Arts & Entertainment

Conan O'Brien: Stephen Colbert 'right person' to do 'Late Show'

Conan O'Brien is a presenter at the 2014 Breakthrough Prizes Awarded in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences Ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center on Dec. 12, 2013 in Mountain View, California.
Conan O'Brien is a presenter at the 2014 Breakthrough Prizes Awarded in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences Ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center on Dec. 12, 2013 in Mountain View, California.
Steve Jennings/Getty Images for MerchantCantos
Conan O'Brien is a presenter at the 2014 Breakthrough Prizes Awarded in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences Ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center on Dec. 12, 2013 in Mountain View, California.
Host Conan O'Brien speaks onstage during rehearsals for the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 11, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for MTV
Conan O'Brien is a presenter at the 2014 Breakthrough Prizes Awarded in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences Ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center on Dec. 12, 2013 in Mountain View, California.
Comedian Stephen Colbert waits to begin a taping for a skit at the White House July 27, 2007 in Washington, DC. Stephen Colbert, host of the news satire 'The Colbert Report' was at the White House for a taping of a mock press conference.
Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images


Don't feel bad for Conan O'Brien. Again.

The 50-year-old talk show host said he was never a contender to take over CBS' the "Late Show" when David Letterman announced his retirement last week. The funnyman, who has hosted his talk show "Conan" on TBS since 2010, said he believes Stephen Colbert is the "right person" to take over the show from Letterman.

"I wasn't up for it," O'Brien said backstage Friday during a break from rehearsing for Sunday's MTV Movie Awards, which he's hosting for the first time. "I'm very happy where I am, but I love Stephen. I think Stephen is great. I'm a huge fan of his as a comic and as a human being. I think it's fantastic. I'm really glad that he got the job. I look forward to seeing his show."

RELATED: Top 10 reasons Stephen Colbert won't move 'The Late Show' to Los Angeles

O'Brien originally succeeded Letterman on NBC's "Late Night" in 1993 when Letterman moved to CBS to headline the "Late Show." O'Brien infamously replaced Jay Leno as host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" for a mere seven months beginning in 2009 before Leno was reinstated as host in 2010.

"I was very happy because I have such respect for Dave," O'Brien said. "I'm glad that it's the right person getting it."

O'Brien, who has appeared as a guest on Letterman's show, said he's excited to see the "Colbert Report" host tackle the "Late Show," but he definitely didn't apply for the gig.

"Whenever I would hear there was speculation (that I'd take over the 'Late Show'), I was like, 'No. What?' I'm happy," said O'Brien, whose TBS talk show has been renewed through November 2015. "I get to do what I want."