Conan O’Brien to Return to ‘The Tonight Show’ as Guest

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The comedian served as the show’s host from June 2009 to January 2010 before being unceremoniously replaced by Jay Leno

While many of us know how the story goes, here’s a quick recap for those who may have forgotten: After debuting on The Tonight Show in June 2009, Conan O’Brien was abruptly ousted from his dream job after being on air for a brief seven months. He was unceremoniously replaced by Jay Leno in January 2010 (which Rolling Stone likened at the time as the comedy-world equivalent of being jilted at the altar for a Jersey Shore cast member) and hasn’t set foot on the NBC franchise’s stage since.

Now, multiple outlets have reported that the comedy legend is set to return on Jimmy Fallon’s iteration of the show, with a guest appearance scheduled for April 9. Variety noted that O’Brien is currently promoting his travelogue series, Conan O’Brien Must Go, which releases on Max on April 18. Although O’Brien appeared in a pre-recorded skit for The Tonight Show, this will be his first time visiting in-person to the program.

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Following his 2010 departure, O’Brien would go on to helm his flagship TBS late-night talk show Conan for an 11-season run. The series finale aired June 2021 — featuring guests Will Ferrell and Jack Black, and took place in front of a live audience at Los Angeles’ iconic club Largo.

“It’s hard to believe, it’s hard to say, it’s our final show on TBS,” he told the crowd, adding he’d done “4,000 hours of television. O’Brien continued, “Every night, I always said, ‘Tonight we have a really great show,’ and I have to tell you I was often lying. But tonight we really do have a great show! And if we don’t, what are you going to do about it? I’ll be long gone.”

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