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August 27, 2015

Letterman Wanted Conan for Super Bowl Promo

by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 8th 2010 12:02PM
letterman leno oprah superbowl ad
If you've seen the by-now-infamous David Letterman/Oprah Winfrey/Jay Leno Super Bowl promo, then you are probably left with a lot of unanswered questions. "Were they really in the same room together?" "Did this happen before the Second Late Night Wars started?" "What about Conan?"

Well, the answer to the first two questions can be found in this New York Times article on the spot, which was shot last Tuesday. The short answer: Letterman just thought it would be funny. What would have been even funnier though, is if there had been four people on the couch. Because if there's anything more awkward than Leno and Letterman in a promo together, it would be throwing Conan into the mix. It turns out, that was exactly Letterman's original plan.

The "worst Super Bowl party ever" was supposed to be a foursome, but a lack of time and the fact that Conan was slightly busy meant that the original idea wouldn't come to pass. Rob Burnett, executive producer on 'Late Show with David Letterman,' approached Team CoCo, but they were just finishing up production on 'The Tonight Show,' so unfortunately, nothing ever came of the idea. According to Burnett, Conan and his producer, Jeff Ross, didn't say no,"I just think they weren't in a position to consider it all."

Burnett also said that while they knew for a few months that they'd be able to do a Super Bowl promo for 'Late Show,' they didn't really start thinking about ideas until a few weeks before they shot it. In the end, it's all a matter of timing, but even if we didn't get Conan, what we did get was still easily the best ad of the entire Super Bowl.

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am i the only one that's going to ask "what the hell was CoCo so busy doing?"?

February 08 2010 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Would have been EVEN BETTER if Conan and Dave were sitting on the couch, Jay walks in says "Move over" and both of the guys in tandem said "Again?"

I have to agree...of all the commercials, this one caught me off-guard and is easily the most memorable. I appreciate the self-deprecating humor that Jay and Dave had to even do this. Too bad Conan wasn't there because he's usually all-in on these as well.

February 08 2010 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Would have been great to have Conan coming from the kitchen with chips and brews and stop, look at Leno, and say "Dude, you took my seat!"

February 08 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to MikeM's comment


February 08 2010 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really like this too. There are a lot of jokes they could have pulled with the four of them all there.

February 08 2010 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Definitely the best Super Bowl ad. A great surprise.

Although it would have been even funnier if it used the VW PunchDub aspect . . . then Letterman could have punched Leno for being such a weasel.

February 08 2010 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Definitely would have been better with Conan. Anyone else notice the wierd "lipstick" look to Leno's mouth?... maybe he was just so pale his lips stuck out, but it really looked like he got into the makeup kit and did his own.

February 08 2010 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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