Letterman Wanted Conan for Super Bowl Promo
by Kona Gallagher, posted Feb 8th 2010 12:02PM
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.