Conan O’Brien is the longest-running late night talk show host in the game right now, and in his more than 25 years experience, he’s only had two instances in which a confirmed guest flaked on him at the last minute. One was Liza Minelli over two decades ago, and the other was Stuber star Kumail Nanjiani, who was slated to appear on TBS’s Conan last night but ended up cancelling just thirty minutes before the show began recording in front of its live studio audience. Find out the reason why, and how Conan kept things moving, by watching the clips below.
Looks like you’re not the only one to use work as an excuse to bail on hanging out with your friends. Kumail Nanjiani was supposed to be on the Warner Bros. lot promoting his new buddy action comedy Stuber by talking about it on Conan, but a scheduling error meant that he was stuck across town filming the final season of Silicon Valley and couldn’t make it.
O’Brien seems to have grown increasingly tired of the formulaic nature of the talk show format, going through a radical redesign of his own show earlier this year in which he cut it down from an hour to a half-hour format and dropped to only one guest instead of two. He’s also made a point to do more travel shows, which are super entertaining and largely consist of him visiting different parts of the world and making a fool of himself for our entertainment. Watching the clips of last night’s show through the lens of his restlessness, it seems as if he secretly relished the spontaneity into which this situation forced him.
Instead of Kumail, Conan ended up interviewing Sona Movsesian, his longtime personal assistant. Sona is a regular on the relatively new Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast, and has been featured in several Conan-related things over the years, including the 2011 documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. Memorably, Conan took her to visit Armenia during one of those travel-based episodes of his show back in 2015.
Meanwhile, Kumail Nanjiani feels absolutely terrible about not being able to make it:
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