Conan O’Brien to grads: Failure IS an option

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, June 13, 2011 8:58 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

In 2010, nobody better encapsulated the comeback story than late night talk show host Conan O’Brien.

After losing his post at NBC’s The Tonight Show and a very public battle with his former employers, O’Brien took his comedy to Twitter, then toured the country in a series of stage shows, finally succeeding in 2011 with one of the top-rated programs on basic cable.

In spite of his high profile implosion at NBC, Conan’s unplanned career detour was “the most satisfying and fascinating year of my professional life,” he told graduates at Dartmouth College over the weekend.

And that’s the moral of his story for graduates and all those facing severe disappointment and adversity: “There are few things more liberating in this life than having your worst fear realized.”

“Whether you fear it or not,” he added, “true disappointment will come but with disappointment comes clarity, conviction and true originality.”


Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.