Conan O’Brien says he owes a lot to David Letterman.
On Wednesdays’ episode of Conan, O’Brien recalled the pressure he was under when he took over NBC’s Late Night from Letterman in 1993. “I got kicked around. Critics despised me, the ratings were bad, my skin broke out, and my network started to make it clear that I probably wouldn’t be around very long,” O’Brien recalled. “I honestly have no ill will about that time because, by and large, people were right.” But four months in, Letterman called up and said he would like to be a guest on O’Brien’s show. Conan said, “It was like the Beatles asking Maury Povich if they could stop by and sing a few tunes. At the time, I was convinced it was a prank —- it couldn’t be real. But, on February 28, 1994, David Letterman walked onto my set and blew the doors off the place. It’s easily one of the happiest nights of my professional life.”