Conan And His Mario Backdrop May Leave Late Night

Illustration for article titled Conan And His Mario Backdrop May Leave Late Night

Conan O'Brien, the video game friendly host of The Tonight Show, could be leaving the program after only seven months in the seat of NBC's long-running talk show.


Conan O'Brien took over hosting duties for The Tonight Show on June 1st of last year, and within days he was on gamers' radar with his Mario-esque set backdrop. Over the course of the next seven months Conan talked video game sales, teased Tiger Woods, and cast his sidekick as Ezio in Assassin's Creed II.

Now the late-night talk show host is considering leaving the business, thanks to a decision by NBC to push The Tonight Show to 12:05AM in order to make room for Jay Leno's return to late-night television at 11:35PM. Leno originally left The Tonight Show to pursue a primetime comedy show, which has since failed to capture an audience.

Conan feels strongly that moving The Tonight Show to the next day would destroy what the show stands for, and I'd agree. The Tonight Show follows the evening news, and putting a show before it would mean it isn't really The Tonight Show anymore.

Conan released a statement earlier today, discussing the possibility of leaving the show.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn't matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.


You can read the full statement at The New York Times.

Speaking for myself, I'll miss the guy terribly should he go. I feel like I've grown up with The Tonight Show, and Conan O'Brien has brought new life to a show that had been stale for a long time.


He's really going to quit because it's 30 minutes later? I'm not sure if I see his point here. Wasn't he always on the later show before this job? It seems like a bit of an ego thing.