On this day in 2009, Conan O’Brien signed off of the NBC late night show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, for the last time.
O’Brien, who succeeded David Letterman as the Late Night host in 1993, left the later timeslot to replace a reportedly retiring Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show. (Intead of retiring, Leno became host of a weeknight, prime-time program; comedian Jimmy Fallon replaced O’Brien as the Late Night host.)
O’Brien’s appointment was short-lived. Seven months into his Tonight Show tenure, NBC announced plans to move Leno’s prime-time show into The Tonight Show‘s 11:35 p.m. timeslot, and move O’Brien to a later spot. O’Brien countered by resigning from his hosting duties. In November 2010, O’Brien debuted a new late-night program, Conan, on TBS, and in January of 2019 his retooled, downsized version of the show premiered.</span>