When Conan O'Brien, 47, took over Late Night in 1993, comics like me were skeptical. He wasn't a performer; he was a writer. But then I watched, and I recognized his unique perspective. He said things that made me laugh, and I started to feel him. He kept fighting and I started to respect him. In the world of comedy, his was a Cinderella story in size-15 shoes.
When The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien met a public, premature end, he could've cashed out and gone off to work on his "tan." But he grabbed his guitar and a tube of whatever he puts in his hair and took his act to his fans.
Doing a talk show is much harder than it looks. Some nights are great; others, you feel like you're up to your neck in quicksand. Conan's tenacity and wit have been an inspiration to me on my own late-night show. I'm happy and proud that we'll be playing on the same team when he comes to basic cable.
Welcome back to TV, Conan. I've got a good feeling about this. If there's anything people love more than a happy ending, it's a big comeback.
Lopez is the host of TBS's Lopez Tonight