Conan O'Brien is a current late-night talk show host, and Jay Leno was a late-night talk show host as well until 2014. While Leno was known for his observational humor and stand-up comedy, O'Brien is known for sketch comedy and his writing on The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live.

Conan O'Brien took over the reins of The Tonight Show on NBC at 11:35pm from Jay Leno in 2009. NBC moved Leno to his own new show at 10:00pm. However, NBC's prime time ratings dropped and so did ratings for The Tonight Show. So NBC decided to move The Tonight Show to a later slot (12:35am), and move Jay Leno's show to 11:35pm. This resulted in a feud between NBC and Conan O'Brien. O'Brien quit working with NBC and got a multimillion dollar severance. In November 2010 he began hosting a new show, Conan, on TBS. The hour-long show airs Monday through Thursday at 11:00pm. Ironically, with this new show O'Brien bumped George Lopez from the 11:00pm slot to midnight on TBS.

Comparison chart

Conan O'Brien versus Jay Leno comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartConan O'BrienJay Leno
  • current rating is 3.98/5
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(46 ratings)
  • current rating is 2.84/5
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(45 ratings)
Conan OBrienJay Leno
Birth name Conan Christopher O'Brien James Douglas Muir Leno
Nationality American American
Years active 1985–present 1973–present
Introduction (from Wikipedia) Conan Christopher O'Brien is an American television host and comedian. He is the host of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, a late-night talk show that airs Monday through Friday on NBC. James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno is an American stand-up comedian and television host. From 1992 to 2009, Leno was the host of NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. During his tenure, the show held the top ratings position in its time slot.
Influences Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Woody Allen, David Letterman, Dick Cavett, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Steve Allen, Mel Brooks, Jay Leno, Bob Newhart, Bill Murray Johnny Carson, Robert Klein, Alan King, George Carlin, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Rodney Dangerfield
Genres Improvisational comedy, Sketch comedy, Physical comedy, Surreal humor, self-deprecation Observational comedy
Medium Television Television
Date of birth April 18, 1963 April 28, 1950
Spouse Elizabeth Ann Powell (since 2002) (2 children) Mavis Leno (1980–present)
Notable works and roles The Simpsons (writer, 1992–1993) Late Night with Conan O'Brien (host, 1993–2009) The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (host, 2009–present) The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (host, 1992–2009) The Jay Leno Show (host, 2009–present)
Place of birth Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
Influenced Jimmy Fallon Dennis Miller, Conan O'Brien
Subject(s) Popular culture Everyday life, American culture
Notables member of Harvard Lampoon, writer on SNL, signature hair known for "the chin"


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