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Conan O’Brien has been robbed.
Specifically, the Largo theater set of his eponymous TBS late night show was burglarized, the host announced on Monday night’s program, and the thief, according to producer Jason Chillemi, stole “a couple of laptops” and the slate that they use to indicate that filming has begun.
Sharing what happened with his show’s audience, O’Brien was at turns horrified, disappointed and amused by the situation.
He announced that the thief had taken some of “the equipment we use to make the show,” before bringing in sidekick Andy Richter, sitting in the theater’s audience of cardboard cutouts.
“You would have thought that the minute they came in and saw ‘Conan’ on anything, they would’ve been like, ‘No, come on. He’s one of the good guys. Let’s go break into someone else’s house.'”
O’Brien added, “And whoever broke in here had to stare at what I think is about 350 cardboard cutouts of exuberant fans in the eyes and say, ‘Hey, don’t mind me. I’m going to steal some shit.'”
Richter and O’Brien then joked that perhaps the thief is still there but just froze to blend in with the cutouts, as O’Brien started laughing.
Chillemi, who O’Brien later said has been with him for roughly 27 years, detailed what was stolen, with O’Brien pointing out that they use the laptops to conduct interviews via Zoom.
“That’s the lowest,” O’Brien said of the burglary and what was stolen.
“Look at us. What happened to us? This kind of shit isn’t happening to other big-time late night shows. No one breaks into The Tonight Show and steals all of the equipment,” he said. “What happened to us? We’ve become this garage band that drives around. We’ve got our van and we’ve parked it in an alley, and someone broke in and took our amps. This would never happen to [Jimmy] Kimmel or [James] Corden or any of those guys. ‘What happened? We couldn’t do a show today! What happened? They broke in and took our shit, man! They took our shit while we were sleeping.'”
He added, “What sort of security? Our security is a bunch of cardboard photographs of fans from across the country.”
After marveling at the “new low,” O’Brien laughed at the absurdity of a late-night talk show not being able to tape an episode because of a robbery.
“Just for the laugh alone, maybe it’s worth it,” he said after calming down.
“Enjoy the laptops,” Richter said, as he and O’Brien wondered what the burglar would do with the slate.
“Suddenly this show that I’ve been working on for 27 years is just … a Nissan Sentra,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien has been filming from the historic Largo at the Coronet in West Hollywood, where O’Brien got his start with improv in the 1980s, since July, without an in-person audience and with a limited number of staffers on site.
A rep for Conan said the incident had been reported to the police. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department for more information.
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