Television: Sidekick On The Loose!

Andy Richter walked away from one of the best gigs in late night. Now he's master of the Universe

When Conan O'Brien's sidekick quit his Late Night gig in 2000, the headlines might as well have read ANDY RICHTER LOSES MIND. Richter, 35, seemed the definition of a lucky stiff. An actor-comic whose brief pre-Conan resume included doing stage productions of Brady Bunch scripts, he was now being paid to sit on a couch, scope out the guests' jowls for plastic-surgery scars and make wisecracks. "There were some days when I would joke to people, 'If I play my cards right, I won't have to say a word tonight,'" he says.

But Richter was a lot more than sofa...

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