What do Liza Minnelli and Kumail Nanjiani have in common? Well, they’re the only two guests to ever cancel on Conan O’Brien.
The Silicon Valley star was scheduled to appear on Thursday’s Conan to promote his new action-comedy Stuber. But less than 30 minutes before showtime, Nanjiani called to say that he was stuck on set of his HBO comedy, and would not make it out to Conan‘s Warner Bros. studio in time for his interview.
“So, let me recap: We are a show that has changed our format, and we’re now a show that has one guest per night,” O’Brien said. “Now, for the 25 years of our show when we were an hour, we would just take the second guest and move them up and they’d be the first guest, and no one would really be the wiser.” This is what happened back in 1996, when Minnelli called in to cancel at the very last minute. “But when you’re a show that’s based on just interviewing one guest, and that guest doesn’t show up, you’re really screwed.”
As such, O’Brien spent what would have been the first of two interview segments riffing with sidekick Andy Richter and a member of the studio audience. And just to get back at “troublesome diva” Nanjiani, O’Brien showed a clip from another movie that Stuber will have to compete with at next weekend’s box office.
For the second segment, O’Brien decided to interview his personal assistant Sona Movsesian, who is no stranger to the Conan audience. In addition to appearing in the documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, as well as multiple Conan Without Borders specials, Movsesian can be heard on O’Brien’s weekly podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.
Nanjiani addressed his absence in a tweet on Friday morning and linked to the above segment. “.@ConanOBrien is my comedy hero,” he wrote. “Him and @AndyRichter are the reason I started comedy. So this clip is something I would love if it was about anybody other than me. But it’s about me, so I’m truly mortified.”
Press PLAY on the clips above and below to see how O’Brien handled the whole ordeal, then hit the comments with your reactions.