Conan O’Brien’s audition for NBC’s “Late Night,” April 13, 1993

With all of the renewed talk about the shuffling of late-night TV hosts, can you believe it has been 20 years since a then-unknown Conan O’Brien auditioned for NBC’s Late Night franchise?

Team Coco released a snippet of video from that day’s taping — April 13, 1993 — in Burbank, Calif. (the Tonight Show set?!), where O’Brien interviewed Mimi Rogers and Jason Alexander. O’Brien made fun of Rogers for saying that modeling was hard work, and thanked Alexander (then on the new hit NBC sitcom Seinfeld) for stopping by.

“How could I miss an opportunity like this?” Alexander quipped.

And O’Brien’s closing words: “That’s the end of my mock show. If that’s all I ever get, it was a lot of fun. I had a good time. Thank you very much. Good night!”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this rare footage.

In the year Two Thousand…in the year 2000! O’Brien unveiled this for the first time during one of his broadcasts. So let’s take a second look at it in this context.

“This is not a piece of comedy,” O’Brien warned. But he figured enough time had passed, “almost seven years ago” as he said at this time. And he’s quick to note afterward: “They clearly chose the wrong guy, but whatever! I bought a suit since then.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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