Will Ferrell will be the first guest on the couch for the debut of “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” on June 1. Ferrell, who helped usher O’Brien out of New York on the final “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” will help welcome O’Brien to his new home in Los Angeles. In addition Pearl Jam will be the inaugural band on Conan’s “The Tonight Show.” Pearl Jam will perform songs from their upcoming studio album.
Conan O’Brien, the dominant late-night host at 12:35 a.m. (ET) for the past 14 seasons, will succeed Jay Leno as host of the preeminent series on late-night television, NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” on June 1, 2009.
“The Tonight Show” continues to be the most dominant late-night institution in television history. Since it first premiered on September 27, 1954 with Steve Allen, “The Tonight Show” has had just four permanent hosts, including Leno. Allen, host of the then titled “Tonight,” eventually left late night to start his own primetime variety series on NBC. Jack Paar premiered on July 29, 1957. On October 1, 1962, Johnny Carson stepped on stage for day one of his tenure as host of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Leno, who began guest-hosting “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in September 1987, became host of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on May 25, 1992. O’Brien joined NBC as a writer on “Saturday Night Live” in 1988 and premiered as host of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” on September 13, 1993.
“The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” will originate from Stage 1 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and will be produced by Universal Media Studios. Jeff Ross is the executive producer.