Throughout one of the longest careers of any late-night talk show host, Conan O’Brien has enjoyed a lucrative career. Does Conan own a private jet?
It is unlikely that Conan O’Brien owns a private jet, despite making tens of millions throughout his TV career. He has an estimated net worth of $85 million, more than enough to buy a jet but probably not enough to consistently fuel, maintain and staff it. If O’Brien requires the use of a private jet, it is far likelier that he would charter one.
For more on Conan O’Brien’s career and his financial success, read on.
After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in History & Literature, Conan moved across the country to Los Angeles.
He spent a couple of years writing for “Not Necessarily the News” on HBO before being recruited to write for “Saturday Night Live” in January 1988. Conan occasionally appeared in sketches, giving him his first taste of working onscreen.
A difficult period followed in 1991 when a pilot he wrote was not picked up and his engagement was called off. He felt he needed a change of scenery and left “SNL”.
Conan was soon contacted by “The Simpsons” showrunners, who offered him a writing position. The show hired very rarely, so the offer to Conan was a mark of confidence in his abilities.
Conan’s arrival on “The Simpsons” marked a significant tonal shift, introducing more outlandish elements that led to what is popularly considered the show’s creative peak.
With his writing career thriving, it was announced that David Letterman would be leaving “Late Night”. Lorne Michaels, who hired O’Brien to work on “SNL”, was tasked with finding the new host and key staff.
Michaels initially asked if O’Brien would be a producer on the show but Conan’s agent said he wanted to be a performer. After a test audition, O’Brien was announced as the new host of “Late Night” in April 1993.
“Late Night with Conan O’Brien” debuted in September 1993, to an initially harsh critical reception. His looks, mannerisms, and sense of humor were all criticized, ironically the same qualities that would make him so popular.
Despite the criticism and coming perilously close to cancellation numerous times, Conan would remain the show’s host until 2009.
In 2009, it was announced that Conan would be replacing Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show”. Ratings were considerably weaker than during Leno’s tenure and it was proposed that “The Jay Leno Show” should take O’Brien’s timeslot.
Conan agreed on a deal to leave the show just nine months after joining it, replaced by Jay Leno. After a hiatus, he joined TBS and started his new show, “Conan” and, in 2018, he started his podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend”.
Having enjoyed a lengthy TV career spanning more than three decades, O’Brien has made a significant amount of money.
When CBS removed O’Brien from “The Tonight Show” in 2010, they agreed on a $32 million settlement to cancel his contract, a remarkable amount considering he was immediately able to negotirate with other networks.
In 2016, Forbes stated that O’Brien was being paid a $12.5 million annual salary by TBS. It is speculated that his net worth is somewhere in the region of $85 million.
Despite O’Brien’s wealth, it is unlikely that he owns a private jet. A jet alone will cost millions and potentially far more. The costs of maintaining, fuelling, and staffing will multiply expenses significantly.
While Conan is a multimillionaire, owning a personal jet is more common among billionaires. This isn’t to say that he couldn’t travel by private jet, whether chartering one himself or afforded the use of one by his employers, but buying one outright is a significant investment with limited financial return.
Conan O’Brien could afford to buy a jet but it probably wouldn’t be a wise choice.