Photo of Conan O'Brien Conan O'Brien

When David Letterman left NBC's "Late Night" talk show in 1993, the network shocked the industry when it announced that the replacement host would be the virtually unknown comedy writer Conan O'Brien. But despite a shaky start, O'Brien and the program began to hit their stride in the 1996-97 season and soon became a beloved fixture of the American comedy landscape.

Born on April 18, 1963, in Brookline, Mass., O'Brien was one of six children. After graduating as valedictorian from Brookline High School, he attended Harvard University, where he served as two-time president of The Harvard Lampoon.

From 1985 to 1993, O'Brien wrote for such comedy hits as HBO's "Not Necessarily the News," "Saturday Night Live" and "The Simpsons." Then it was on to "Late Night," where he, sidekick Andy Richter and an ace writing staff oversaw such comic gems as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Pimpbot 5000.

Conan O'Brien in The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch

The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch

2002 NR

The Rutles -- a Beatles wanna-be band from Liverpool, the same English town that the Fab Four called home -- are once again the subject of a pseudo-documentary by nerdy TV reporter S.J. Krammerhead (Eric Idle) in this hilarious sequel. Visit with vocalist Ron Nasty (Neil Innes), guitarist Stig O'Hara (Ricky Fataar), bassist Dirk McQuickley (Idle) and drummer Barry Womble (John Halsey) as they recall their journey to the top.

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