Conan O’Brien Reveals He Visited His Old Studio During First Appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’ Since 2010 Firing

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It’s been over a decade since Conan O’Brien’s final episode of The Tonight Show aired, but the comedian returned to the show for the first time since 2010 on Tuesday, April 9. Conan, 60, looked back on his time hosting the show and Late Night while chatting with current Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon. As he made his return to 30 Rock, Conan revealed that he revisited where he used to film. “It’s weird to come back. It’s weird. I haven’t been in this building for such a long time, and I haven’t been on this floor in forever,” he said.

Conan said that as he was walking through the halls of the building “all these memories came flooding back to me,” and he decided to pay his old studio a visit.  “Someone else will be in this studio. When someone else is in your studio, it feels weird. So I walked in, and I said, ‘Who’s in my old studio?’ They said, ‘Kelly Clarkson.’ I love Kelly Clarkson. Who doesn’t love Kelly Clarkson?” he said, before giving a dramatic re-enactment of how it felt. “But still, I felt like: it’s not right! Blasphemy! They should’ve burned it to the ground!”

Jimmy chimed in to offer his own thoughts. “It should be a museum!” he said.

Conan said that the “Since U Been Gone” singer came to greet him outside of The Kelly Clarkson Show studio, but he was still in a state of shock seeing his old studio. “Then Kelly came out to say hi, and I said, ‘Don’t talk to me! You make me sick!’” he joked.

While there was some well-documented conflict when Conan made his exit from The Tonight Show in 2010, he seemed like he was in good spirits as he made his return, even jokingly chiding the audience for giving him a standing ovation and taking up his time. “I know you meant well, but I had The Tonight Show for 10 minutes, and you just ate into my time!” he quipped.

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Conan was the host of Late Night from 1993 to 2009. After longtime Tonight Show host Jay Leno moved to primetime, Conan took over hosting duties. However, shortly after they each moved timeslots, ratings were down, and NBC executives made plans to move Jay’s show back into The Tonight Show timeslot, while Conan’s Tonight Show was changed to after midnight. Conan’s final episode of the show was in January 2010. Jay returned to The Tonight Show later that year, where he remained until 2014, when Jimmy Fallon took over.


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