April 26, 2024
Press Releases

Conan O’Brien Talks Returning to Television for Max’s Travel Series Conan O’Brien Must Go in May 1 Issue of emmy Magazine

Writer-turned-talk-show-host-turned-podcaster Conan O'Brien returns to television with the new Max travel series Conan O'Brien Must Go, in which he travels the globe meeting friends he made through his wildly popular podcast, Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend. The four-time Emmy winner talks with emmy about his new show and doing what he loves most: engaging with people. The award-winning official publication of the Television Academy is on sale May 1.

O'Brien started writing while in college for The Harvard Lampoon and became the only freshman on the literary board. "The minute that happened, I was like, 'This is what I'm doing with my life.' It was an epic moment," said O'Brien, who would go on to write for Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons before becoming the host of NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show. O'Brien's Emmy-winning show Conan aired for 11 seasons on TBS. 

"I really do like connecting with people, [and] you can see it in the podcast," O'Brien says. His critically acclaimed podcast launched in 2018 and has since been sold, along with his production company, Team Coco, to Sirius XM for $150 million. For O'Brien, it's less about money and more about the search for connection that keeps him going. "If I get a good riff going, I get a contact high," he says. "My wife always notices that when I get stopped on the street and someone wants a selfie, I'll keep talking and asking them questions. They'll look at me and say, 'You know, Conan, I have to go."

In "Here Comes the Fun," O'Brien talks with emmy about his life and career that led to the four-part travel series in which the comedian visits callers from his podcast who suggested he drop by if he was ever in their area. Doing exactly that, O'Brien travels to Norway, Thailand, Argentina and the land of his ancestors, Ireland. "I've spent my life in pursuit of the intersection between smart and silly," he says. "There's this weird place where the two beams can meet. It's very hard to get to it. But if you can get the smart and the silly to intersect, there's something really miraculous about it."

Sona Movsesian, O'Brien's assistant and podcast cohost, considers her boss a "comedy god," and even after working together for years, she is still shocked "by the things that man's warped brain comes up with." "I don't know whether it's a gift or if he's defective in some way, but it's frightening. He always chooses just the right words to make everything an extra bit funnier," Movsesian says. What drives O'Brien to keep going? "As my father once said to me, 'Your whole career is making money off something that should probably be treated,'" O'Brien says. "He's not wrong. There is something driving me, and I do need to talk to people." 

Additional featured highlights from the new issue include:

  • In "Gold Standard,"emmy talks with the creative team behind The Golden Bachelor, the spinoff series of The Bachelor franchise that showcased the journey of 72-year-old Gerry Turner and his ultimate choice, Theresa Nist. Although the couple didn't find happily ever after (recently announcing their divorce), the show was a pop culture sensation that garnered the largest season finale audience in the franchise's history.
  • Peacock is becoming a big player in the streaming space with satisfying, steady growth. In "Track Record," emmy explores the four-year-old subscription-based service and how it found momentum with the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games, live-sports investments, original programming and next-day streaming for NBC shows.
  • In "Gothic Revival," costume designer Carol Cutshall talks with emmy about dressing the undead for the AMC series Interview with the Vampire, including the visual hierarchy among the old-world vampires and the backdrop of post-World War II Europe. The latest adaptation of Anne Rice's iconic novel returns to AMC/AMC+ on May 12 for its second season.

    About emmy
    Emmy, the official publication of the Television Academy, goes behind the scenes of the industry for a unique insider's view. With wide-ranging, inclusive subjects representative of the Television Academy membership and the medium as a whole, emmy showcases the scope of television and profiles the people who make it happen, from the stars of top shows and artisans behind the cameras, to programming trends and technological advances. Honored with dozens of awards for editorial excellence, emmy is published 12 times per year and is available on selected newsstands and at TelevisionAcademy.com for single print and digital copies as well as subscriptions.

    Download the press release here

    Stephanie Goodell

    breakwhitelight for the Television Academy

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