Conan Ready for Hollywood

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 8:03 PM CDT
Conan O'Brien.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Conan O’Brien moves to the slot once occupied by his hero Johnny Carson next month, raising the question of whether his shtick will play to a wider—and presumably more mainstream—audience. “The biggest mistake would be to alter my signal to make sure that I reach all these different people,” O’Brien tells Lynn Hirschberg in the New York Times magazine. “Because then you’re lost.”

Hirschberg takes a look at the changing landscape of the late-night talk shows, including Jay Leno's late reluctance to move to 10pm. O'Brien says he admires Leno, but "when I can’t sleep and it’s 3 in the morning, I’m not thinking about Jay. I’m thinking about all the things I want to do on the show." That show, by the way, will now go head to head against Letterman. "When Dave is good, no one is better," said O'Brien after Dave's famous interview with Joaquin Phoenix. "At moments like that, I can’t touch him.”