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Conan O’Brien Lands First Billboard Chart Appearance, Thanks to New Vinyl Album

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Conan O’Brien has already had plenty of success in his career, but now he has one more reason to celebrate: he’s officially a Billboard-charting artist for the first time.

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His new limited-edition vinyl release Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend: Quinquennial Celebration debuts at No. 3 on the latest Comedy Albums chart (dated Dec. 30) with 1,000 copies sold in the U.S. in the Dec. 15-21 tracking week, according to Luminate, becoming his first-ever Billboard chart entry.

The album is a compendium to his hit podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. The collection was curated by O’Brien and his trusty co-hosts Matt Gourley and Sona Movsesian in honor of the podcast’s fifth anniversary. According to a press release, the set finds the trio “reflecting on the last five years of recording their hit podcast,” including never-before-heard backstories and original comedy surprises.

SiriusXM, which acquired the podcast and the Team Coco digital media business in May, announced the news of the release on Nov. 7. “This is a historic achievement — listening to a podcast on vinyl will tear a hole in the hipster spacetime continuum,” O’Brien said in a statement. The project was produced by SiriusXM’s Team Coco in collaboration with New England-based comic/music retailer Newbury Comics.

O’Brien launched his Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast in November 2018 after retiring from his Conan late-night show on TBS. In addition to chatting with callers from around the globe on the spin-off Conan O’Brien Needs a Fan, the show has featured a wide variety of guests, including Will Ferrell, Malcolm Gladwell, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Barack and Michelle Obama, Adam Sandler, David Sedaris, Bruce Springsteen, Howard Stern and Neil Young, plus a recent special-event interview with former Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic.

O’Brien, a four-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, hosted NBC’s Late Night With Conan O’Brien from 1993-2009 and The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien from 2009-10. Before that, the Brookline, Mass., native was a writer for Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons.

O’Brien isn’t the first late-night host to chart a song or album on BIllboard. Jimmy Fallon’s Blow Your Pants Off spent three weeks at No. 1 on Comedy Albums in 2012. His album The Bathroom Wall also reached No. 47 on the Billboard 200 in 2002, while his song “Ew!” featuring will.i.am peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014 — his new holiday song with Meghan Trainor, “Wrap Me Up” also rises to No. 2 on the current Adult Contemporary chart (dated Dec. 30). Craig Ferguson has charted two entries on Comedy Albums: A Wee Bit O’ Revolution (No. 6 peak in 2009) and I’m Here To Help (No. 6, 2013). Jimmy Kimmel reached No. 27 on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and No. 83 on the Holiday 100 in 2014, thanks to his featured appearance on the Killers’ holiday song “Joel the Lump of Coal.” Trevor Noah’s African American LP peaked at No. 6 on Comedy Albums in 2015. Arsenio Hall — as alter ego Chunky A — hit No. 26 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 77 on the Hot 100 in 1989 with his novelty rap track “Owww!” His comedy rap album Large and in Charge also reached No. 71 on the Billboard 200 in 1990. And Steve Allen, the inaugural host of The Tonight Show in 1954-57, charted on the Hot 100 in 1963 with his song “Gravy Waltz” (No. 64 peak).

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