TV Academy chair John Shaffner designing Conan’s new TBS stage

Shaffner TV Academy chairman John Shaffner, who’s an Emmy-winning set designer in his regular day job, revealed his next high-profile gig on Friday: Designing Conan O’Brien’s new TBS set.

Shaffner also designed O’Brien’s classy, art deco-themed “Tonight Show” set. For this time out, Shaffner (who works with partner Joe Stewart) said he’s leaving the art deco behind and focusing on more of a theatrical theme. The inspiration comes from O’Brien’s recent nationwide “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television” tour, which gave O’Brien the theater bug.

“Being out there working on his tour, the theater game him a sense of atmosphere between him and his audience,” Shaffner said.

Tonight-show-set_320 Shaffner said he was sad to see his O’Brien “Tonight Show” set (photo, left) disappear from the air so quickly — particularly the show’s curtain.

“Oh, I miss that curtain,” Shaffner said.

Shaffner’s set design credits include “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Friends.” 

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