Conan O'Brien Talks ‘Tonight Show': ‘It's Time To Graduate'

Conan O'Brien may feel completely ready to take over "The Tonight Show" – but in a new interview with The New York Times Magazine, he said it's moving from New York to Los Angeles that's thrown him off.

"A lot of the early stage of the show will probably play off my feeling of being on the moon," he joked to the mag, on newsstands this Sunday.

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It's been a long road for the host, who spent 16 years hosting "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" following time as a writer for "The Simpsons" and "Saturday Night Live." Before earning the gig, he'd never been a performer, and the show's first season was a struggle before finding his footing in the ratings.

"Conan always knew he had the product," Jay Leno, whom Conan will be replacing on "The Tonight Show," told the mag. "He said it kind of dopey, but what he was saying was clever and smart. And then he learned how to say it well."

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And besides the chance to perform, his seasons on the show brought him something else — his wife, whom he met during a segment that taped at her ad agency in 2000.

"I immediately knew Liza was the one," he said. "I couldn't say 'Oh no, I'm not ready – I need to be with a few drug-addicted super-models with rage issues.'"

But he added that despite the happy memories, doing "The Tonight Show" is still his dream.

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"I feel like I've been in high school for 16 years," Conan concluded. "A great high school, but it's time to graduate."

Conan will begin his run on "The Tonight Show" on June 1.

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