Later tonight, this June 1st of 2009, The Tonight Show -- a late night institution that has been around for more than 50 years -- will welcome its 5th host. Conan O'Brien officially takes over for the departed Jay Leno (who's getting a new 5-nights-a-week primetime show in the fall) at 11:35pm. Luckily, for fans of Conan's 16 years hosting Late Night, most of the staff made the move to the West Coast to work on the new Tonight Show, including Max Weinberg and the rest of the band; executive producer Jeffrey Ross; head writer Mike Sweeney; writers Kevin Dorff, Brian Stack, Brian McCann, and Brian Kiley (and more); graphic designer and sometimes performer Pierre Bernard; and blogger Aaron Bleyaert.
For those who have visited the Tonight Show website, or who used to frequent the old Late Night with Conan O'Brien website and the Late Night Underground, you're well aware of who Aaron Bleyaert is. But for those who don't, he's pretty much been the window into the world of late night, first blogging for Late Night, and now doing the same for The Tonight Show. He also frequently posts a mix of behind-the-scenes and original comedy videos, which really started to get noticed during the 07/08 writers' strike. And remember those strike beards that Conan O'Brien, David Letterman, and others were sporting during the strike? Aaron and his sometimes-collaborator Jason Chillemi started the whole thing by growing their own.
In a first for ShowbizMonkeys.com, Aaron was nice enough -- in the midst of the insanely hectic preparation for the launch of the new Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien -- to answer YOUR questions from the offices of The Tonight Show in Universal Studios Hollywood. Watch the video below for an explanation on what Aaron does for the show, how he's adjusting to the move from NYC to L.A., his opinions on Conan O'Brien as a boss, and much more!
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)