Comedian, talk show host, and America’s favorite redhead, Conan O’Brien’s hosting career has spanned three decades. He’s known for his spontaneous and self-deprecating hosting style, but what political party does he support?
Conan O’Brien has been a registered Democrat since 1984. He considers himself to be a moderate on the political spectrum and has been clear that his comedy preference on television is for physical comedy.
Read on to learn more about Conan O’Brien’s political persuasions and their significance in his comedy.
Conan O’Brien has hosted many political figures over his TV career, but when it comes to publicizing his own politics, he prefers to stick to comedy.
He told the Harvard Political Review that he wasn’t as politically active as his friends in college, explaining that while he was a troublemaker, “I wasn’t a firebrand politically”.
That being said, Conan O’Brien has been a registered democrat since 1984, when he cast a vote for Walter Mondale for president.
He definitely isn’t shy when it comes to expressing opinion, but prefers to do it on his own terms and from the perspective of comedy. In a piece for Rolling Stone, O’Brien theorized on President Donald Trump’s lack of humor:
“Trump’s superpower is constantly believing in the infallibility of Trump. Humility is a weakness to him. Having performed two different White House Correspondents’ Dinners and seen Clinton and Obama sit there and laugh at themselves, I don’t think Trump can do that”.
Politics in His Comedy
Conan O’Brien has expressed on multiple occasions that whilst he has the utmost respect for the avenue of political commentary that so many talk show hosts have taken, for him physical comedy is his “sweet spot”.
In an interview with Variety, Conan notes that it’s liberating that there are lots of different late night shows, and that hosts are able to do their own thing. He said, “I have strong political views and things that i’m passionate about but I choose not to go that way” adding “I don’t think I was put here to tell people passionately what I think politically”.
Brian Kiley, Conan O’Brien’s head monologue writer, said of Conan’s comedy in an interview with Hollywood in TOTO:
“For Conan, I think he likes and we both feel the same way, we love comedy. Some want to convince everyone of their political point of view but I think he just likes silly stuff that makes you laugh, doesn’t have a message to it, it’s just funny and creative”.
That’s not to say that the talk show host doesn’t address the political climate. However, he chooses not to frame his show as politically inclined in any particular direction, opting instead to poke fun at politicians regardless of their political party.
In an interview he divulged, “The comedy I’m proudest of is not Republican or Democrat, or liberal; it is looking at people. It is looking at the absurdity of people. I find people are silly, and then they happen to be both Democrat and Republican”.
Watch Conan O’Brien speak about his podcasts and politics in the YouTube video below.
Famous Political Guests
Whilst many talk show hosts regularly welcome political figures into their studios as guests, O’Brien explains “it’s never been my thing”. He has however hosted some high-profile politicians, including Donald Trump, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Bernie Sanders.
Trump used to be a frequent guest on the show, appearing for the first time in 1997, when he allegedly stormed off Conan’s show after Conan pressured him to reveal the contents of his pockets, which happened to hold a condom.
It certainly wouldn’t be the last time he appeared however, and Trump was a regular guest during his years hosting The Apprentice, as both his and Conan’s shows shared the same network.
If something’s funny, politically orientated or otherwise, it’s fair game to Conan and you can be sure he won’t shy away.