Pat O'Brien (born February 14, 1948 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota) is an American sports commentator and television show host. He currently hosts the Entertainment Tonight spin-off, The Insider. Prior to that, O'Brien spent 7 years as co-anchor of Access Hollywood.
O'Brien is a graduate of the University of South Dakota. While at USD, O'Brien was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He also studied international economics at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.
He began his career as a production assistant for The Huntley-Brinkley Report.
He then served as an anchor and reporter for WMAQ-TV in Chicago and KNXT-TV (now known as KCBS-TV) in Los Angeles from 1977 until 1981 when he joined CBS.
Pat O'Brien is perhaps best known for his almost 20 year association with CBS Sports, which O'Brien joined in 1981. While at CBS, O'Brien covered the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Draft, NBA Finals, Winter Olympic Games, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and the Final Four. He has also hosted VH1's Fairway to Heaven and Lift Ticket to Ride.
In 2000, O'Brien returned to the sports world when he covered the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney for NBC, appearing on the CNBC channel. He also anchored the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece for NBC, this time appearing on both the Network and MSNBC.
In 2001, O'Brien had a cameo appearance in P. Diddy's Bad Boy For Life music video. In early 2003, Pat O'Brien filled in for Casey Kasem three times on Kasem's radio programs American Top 40 and American Top 20, once in January, once in February, and once in March when Kasem took vacation time. O'Brien also voice-acted in an episode of The Twilight Zone entitled Mr. Motivation. His voice is used for a doll named "Mr. Motivation."
In recent years comedians have been taking aim at O'Brien -- lampooning his nasal voice, bushy moustache, and seemingly desperate on-camera attempts appear to be "hip". O'Brien has been parodied or targeted on shows like The Simpsons, Home Movies, The Howard Stern Show, South Park, The Soup, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Best Week Ever, The Adam Carolla Show, The Opie and Anthony Show, The Boondocks, Cheap Seats, The Showbiz Show with David Spade, and by Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live. He was also the subject of a TV Fun House cartoon by Robert Smigel
On March 20, 2005, O'Brien issued a written statement announcing that he had been admitted to a rehab facility for alcoholism. Around the announcement of O'Brien entering rehab, a string of sexually graphic voicemail messages that allegedly contained O'Brien's voice started to make the rounds, particularly within the internet community and Radio shows such as the Howard Stern Show and Opie and Anthony Show. Bubba the Love Sponge has Larry Bird brother Jeff Bird read the text from Pat O'Brien's voicemails. The drunk dialing incident entailed O'Brien leaving repeated intoxicated phone messages upon the cellular voicemail box of an undisclosed female.
Some of the calls are believed to have been made to Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson, stemming largely from reports that the two were 'casually romantic' together at various venues around Los Angeles.
On May 4, 2005, O'Brien was interviewed by talk show therapist Phil McGraw, which was featured during a prime time special on CBS. He disclosed the reasons behind his alcohol and drug abuse since the 1960's, as well as his experiences during rehabilitation. O'Brien also expressed remorse for the voicemail incident and apologized for what his substance abuse did to his family.
O'Brien returned to The Insider the next day, and reports from newsblues.com say O'Brien has been signed to a new deal as host of the show.
February 8, 2008 it was reported that O'Brien re-entered rehab.