Conan O'Brien Highlights His Favorite Ad Reads in Newest Podcast Episode

The show was projected to accumulate $20 million in sponsorships in 2021

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IHeart Radio’s 2020 Best Comedy Podcast winner Conan O’Brien took a different approach to humor in a recent episode of his podcast series Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, highlighting his funniest ad reads.

In the newest “Oops, All Ads!” episode, which aired last night at midnight PT, ads across clothing, tech and food including brands like MeUndies and Heinz are dissected by O’Brien, his assistant Sona Movsesian and producer Matt Gourley. O’Brien and his team aimed to connect his entire audience to media that isn’t available to them in places outside of the U.S. since his prerecorded ads only target listeners in the U.S.

As iHeart’s 2020 Best Ad Read award recipient and 2022 nominee for the category, the host dedicated the entire episode to his international fanbase for that reason.

“All of our fans internationally don’t get to hear some of these ads so someone had the idea: ‘What if we did an episode of some of our favorite ad reads?’ Which means some of them went horribly wrong or they just fell apart or I just went off on a tangent,” O’Brien said in the episode.

Team Coco Digital

O’Brien’s ad interjections appear unscripted and conversational, according to O’Brien’s media network Team Coco Digital, and sometimes the point of the ad gets derailed by funny side comments from him and his colleagues. His personality is what got him the seven-figure deal with podcasting network Midroll in 2019, and his loyal fanbase is why brands are tossing revenue at the show, which was projected to accumulate roughly $20 million in sponsorships in 2021.

“For me, the ads have become a really fun challenge: pay the bills to keep the lights on but also retain your sense of self, even if that means things occasionally go off the rails,” O’Brien told Adweek.

According to podcast analytics company Chartable, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is ranked No. 9 globally among all podcasts and is top 20 in countries like China and India with a population of more than 1 billion.

The show’s host network also oversees other Team Coco series starring notable comedy figures such as J.B. Smoove and Rob Lowe.