When it comes to celebrity success stories, one of the most interesting is that of comedian Conan O’Brien. While most people know him from the brief stunt of him on “The Tonight Show,” the truth is that his history in television and comedy goes back much further. Still, what a lot of people don’t realize is that O’Brien had to work his way to the top of the comedy business, and the odds weren’t always in his favor. Today, though he’s certainly been through a lot in the process, he’s beaten the odds and has his own popular late-night talk show titled “Conan.”

Conan O’Brien was born on April 18, 1963 in Brookline, Massachusetts to an Irish Catholic family. His interest in comedy began at a very young age, so it came as no surprise when he ended up attending Harvard University and becoming a writer for his sketch comedy titled “Not Necessarily the News.” While attending Harvard, he was also president of the “Harvard Lampoon.”

His foray into the television business was not easy. It took years for him to get involved, despite his best efforts, however, by 1987, he had become a writer for Saturday Night Live. He later went on to write for The Simpsons in 1991, where he enjoyed moderate success.

O’Brien’s true test, however, came in 1993, when the surprise announcement was made that he would replace David Letterman as the host of “Late Night” on NBC. Letterman had been well loved and respected as the show’s host for many years, so many were sad to see him go. This, plus the fact that most people had never even heard of Conan O’Brien before, made it difficult for many to accept him as the new host.

So it didn’t come as a huge surprise when O’Brien’s new late-night talk show wasn’t very successful from the start. In fact, its ratings suffered so much that television producers considered taking it off the air on more than one occasion. However, not knowing who to replace him with, they gave him a little more time to prove himself.

About three years after “Late Night” was hosted by O’Brien, the show finally began to gain attention and a more positive outlook. People were beginning to embrace O’Brien’s lunatic, self-deprecating humor, which is now a staple of most of his monologues. He continued to host “Late Night” until 2009, when he was finally offered the spot to replace Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show,” a longtime dream O’Brien had since Carson introduced him.

Once again, the ratings for O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” weren’t favorable at first, and NBC didn’t give him much time to improve. Leno ended up taking control of the show several months later, leaving many thinking that O’Brien would be out of the game forever. However, he has since launched his own very successful late-night show on TBS, and ratings have been high since his debut.