Emmy-winning comedian and television host Conan O'Brien can now claim a first in his career: a Billboard-charting album.
Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend: Quinquennial Celebration, the comedian's vinyl release of his much-heralded (and hysterical) podcast, sits at Number 3 on Billboard's Comedy Albums Chart. With a limited pressing of just 1500, Billboard has tracked 1000 copies sold, which makes this event an O'Brien milestone.
The album was sold exclusively through the New England-based comic/music chain Newbury Comics (which shows the LP as "out of stock"). A companion to his podcast, the eight tracks were curated by O'Brien, assistant Sona Movsesian and show producer Matt Gourley, who act as occasional co-hosts. Sub-labeled as an anniversary collection, "quinquennial" is O'Brien-speak for "relating to a period of five years."
It's unclear whether this appearance on the Comedy Chart will, in effect, "tear a hole in the hipster spacetime continuum," as its host declared back in November. However, it's more than clear that with few units to sell, the album will not unseat the reigning champion, Bo Burnham's Inside (The Songs). Burnham's soundtrack to his Netflix comedy special entered the top spot on June 19, 2021 and has spent a record-breaking 129 non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 since the chart's inception in 2004. Burnham's longevity has also been rewarded with a 2024 Grammy nomination for Inside (Deluxe Box Set) in the Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package.
The Brookline, Massachusetts native launched his career as a writer at Saturday Night Live and then moved to the animated sitcom The Simpsons as a writer and producer. He was handpicked by SNL showrunner Lorne Michaels in 1993 to take over the reins of Late Night from David Letterman and served as that show's host for 16 years.
2009 saw him relocate to Los Angeles and become the host of The Tonight Show following Jay Leno's retirement. However, 7 months of inter-network politicking saw him exit as he headed to cable network TBS for Conan from 2010-2021.
He launched his Team Coco podcast Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend in 2018 and subsequent subseries' including Conan O'Brien Needs A Fan, a series of podcast specials, including Deep Dive with Dana, The Lost Hans and Franz Movie and the Summer S'mores series. Conan O'Brien Must Go, is a travel show offshoot in which he visited several of the fans he had talked to on the podcast, is currently in post-production and will be broadcast on the television channel Max.