of O’Brien’s press tour for his next Max series, Conan O’Brien Must Go.

Conan O’Brien is finally coming to the Tonight Show

The episode airing on April 9th will also include Nicole Richie and musical guest Benson Boone. Conan O’Brien hosted The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien on NBC for two seasons before being let go. When former host Jay Leno decided to come back to television in 2010, O’Brien was abruptly fired from the program. O’Brien was against the network’s proposal to move The Tonight Show’s start time by half an hour to 12:05 p.m. 

Conan O'Brien

He remarked, in part, in a statement at the time, “I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it.”

“My staff and I have worked unbelievably 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. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.”


Jay Leno

O’Brien recovered swiftly, landing his talk show on TBS under the same name, which ran for 11 seasons from 2010 to 2021. In a 2022 interview with Bill Maher’s Club Random podcast, Leno discussed the switch and refuted claims that he “deliberately sabotaged” O’Brien’s chance to host the show. Leno remarked, “That doesn’t work. That isn’t how it operates. You made every effort, but it was ineffective.” The Tonight Show with Jay Leno ran from 1992 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2014. Fallon, 49, succeeded Leno as host in 2014 and has remained in that role ever since. 

What happened to O’Brien?

Conan O’Brien, who had just taken over as the host of “The Tonight Show,” stepped down from his position when the network announced that they would be shifting the show to a different time slot and bringing back Jay Leno. This decision caused NBC to face a lot of criticism, but it also sparked a surge of public support for O’Brien and resulted in some truly outstanding late-night humor.


NBC made every effort to erase O’Brien from the public eye by obtaining a $32 million settlement and a new cable show. They also obtained a legal injunction that prevented him from speaking negatively about the network, giving interviews, or appearing on television until recently.

Conan O'Brien

He thought that going back to work would be the best form of recovery after leaving The Tonight Show in January and taking some time off at home to contemplate his future. He assembled a big team of ex-colleagues, set up a Twitter profile, and began planning a nationwide comedy tour, a fresh venture for him and one of the limited activities he was allowed to pursue.

ALSO READ: Which Of The Friends Cast Members Have Kids? Meet The Children Of The Sitcom Stars

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