Conan’s “Employee of the Month” Gag: A Nod to His Late Night Forefathers?

Conan O’Brien’s quip Thursday night on “The Tonight Show” that he had just been named NBC’s “Employee of the Month” has a historic context. David Letterman told that same joke on his final episode of “Late Night” on NBC in 1993:

(The David Letterman clip — see 2:50 in)

Is it an obvious joke that everyone uses? Or, as I prefer to think of it, something that has been passed down from host to host?

A year earlier than that “Late Night with David Letterman” clip, “Tonight Show” legend Johnny Carson also used that same joke in his finale:

(Above, the Johnny Carson finale. Jump to 4:50 in order to see the “Employee of the Month” crack.)

A coincidence? Or O’Brien’s nod to late night history, as his “Tonight Show” reign comes to an end as well?

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety