Conan O’Brien is tired of sitting at a desk. In 2019, O’Brien is abandoning the traditional late-night show formula for his TBS show “Conan,” trimming his 60-minute series by 30 minutes for a less structured program with fewer guests and more original comedy segments.
As part of the joint venture with the network, O’Brien will create television, digital and social content and host live events. The first live event will come later this year when he embarks on a multi-city tour to feature new stand-up comedians.
There’s no clear idea of what the show would look like in this new format, O’Brien said in a Thursday morning conference call with several journalists. But he said he wants to have the option of being more agile and showcase what he says makes “Conan” stand apart from the other late-night shows.
“At this stage in my career, what I’d like to do is do much more of the stuff that I’ve loved or that I’m passionate about,” he said.
The popular hour-long segment “Conan Without Borders” that started with a “guerrilla-style” trip to Cuba will continue, the network said. O’Brien said that first trip was one catalyst that motivated him to think about alternative formats for the show.
“That was almost a religious experience for me,” he said. “It completely changed my opinion about what these shows can be.”
The network also announced “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and “Conan” will be available digitally on teamcoco.com in the fall. O’Brien was particularly pleased by that announcement.
“I don’t recall being as happy...and I have two children,” O’Brien joked.