Conan O’Brien is an American comedian, writer, and television personality best known for hosting the “Late Night” series and his late-night show “Conan”. He was born on April 18, 1963, in Brookline, Massachusetts to a family of academics. O’Brien graduated as valedictorian in 1981 and attended Harvard University, majoring in history and literature. Before graduating magna cum laude, he also served as a writer for the Harvard Lampoon and a drummer for a band called the Bad Clams.
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After a series of jobs writing for various shows, O’Brien joined the cast of writers for “Saturday Night Live” in January 1988. He worked on the show for three years, writing some of the most memorable sketches, such as “Mr. Short-Term Memory” and “The Girl Watchers.” In 1991, O’Brien left SNL and was hired to write for the animated sitcom “The Simpsons”. He wrote several hit episodes until he was picked up by executive producer Lorne Michaels to replace David Letterman for the “Late Night” talk show.
On September 13, 1993, O’Brien made his debut as Letterman’s replacement with his co-host, Andy Richter. The show received negative reviews but quickly gained traction and reached its peak by the time O’Brien left in 2009. After a brief stint on “The Tonight Show”, he was picked up by TBS and created his own late-night show, “Conan”. The series ran for more than ten years before its conclusion in 2021.
Boasting almost 30 years of experience in the industry, O’Brien is no stranger to questions surrounding both his professional and personal history. The television host has lived his life under the microscope with viewers speculating on his latest projects and even his sexuality. So, is Conan O’Brien gay? Let’s answer the question that fans have been dying to know.
VOTE: What is Conan O’Brien’s Sexuality?
Conan O’Brien’s Relationships
Conan O’Brien is pretty low-key when it comes to his relationships. While most people would associate him with his current wife, Liza Powel, the television host has actually dated other personalities before. One of his more famous ex-girlfriends is none other than Friends actress Lisa Kudrow. Here’s a quick summary of his dating history and his 20-year marriage.
Conan O’Brien and Lisa Kudrow (1988-1993)
O’Brien and Lisa Kudrow first met through the improvisational group called “The Groundlings.” According to the actress, O’Brien was “really smart and funny” and that she actually owed it to him for jumpstarting her career. Kudrow shared that he encouraged her to stick to the improv classes, eventually leading her to audition for the character of Phoebe on the NBC iconic sitcom “Friends”.
Kudrow also helped O’Brien look for an apartment in Beverly Hills, and the pair eventually started dating. While he was writing for “The Simpsons”, Kudrow encouraged him to venture into performing instead of working behind the scenes. Although O’Brien disagreed, he would later prove Kudrow right when he took the hosting spot for the “Late Night” show.
Sadly, the couple parted ways in 1993 after five years of dating. They realized that their chemistry was better off as friends and they had an amicable break-up. O’Brien and Kudrow are still on good terms and have shown nothing but respect for each other when the topic is brought up during interviews.
Conan O’Brien and Liza Powel (2000-Present)
In 2000, O’Brien met his current wife, Liza Powel, while filming an advertising skit for a company where she was working as a senior copywriter. Spoken like a true romantic, the television host stated that it was “love at first sight” and that she was “incredibly beautiful.” O’Brien is never short on praise when it comes to his wife, describing her as “very intelligent, and funny, and a really good person.”
The couple only dated for more than a year before tying the knot in 2002. They welcomed their daughter, Neve, the following year, and their son, Beckett, after two years. O’Brien and his family currently reside in Los Angeles, where he’s hosting and producing his successful podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend”.
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Conan on Sexuality and Gay Marriage
In 2011, New York became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage, while O’Brien was the first television host to officiate an on-air gay wedding on TBS. The nuptials were between his staff, costume designer, Scott Cronick, and his long-time partner, David Gorshein. Although the event was part of a segment, the atmosphere was romantic and sincere. The wedding was held at Beacon Theater where O’Brien himself officiated.
It’s safe to say that the comedian-slash-host is more than welcoming to the LGBTQ community. However, it’s worth noting that O’Brien hasn’t entertained speculations about his own sexuality in public.
Conan O’Brien VS Jay Leno
When talking about Conan O’Brien, it’s almost impossible not to bring up the massive late-night show war of 2009. During that year, O’Brien finally achieved his lifelong dream of hosting “The Tonight Show”, succeeding its previous host, Jay Leno. Leno then went on to create his own series, “The Jay Leno Show”.
Unfortunately, due to NBC’s efforts to keep both O’Brien and Leno, they moved the latter’s timeslot to The Tonight Show’s original airing time. The decision then pushed O’Brien to host the program at 12 midnight the following day. O’Brien was understandably disappointed by the decision and released a statement.
Unwilling to play network politics, O’Brien left NBC and was contractually obligated not to appear on television for almost a year. The contract didn’t stop the television host from embarking on a 30-city live tour. In 2010, O’Brien and his original crew released “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour”, followed by a documentary, “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop”. In November 2010, O’Brien launched his own program for TBS, “Conan”, which ran from 2010 to 2021.
Is Conan O’Brien Gay?
No, Conan O’Brien is not gay. The television host is currently married to Liza Powel and they have two children together. While O’Brien has never addressed any sexuality rumors, it’s clear that he’s open to the LGBTQ community. In 2011, he officiated a gay wedding on live television with his long-time staff.