Conan O’Brien’s TBS Show Gets a Modern Makeover

Photo: Rob Kim (Getty Images) 

Conan O’Brien is a comedy tour-de-force, and TBS knows it. Last year the cable network and O’Brien expanded their partnership spanning television, digital, social, and live events via O’Brien’s production company Team Coco. Since then, the comedian has been busier than ever.

O’Brien recently wrapped his multi-city live tour Conan & Friends, launched his new podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, and aired the latest installment in the Conan Without Borders series. After a three-month hiatus, O’Brien is now returning to his late-night talk show hosting duties on TBS’ Conan with a brand-new format on Jan. 22, 2019.

Conan O'Brien

Photo: TBS

The revamped version of O’Brien’s nightly series has been cut down to half-hour episodes and will feature the host free from his desk, suit, and tie. O’Brien seems eager to share this stripped-down version of his show with a shift in focus that’s tied to interactive digital content. The revamped show will still feature celebrity guests, and a few big names will help ease the audience into the new format.

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Conan’s Lineup

O’Brien will kick-off his return to Conan on Jan. 22 with Tom Hanks. Check out the rest of the show’s schedule for its first two weeks back:

  • Wed. Jan. 23: The cast of The Good Place (starring Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy, Carden, and Manny Jacinto)
  • Thurs. Jan. 24: Bill Hader
  • Mon. Jan. 28: Tig Notaro
  • Tues. Jan. 29: Gina Rodriguez
  • Wed. Jan. 30: Pete Holmes
  • Thurs. Jan. 31: Matt LeBlanc and comedian Gary Gulman

Friendly Conversations

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is the comedian’s new weekly comedy-interview podcast (available on iTunes, Earwolf, Stitcher and Spotify) that debuted in November 2018. O’Brien’s goal with the podcast was to create deeper, playful friendships with the celebrities he enjoys. The chance to avoid FCC regulations has also been a plus. So far, guests have included Will Ferrell, Kristen Bell, Bill Burr, Dax Shepard, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Wanda Sykes, Pete Holmes, Marc Maron, and Adam Sandler.

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All Around the World

O’Brien’s international series Conan Without Borders features the comedian hitting the road in hour-long documentary specials that bring his sense of humor to distant destinations, including Japan, Cuba, Korea, Mexico, Israel, Haiti, and Italy. Distinct from Conan, the show follows O’Brien as he explores the culture and locals’ lives while infusing the programs with his improvised comedy. A few episodes of the series are currently streaming on Netflix and on Amazon Prime.

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