How Rich Is Conan O’Brien As He Takes His Last Bow?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock (10527394t)Conan O'BrienSean Penn Hosts 10th Anniversary Gala Benefiting CORE, Arrivals, The Wiltern, Los Angeles, USA - 15 Jan 2020.
Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock / Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

TBS will air the final episode of Conan O’Brien’s self-named, hour-long show “Conan” on Thursday. This farewell show comes ends a 28-year career of hosting late-night TV — he previously hosted shows on NBC and CBS. His next stint will see him leave network television for streaming with a new weekly variety show for HBO Max.

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Where Conan’s Career Began

Aside from his hosting gigs, Conan has a long list of credits to his name in his 30 year+ career. He started out as a writer for “Saturday Night Live,” eventually earning himself an Emmy nomination and win along with his fellow team writers for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy or Variety Series.

He went on to write for “The Simpsons,” until he took over hosting “The Late Show” after David Letterman’s departure. It was there he began his late-night legacy, a career that would make him a household name. Although the show got off to a rocky start and was met with heavy criticism in its early days, “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” eventually won an Emmy in 2007 for Best Writing in a Comedy Series or Variety Show.

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The show lasted 15 years, coming to an end in 2009.

Conan’s Stint on ‘The Tonight Show’

One of the biggest contributors to Conan’s massive net worth was the controversy surrounding his move from “The Late Show” to “The Tonight Show.” The competing late-night show was hosted by famed host Jay Leno for decades, but a reconfiguration at NBC led to Leno being moved to the prime-time slot and Conan moved to Leno’s old spot in the late-night talk time. The change ended up being a bad move, as Conan lasted only even months in the late-night spot before NBC kicked Leno back to late night after his prime-time slot also suffered.

Conan did not leave without a fight, however, and came to a settlement with NBC amounting to a sum of $32.5 million in 2010, buying out the remaining two and half years on his contract at the time. Although his salary was never confirmed, the New York Times reported that it was estimated at $12 million to $15 million a year.

His Move To Los Angeles From New York

Later that same year, Conan sold his New York penthouse for $25 million, in preparation to leave New York for Los Angeles after the split from NBC. The severance alone from NBC netted him north of 50 million accounting for real estate sales and contract settlements.

In 2011, Conan purchased two mansions in the Pacific Palisades areas of Los Angeles at an estimated $19.4 million. Once in LA, the comedian embarked on a 30-city live standup tour. As his tour commenced, he also announced his new show on cable TV stations TBS “Conan.” The show premiered in November 2010 and is where he stayed until the end of its tenure in 2021.

Other Money-Making Projects He’s Had

It has been reported that for his work on “Conan,” he was offered a $12 million annual salary for the full 11 years the show was on the air.

Other notable undertakings include being the first American television persona to film in Cuba for more than fifty years, as well as founding his own television production company Conaco. Through Conaco, Conan has been executive producer for several different shows, including “Andy Barker, PI” and “Outlaw.”

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He’s also lent his voice to such characters as The Riddler in “The Lego Batman Movie” with Will Arnett and as Glaxxon 5000 in this year’s Netflix release “The Mitchells vs the Machines” alongside Maya Rudolph and Chrissy Teigen.

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His television, hosting and producing credits amount to an estimated net worth of $150 million — in many cases far higher than many of his guests he interviewed on the show.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 

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