The 52-year-old late-night host opened up about taking over NBC’s Late Night from Dave back in 1993.
“I got the sh-t kicked out of me,” Conan said. “Critics despised me, the ratings were bad, my skin broke out, and my network started to make it clear that I probably wouldn’t be around very long.”
He said Dave came on the show to help him out.
“It was like the Beatles asking Maury Povich if they could stop by and sing a few tunes,” Conan said. “At the time, I was convinced it was a prank…it couldn’t be real. But, on February 28, 1994, David Letterman walked onto my set and blew the doors off the place. It’s easily one of the happiest nights of my professional life.”
He added, “At one of the lowest points of my life, when I was a 30-year-old national punchline, Dave, for reasons I still don’t really understand…completely rescued me. I truly believe that simple act of kindness turned everything around and made all the difference.”
Conan O’Brien Says Goodbye to David Letterman 5/20/15