Conan O’Brien has experienced a lot during his 25 years as a late-night host, but Thursday he had a first: Having to do a show without a celebrity guest.
Kumail Nanjiani, who was scheduled to be the guest, ended up canceling 30 minutes prior to the show, well after announcer Andy Richter had promoted his appearance. The reason for the cancellation, according to O’Brien? A scheduling snafu with Nanjiani’s HBO series “Silicon Valley.”
While there were no hard feelings, O’Brien did get a measure of revenge of Nanjiani, who was supposed to be there to promote his upcoming film, “Stuber” which opened on Friday.
“If the guy doesn’t show up, we’re not going to show the clip promoting his movie. That’s not how it works,” O’Brien said. So instead, they showed a clip from a movie that will compete with “Stuber” (though it opens a week later). You may have heard of it, which you can see in the video above.
Nanjiani later sent a brief video which aired on the show, where his “Silicon Valley” co-star Thomas Middleditch took the blame because he “couldn’t remember his lines.” O’Brien responded by showing another clip from “The Lion King.”
O’Brien said this wasn’t the first time he’s experienced a last-minute cancelation in his 25 years as a late-night host, but there was one particular problem with this one: The new 30-minute runtime for “Conan” meant that each show only had one guest.
“When you’re a show that’s based on just interviewing one guest, and that guest doesn’t show up, you’re really screwed,” O’Brien said.
They ended up interviewing Conan’s longtime assistant, Sona Movsesian, which you can watch below.