Andy Richter : TV's 40 Most Fascinating People

Late Night with Conan O'Brien
(NBC, weeknights, 12:35 a.m. ET)

Why did Conan O'Brien approve of an unknown comic named Andy Richter to be his sidekick in 1993? "This guy looks like a young, Nordic Ed McMahon," cracks O'Brien. "I was like, `Hey, Andy, sit next to me.'" O'Brien sat and stuck by Richter, 30, who was savaged by the critics in the beginning. "I knew world-class funny people that thought I was funny," says Richter. "So I trusted them." And while he's since won the naysayers over with his droll humor, Richter "can't imagine [being on the show] in 15 years," he says. "I'm too antsy." For starters, he dreams of acting in films. Then there's his future role as a parent. "When I have a baby to come home to," says Richter, who shares a Manhattan apartment with actress wife Sarah Thyre, "I'll definitely be the absentee sidekick."

THE BUZZ: "The best sidekick since Ed McMahon, for what that's worth," says Roush.

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