Image Credit: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage.com; Art Strieber/TBSConan is coming. Today, Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter shoot the first of four test shows in preparation for their Nov. 8 premiere on TBS. Richter, currently waging an “all-out war” against his sinuses with antibiotics and Prednisone (that’s for his Twitter followers), phoned EW earlier this afternoon for a quick chat and sounded relaxed and ready to return to the late-night ring.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We spoke near the end of the Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour, and you said you and Conan hadn’t begun discussing the TBS show. What can you tell us about it now?
ANDY RICHTER: It’s a talk show. I’d say that between Late Night and The Tonight Show, on The Tonight Show there was a little less absurdity — humor that was kind of absurd for absurdness sake. We felt we needed to tailor the humor to an earlier hour, which basically means, you’re gonna be the same person, but now grandma’s in the room. [Laughs] That’s sort of what it was. This is probably gonna be like a mix of the two. It’s hard to say: It’s not like we have big planning meetings where we think “This is what the personality of the show is gonna be like.” We have discussions about it, but mostly they’ve been things like, “Let’s give the impression that we don’t give a s—.” [Laughs] “Let’s give the impression that we’re having fun.” Because that’s how we feel. We went through this thing, which certainly in the grand scheme of things was a tempest in a teapot, but it was a stressful thing — to get bumped off of The Tonight Show or take yourself off The Tonight Show, however you want to look at it. It was kind of a s—y thing, so we’re adjusting, and in reaction to that, we’re now feeling like, “You know what, let’s just have some fun. Let’s just do a show now that we’re not replacing anybody. We’re not replacing David Letterman. We’re not replacing Jay Leno. We’re just startin’ up a show from scratch, which we’ve never gotten to do before. There’s no precedent. There’s no shoes to fill. We just get to do what we want.” The way the show has been built hasn’t been through some grand plan about some philosophy that we’re trying to follow. We’re just thinking up bits. “We got a studio. We got a desk. We got a band. What are some funny things we can do in that space?” READ FULL STORY