Conan O'Brien says former NBC executive tried to ban Norm Macdonald from his late-night show

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 18, 2021, 12:11 PM(IST)

Conan O'Brien Photograph:( Twitter )

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The directive came from former NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, whose friendship with OJ Simpson was said to be the reason for Norm Macdonald’s firing from 'Weekend Update'.

Conan O'Brien is mourning the loss of his long-time friend Norm Macdonald, who died of cancer at the age of 61. Brien has welcomed Norm Macdonald on his show many times over the years. 

Now, after Macdonald passed away, Conan revealed how NBC tried to ban Norm from his show after the late comedian was fired from 'Saturday Night Live'. 

The shocking revelation came during a new episode of his podcast, saying that Don Ohlmeyer, a long-time NBC executive who passed away in 2017, had once tried to ban Macdonald from network’s 'Late Night with Conan O’Brien'.

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Macdonald hosted 'Weekend Update' on SNL when the OJ Simpson trial was going on and Macdonald used to joke about it, often calling Simpson a murderer.

The directive came from former NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, whose friendship with Simpson was said to be the reason for Macdonald’s firing from 'Weekend Update'.

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O’Brien was joined by Andy Richter and long-time show producer Frank Smiley. “One of his bosses was friends with a murderer,” Richter said referring to Ohlmeyer friendship with Simpson.

“Alleged! I’ve seen no proof, Andy!” O’Brien cracked in response.

''The word came down: You can't book Norm Macdonald anymore. It came from the top, from Don Ohlmeyer," O'Brien explained. 

"Don Ohlmeyer was the one who suggested me for Late Night — he gave me the job — so I had a lot of feelings of loyalty towards Don Ohlmeyer. I wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for Don sticking with me. I owe him that. So I wrote a letter to Don that said, 'I got this directive. You've hired me to do the best show I can do, and this is my best guest. So I need to do my job, which is the best show I can do.'"

O’Brien received the letter back with a response  from Ohlmeyer, written, '' I expected better from you.”

“It was basically me being told … I’m really disappointed in your lack of loyalty or something,” O’Brien said. “And I felt at the time, that’s not a lack of loyalty. That is loyalty. I always greedily wanted more Norm.”

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