After a short-lived run as the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien escaped Jay Leno’s blue jeans-stained clutches and set up shop on TBS, where Conan has aired for the last 10 years. But the nightly talk show is coming to an end in 2021, as O’Brien is once again on the move, this time to HBO Max for a weekly variety series.
“In 1993 Johnny Carson gave me the best advice of my career: ‘As soon as possible, get to a streaming platform.’ I’m thrilled that I get to continue doing whatever the hell it is I do on HBO Max, and I look forward to a free subscription,” O’Brien said in a statement. HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys added, “Conan’s unique brand of energetic, relatable, and at times, absurdist, comedy has charmed late-night audiences for nearly three decades. We can’t wait to see what he and the rest of Team Coco will dream up for this brand new, variety format each week.” Conan Without Borders will continue on TBS.
Between Late Night, The Tonight Show, and Conan, O’Brien has been a nightly talk show fixture for nearly 30 years (and a TV staple for even longer, dating back to his days as a writer for SNL and The Simpsons). He’s not going anywhere, not with the HBO Max variety series, but this feels like the end of a “Walker Level”-era nonetheless.