Conan O’Brien Was the Last of His Kind: An Apolitical Late-Night Host

·1-min read

When Conan O’Brien hangs up his late-night mic on Thursday, he will arguably be the last of a dying breed of TV hosts who stayed as far away as he could from political commentary. “I’m very grateful that we had the opportunity to start that show at a time where that kind of silliness was still something that — it needed to be nurtured and needed to find its audience — but there was still a place for it,” Robert Smigel, a longtime friend and collaborator, told TheWrap. O’Brien is leaving a space that looks markedly different than when he was first tapped to replace David Letterman as host of NBC’s “Late Night” in 1993, one that demands hosts to have an opinion on the day’s news. And punishes those who don’t. “I give Conan a lot of credit, because he never wavered from his sense of humor. He never became overtly political,” Smigel continued. “He never chose to go down that path out of fear of losing his popularity.” O’Brien’s 28-year run as a late-night TV host, spread across three shows on two networks, is dwarfed only by late-night icons Johnny Carson and Letterman. When O’Brien ends his TBS...

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