Conan O'Brien Returns to The Tonight Show After 14-Year Hiatus

Late-night television icon Conan O'Brien returns to The Tonight Show.

by Zain ul Abedin
Conan O'Brien Returns to The Tonight Show After 14-Year Hiatus
© Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Conan O'Brien, the beloved comedian and former host of The Tonight Show, is set to make a triumphant return to the late-night talk show circuit. After a 14-year hiatus, O'Brien will grace the stage of The Tonight Show once again, this time as a guest on Jimmy Fallon's program.

The much-anticipated appearance, scheduled for April 9, is part of O'Brien's promotional tour for his upcoming Max series, "Conan O'Brien Must Go." Joining O'Brien on the April 9 episode will be actress Nicole Richie and musical guest Benson Boone, promising an evening of entertainment and laughter for viewers.

Tonight Show Turmoil

O'Brien's history with The Tonight Show is a storied one. After taking over hosting duties from Jay Leno in 2009, O'Brien's tenure was cut short when Leno reclaimed his position as host in 2010. The network's proposal to push The Tonight Show's time slot to 12:05 a.m.

was met with resistance from O'Brien, who ultimately departed from the show. Despite the setback, O'Brien wasted no time in bouncing back, securing his own talk show on TBS, which aired for an impressive 11 seasons from 2010 to 2021.

Reflecting on the tumultuous transition, Leno recently addressed speculation about his role in O'Brien's departure during an interview on Bill Maher's Club Random podcast. Denying any intentional sabotage, Leno emphasized the unpredictable nature of television dynamics, stating, "You try and do the best you can and it didn't work." Leno's version of The Tonight Show, which aired from 1992 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2014, paved the way for Fallon's successful tenure as host, which began in 2014 and continues to this day.

O'Brien's return to The Tonight Show symbolizes a full-circle moment in his illustrious career, showcasing his resilience and enduring appeal in the world of late-night television. Fans can eagerly anticipate a night of nostalgia and laughter as O'Brien takes his rightful place back in the late-night spotlight.
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.