Conan O'Brien and Cannabis: Late-Night Talk Show Host Goes Out With a Joint

Conan O’Brien smokes a joint on "Conan" in 2021 and holds the Stony Awards trophy on "Late Night" in 2006.

Conan O'Brien smoking a joint with Seth Rogen on the final week of his late night show Conan on TBS reminded me of the time I met O'Brien in 2006 when I worked at High Times.

Conan has always been pretty much a straight arrow when it comes to weed. That's why it was so much fun watching Rogen coax him into lighting up on the June 22 show.

"You know me, what would you want me smoking?" he asked Rogen, who was prepared with a joint in his shirt pocket.

"Don't smoke that now, or do. This will be a weird show," Rogen advised. "I think you should take one hit of that weed and I think you'll have a really good time."

Rogen passed him a lighter and O'Brien joked, "This is the kind of thing you do when you know it's over for you."

O'Brien took a hit and after a long pause passed the joint back to Rogen who puffed and then passed it to sidekick Andy Richter as the audience howled in support.

"I'm so happy with what just happened," Rogen guffawed. "I wasn't expecting any of this."


Conan and the Stony Awards

One of my accomplishments at High Times was founding the Stony Awards, an entertainment show celebrating cannabis in movies and on television. In 2006, we named Late Night with Conan O'Brien the Best Late Night TV Show. I was told to bring the trophy (a bong) to 30 Rock where they would shoot the acceptance speech.

I was friends with one of Conan's writers Brian McCann, who also played characters like Preparation H Raymond on the show. McCann helped set up the visit. When I got there I met Conan, but it quickly became clear he wouldn't be participating in the acceptance sketch on the set.

Brian dressed up as Raymond and was joined by HempBot, Smokey the Bong, the Masturbating Bear and "our constantly wasted announcer Joel."

"We have no idea why we were chosen, but we will treasure this fully functioning trophy for years to come," Brian drawled. Then he instructed the bear to "go ahead, masturbate."

Cute, but no Conan. The show took place at BB King's in Times Square. Redman hosted. NORML's Allen St. Pierre announced the Late Night award. All went well. But no Conan. Of course, we didn't expect him to attend the show; that's why they made the video (cue to 2:30 below).

A week went by and I was watching Late Night. During the first segment after the monologue sitting at his desk, O'Brien deadpanned:

"Last Wednesday night, Late Night won a prestigious award. That's right. There are a lot of awards out there that might be worth having, but this seemed rather special. The good people that publish High Times magazine [audience laughs] held their annual Stony Awards at BB King's right here in New York. It was a big event. Apparently, we won for Best Comedy Program. High Times magazine thinks we're the best comedy program. And they gave us ths trophy."

He took the bong from behind his desk and placed it on it to laughs and wild cheers. "We want to thank you, High Times," he continued. "It's nice of you to recognize us and we will put this award on display in our lobby."

Then band drummer Max Weinberg broke in: "Hey Conan, the band and I were thinking maybe you shouldn't leave that statue in the lobby. Maybe we should keep it in our dressing room."

"Hey, if you want it, it's yours," Conan replied.

"Hey guys," Max yelled, "we got a bong!"

Conan held it for a minute and stared at it. "So that's a bong."

I doubt Conan ever smoked out with Max and the band, but now at least we know he did with Seth Rogen as he bowed out on June 24 after nearly 30 years as a late-night TV host. Who knows? Maybe Conan will start his own celebrity cannabis brand. 


Other Celebs Who've Toked on TV

Bill Maher on Real Time (2016)

Zach Galifianakis on Real Time (2010)


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.