Set the DVR’s! For the first time in thirteen years, Conan O’Brien will be visiting David Letterman. The reunion takes place on Thursday, May 17.
Brookline native O’Brien, who had been a writer for both Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, began his talk show career in 1993, taking over hosting duties when Letterman left Late Night on NBC. Letterman’s not so amicable exit from NBC came about when the network passed him over and instead hired Jay Leno as Johnny Carson’s successor to The Tonight Show. Letterman jumped to CBS and went head to head with Leno in the late night ratings war until Leno left The Tonight Show in 2009.
When Leno left the show to move to prime time, O’Brien became the new host and he and Letterman vied for the same viewers. But in another not so amicable move, NBC bumped O’Brien and The Tonight Show from the 11:35 pm. time slot to 12:05 a.m. when Leno decided he wanted to return to late night because of his less than impressive prime time ratings. O’Brien, unhappy with the network’s plan and what he felt would be the demise of the show, walked away, leaving Leno to take the helm again.
This will be O’Brien’s fifth time as Letterman’s guest. Given the common bond the two share in their experiences, the audience should probably expect a barb of two to be thrown in Jay Leno’s direction.
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