Conan O’Brien Explains How Charlie Rose Made Him So Depressed He Had To Hide Under His Desk

Because fate hates everyone, it decided that the most talented late-night host of all time should also be done the dirtiest. Yet long before his ascension to the big desk at The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien took over for David Letterman’s old digs hosting Late Night With Conan O’Brien. It’s the show that most fans grew to love him in, but it was a rocky start in the apparently high stakes of past-midnight chat programming.

Near its launch, Washington Post critic Tom Shales wrote a scathing takedown of the show, aiming most of the vitriol at “fidgety marionette” O’Brien, only being charitable enough to say he should be the head writer but not the star. On his latest appearance on Howard Stern‘s show, O’Brien detailed how Charlie Rose read the review during their interview for some reason and the embarrassment was enough to make him lie down under his office desk for some alone time before getting back into the groove.

“From underneath the desk, I said ‘I’m fine, I just need to lie here under the desk for a while. I’ll start having meetings in ten minutes.’ That, to me, is when the needle got to the lowest,” O’Brien said. He followed up the anecdote with wisdom from his father, who told him at the time, “If you can survive this, it’s gonna make the whole story that much better.”

For even more wisdom, O’Brien revealed that Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks are two of his all-time favorite guests because they put in the work and were gracious to the entire team. They came early, brought ideas, and learned all the camera operators’ names. Charlie Rose would probably never do such things!

(via Howard Stern)