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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Conan and Andy: Together Again

Geeks the world over cheered today when NBC announced that Conan O'Brien will have a sidekick when he takes over on The Tonight Show in a few months, and that sidekick will be...Andy Richter.

Actually, according to the official announcement, Richter will be The Tonight Show's announcer, but many are assuming that Richter will be an announcer/sidekick, much like Ed McMahon was to Johnny Carson.

For those not in the know, Andy Richter was Conan O'Brien's sidekick on Late Night with Conan O'Brien when the show premiered back in 1993. As the urban legend goes, Richter was originally hired just to be a writer, but when head writer Robert Smigel noticed that Conan and Andy had a natural chemistry, and that Conan was still nervous about being on the air solo, he proposed that Andy should be Conan's sidekick, and history was made.

Andy left Late Night in 2000 to pursue an acting career. I remember an interview at the time that he said it was his goal to become "a comedic character actor...the next Ned Beatty." Andy then went on to a wide variety of supporting roles in films, critically acclaimed guest appearances on sitcoms, and star in three failed sitcoms -- two of which qualify as "brilliant but canceled."

However, Andy always returned to Late Night every May, and was always greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd. And, on the final episode of Late Night back on Friday, Andy was officially Conan's last guest.

As I'm sure you can tell by this bio, I'm a fan, and I think this is a great, great thing.

Here's the official story.

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