Last week, Comedian and Talk Show Host Conan O’Brien made his much-anticipated return to late night and in the process unveiled a new studio, designed specifically to bring him closer to his audience.
O’Brien kicked off his new show, aptly titled “Conan,” at Warner Bros.’ Stage 15 with a new 250-seat studio that literally put’s him within reach of the audience. The idea behind the studio, which was built in just three months, was to create a theater –like atmosphere, one which gives the live audience the feeling of inclusion and almost provides the host with opportunities that didn’t exist in previous years.
While filming “The Tonight Show” last season, O’Brien’s studio held over 300-people and maintained a distance between the audience and the host himself. But as Conan was quick to demonstrate last Monday, no such barrier is in place at “Conan,” and audience interaction is always a possibility.
The studio keeps with the traditional late night talk-show décor, featuring a desk for the host and chairs for his guests. Some of the other features of the new studio include a band section to the right side of O’Brien and a podium for “Conan” announcer Andy Richter on the far left side of the stage. The set is also equipped with a dramatic recreation of the nighttime California coast.
In addition to playing host to “Conan”, Stage 15 has also served as the location several major motion picture including “Ocean’s Eleven” and “All the President’s Men.”
“Conan” airs weeknights on TBS at 11/10c.