NBC scrubs Conan from the archives

The network pulls a creepy disappearing act on its Big Red archives

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published February 9, 2010 7:10PM (EST)

Hey, remember that time you cut your ex's face out of all the wedding photos? Now imagine you're NBC.

One would hardly expect the network, which parted ways with Conan O'Brien in January, to keep a lot of sentimental mementos hanging around. But considering the long history O'Brien had there, you might expect something to remain, if only for the fans. Think again. NBC has quietly scrubbed the redheaded host from its history. Not content to have his image removed  from the mural at 30 Rock (replaced by one of -- ouch! -- Jay Leno)  and his set dismantled, the network appears to have obliterated his whole oeuvre from Hulu and the NBC online archives. There aren't even any photos of the guy to be found on NBC's Web page.

As James Poniewozik at Time points out, NBC is certainly under no obligation to make nice for the sake of the kids, and there may be a compelling contractual reason for the abrupt purge. The network's official explanation to Time was a terse "No comment." Still, it sure feels like a full-scale O'Brienectomy. Conan? Conan who?

So if you'd been feeling nostalgic for those magic moments before the relationship went bad -- or, for that matter, the really awesome ones after it did -- looks like you're going to have to rely on YouTube from here on out.


By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

MORE FROM Mary Elizabeth Williams

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Conan O'brien Television