Twenty-five years ago today, a fresh-faced, floppy-haired Conan O’Brien started regularly hosting his very own late night TV show. A quarter century (and a few network changes) later, he’s still going strong with the kind of weirdo sketches and affable celebrity interviews that garnered such a devout following over past decades.
Now, in celebration of this anniversary, the very first episode of Late Night With Conan O’Brien has been made available online—with an entire archive of nearly 3,000 more to follow in January. Watch on to be transported through a time portal back to September 13, 1993, an unfathomable era before the world had ever heard The Max Weinberg 7, Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, or the legendary Dudez-a-Plenti.
It’s remarkable, really, how much the show’s humor feels the same despite the enormous changes to late night that have occurred over the years. O’Brien may be older now, but his style—from impressive pompadour to self-deprecating sketches—is still very much the same. The opening sketch, which shows Conan cheerily heading into his first day of work, threatened by a talking horse and Tom Brokaw over being “as good as Letterman” before whistling as he strings up a noose in his dressing room, makes this very clear. The host’s nervous energy throughout the rest of the show is very different from the confidence he’d grow into with experience, but this first episode shows a pretty clear connection between the Conan of 1993 and 2018.
Viewers can continue to watch O’Brien come into his own for a few thousand hours more early next year. In the (also funny) follow-up video above, he promises they’ll all be available on “a brand new website.” Regardless of the form it takes, the bottom line is that we can now look forward to a 2019 filled with masturbating bears, insult comic puppets, and dopily excited Frankenstein monsters.
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