Conan O’Brien has been in the late-night game for 25 years, making him one of the longest-serving figures in late-night history. During Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event, O’Brien, who hosts his self-titled Conan show on TBS, says his “career has been a freak show.”
O’Brien says many have asked him for advice on how to get where he is in his career, and he doesn’t have an answer — because there really isn’t one. “That’s like me explaining how I got hit by a meteor,” he said onstage at the packed DGA Theater. “So many improbable things happened.”
He recalls his late-night audition 25 years ago when they surprised him with an interview segment where he had to interview Mimi Rogers and Jason Alexander. In the video of the interview, he points out that he was “so goddam relaxed because I had no chance — I haven’t been relaxed since.”
O’Brien says he is happy he has inspired a class of young comedians with his show and his work. “That’s all I ever wanted,” he said.
“The thing we have been trying to do is to make the show something that I am excited to do in 2018 as I was in 1993,” he said. “That means constantly trying to challenge yourself.”
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