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Ahead Of Conan O'Brien's New Max Series, He's Reportedly Returning To The Tonight Show After 14 Years

 Conan O'Brien with hands in pockets for Conan O'Brien must go.
Conan O'Brien with hands in pockets for Conan O'Brien must go.

One of the all-time great late night talk show hosts$ of any era, Conan O'Brien stepped away from that TV format with the final episode of TBS' Conan airing in 2021. Now, he's set to make his streaming debut with the four-part travel series Conan O'Brien Must Go, which will arrive for viewers with Max subscriptions on April 18. But before that? It appears as if he’ll be heading back to his old temporary stomping grounds at The Tonight Show.

The last time Conan O’Brien took hit up the Tonight Show stage in person was for the final episode of his short-lived stint as host, which aired in January 2010. Understandably, he wasn’t all that eager to return in the years that followed, considering he left NBC entirely and moved his entertainment empire over to TBS. But according to the talk show-geared LateNighter, he’s set to make his return to the New York studio to promote his new series, with the episode reportedly airing on Tuesday, April 9.

O’Brien’s 2024 return to The Tonight Show technically won’t be the first time audiences see his face during an episode, since he has technically appeared on there via video clip. Back in 2018, the Conan Needs a Friend host helped craft a video with Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert, in response to then-POTUS Donald Trump’s comments about the late night talents, which aired across both the NBC and CBS series.

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Conan O'Brien on Conan on TBS
Conan O'Brien on Conan on TBS

Conan O'Brien: 11 Funny Movie And TV Show Cameos By The Talk Show Host

As many late night enthusiasts will remember, Conan O’Brien was at the center of one of the wildest and most unfortunate transitions for any kind of TV show, when he took over the reins of hosting The Tonight Show from then-exiting comedian Jay Leno. His first episode aired on June 1, and due to a ratings decline and network execs inability to figure out where else to put Jay Leno, they essentially gave O’Brien and his staff a $45 million severance check on January 21, 2010, and the final episode aired the following day.

To the surprise of no one, Conan O’Brien did not return to those hallowed halls as a guest during the next four years with Jay Leno back behind the desk. However, it seems clear that O’Brien’s feelings about Leno didn’t extend to the latter’s successor. He appeared in 2011 on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night, which the latter took over as host after O’Brien made the leap to the headlining series. (After unsuccessfully trying to change the show’s name to Nighty Night.) Fallon dropped by Conan that same year for his own appearance.

For all intents and purposes, it doesn’t seem like the former Simpsons writer has any bad blood with Fallon, so it’s awesome that Conan O’Brien is back at a place where he’d feel comfortable going back to a place that likely doesn’t inspire the best memories. Here’s hoping Jay Leno does not make a cameo appearance.

Two days after the Tonight Show spot, on April 11, the comedian is set to be honored with a Paley Center special event dubbed “Globetrotting and Podcasting: Conan O’Brien’s Life After Late-Night TV,” which will host a screening of an episode of Conan O’Brien Must Go, followed by an in-person conversation with the host.

Remember to check out that Tonight Show ep on Tuesday, April 9, ahead of Conan O'Brien Must Go's Max premiere on Thursday, April 18. Head to our 2024 TV schedule to see what other new and returning shows are popping up soon.