"I'm truly mortified," Nanjiani said after O'Brien shared the news with guests on the show during his opening monologue
“I’m so sorry Conan,” Nanjiani, 41, tweeted on Friday in response to O’Brien, who wrote, “We had to scramble when @Kumalin couldn’t make it last night, but I think we turned a tricky situation into something really fun.”
During his opening monologue, O’Brien, 56, revealed that just a half-hour before taping, he received news that Nanjiani wouldn’t be able to make it due to being stuck on set for a different show.
“I was having my pre-show nap,” O’Brien said to the audience. “Andy [Ritcher] was having his bath in heavy cream, and they came in and they said, ‘Kumail can’t get here.'”
The last minute change forced O’Brien to wing the rest of the show, but he made sure to poke fun at Nanjiani throughout the episode.
“I’m not sure what kind of program we have tonight,” O’Brien said. “We have a little bit of an unusual situation going on with our show, and that is that tonight we’re supposed to be having Kumail Nanjiani on the show.”
“When you’re a show that’s based on just interviewing one guest, and that guest doesn’t show up, you’re really screwed,” O’Brien continued.
The talk show host then revealed that this isn’t the first time he’s had a guest cancel.
“Maybe 15, 20 minutes before the show started, we got a call from our guest, and it was Liza Minnelli, and she said she couldn’t make it. Liza Minnelli canceled, and she’s know, you know, she’s a great artist, but she’s known for sometimes flaking out,” O’Brien said with Ritcher adding that she’s a “troublesome diva.”
O’Brien then joked that Nanjiani and Minelli are now in the same “troublesome diva” category.”
O’Brien went on to share that in support of Nanjiani’s appearance, he was going to show a clip of his new film Stuber.
However, since he bailed, O’Brien opted to instead show a clip from a competing release — The Lion King.
“We had his clip all loaded up and then we started talking about it and we thought ‘Hey, if the guy doesn’t show up were not going to show the clip, promoting his movie,” O’Brien explained.
“You gotta show up to get the cookie,” Richter said.
Nanjiani responded to the monologue on Twitter, writing, “@conanOBrien is my comedy hero. Him and @AndyRichter are the reason I started comedy. So this clip is something I would love if it was about anybody other than me. But it’s about me, so I’m truly mortified.”
Nonetheless, the show must go on and O’Brien continued the episode by interviewing his assistant Sona Movsesian.
Stuber, which is about a detective, who recruits his Uber driver into an unexpected night of adventure, hits theaters on July 12.