Louis CK on the Early Days of Late Night with Conan O’Brien

Those were intense days. Every Friday we used to think we were getting canceled. This executive would come to the Conan office and look at all of us with a very kind, sympathetic expression, and we’d all be like, Well, this is it—we’re done. Everybody would go to their office and call their agent to start feeling around for other work. And Conan would roll up his sleeves, take a deep breath, get this serious presidential look about him and go into his office and have a conference call with all the executives to push for more time. He always got it. Everybody always felt Conan was protecting our jobs, not just his. He had more money than all of us put together at the time. He was very successful already. But he had brought all of us to this crazy place, and he kept it going. So I learned from him. I still think about him. The way he handled the pressure and persevered is something I draw from now in my own life, like having TV shows and trying to keep them on the air.