Conan O’Brien Q&A: ‘Conan’
Conan O'Brien is certainly no stranger to the Emmy Awards. He is a three-time champ from his 23 nominations. He also hosted the ceremony for NBC to great reviews in both 2002 and 2006. More recently he hosted the MTV Movie Awards last spring, and in our recent webcam chat he discussed the differences: "When I've hosted the Emmys and other shows, I would say there were some people who were living during the Reagan administration, but when you host the MTV Movie Awards, it is completely different and it is extremely young."
His career began when he joined the writing staff at "Saturday Night Live" in 1989 and shared in an Emmy win soon thereafter. He left in 1991 to write for the upstart animated series "The Simpsons" and stayed two years before receiving an unexpected offer.
Lorne Michaels, his former boss at "SNL," convinced NBC to hire the very inexperienced performer to be the new host of "Late Night" when David Letterman was departing in 1993. He went on lead that programming staple for 16 years and won his second Emmy for writing the program in 2007.
The big trouble spot in his career came when he took over as the host of "The Tonight Show" after Jay Leno in 2009. He only lasted seven months suffering declining ratings and network apathy.
O'Brien has been hosting late night talk show "Conan" for TBS since 2010, with longtime sidekick Andy Richter. His most recent Emmy victory came in 2012 for that program's interactive media.
He hopes to once again compete for Best Variety Series. Of the competition, he says, "Look at our category now. Our category keeps expanding every year. Now it's unbelievable! I think there's 700 different types of show in the variety and music category. I looked it up, and there's shows like 'Key and Peele,' 'Portlandia.' We're always up against Barbra Streisand. Anytime she leaves the house, she's in that category. I'm up against the History Channel's 'World War II in Color.' How do you go up against World War II? You're not just going up against the Germans, you're going up against the Germans, the Russians, the Americans, and the British and the French. How do you win that category?"