28 Years of Late Night: Conan O’Brien Bids Farewell to Longtime Talk Show Career

Image Source: The Wrap

Conan O’Brien signs off from late-night television as his TBS show Conan comes to an end. The entertainment industry is having mixed emotions about the farewell, but the host stresses that this particular goodbye is a good thing. Conan aired its last episode on Thursday night, featuring Jack Black as one of the show’s final guests. The final episode also welcomed a roundup of guests who returned to Conan’s stage, including Martin Short, Zack Galifianakis, Nicole Byer, Andy Samberg, and Lea Delaria.

Conan has aired on TBS since 2010, with O’Brien as the host during the entire duration of the late-night show. O’Brien began his hosting career in 1993, working on two previous NBC shows. Throughout his time with TBS, Conan enjoyed the freedom the network has given him as a host. After transferring from NBC, Ross shared that TBS promised them autonomy. At the time, TBS had substantially lower audience ratings, but Ross said that O’Brien and his team loved being with the network as it gave them autonomy in terms of humor, style, and approach.

Despite being limited to the show’s shortened time slot in 2019, O’Brien engaged global audiences within his 30-minute airtime. Despite the changes, the host remained consistent with his character. To this day, O’Brien has been a brilliant, funny face on American television. His punchlines, mostly disconnected from politics, celebrities, and showbiz, have captivated audiences not only in the country but across the globe. In total, Conan produced 4,368 episodes over the last 11 years with TBS.

A few weeks ago, the host explained that he wants Conan’s last episodes to be filled with madness, bearing the cheerful spirit the show has delivered. “Best of all, I just want to point out, there will be shockingly few, if any, references to Donald Trump because that’s always been my favorite kind of comedy,” O’Brien added. 

On the show’s episode last Monday, O’Brien said that he is incredibly proud of what he and his team were able to accomplish over the years. “A very old Buddhist monk once told me that to pick something up, you must first put something down. I’ll be honest with you, he was drunk out of his skull and very belligerent. And I maintain you can pick up two things if you use both hands. He just got mad and started swinging at me, so I ended the conversation and took his advice,” said the host.

Conan recently relocated after the pandemic at the Los Angeles club Largo. In the show’s final taping, executive producer Jeff Ross said on Wednesday, “Then we will get a drink somewhere and feel weird about the fact that we’d been doing this for 28 years.”

Although O’Brien is bidding farewell to traditional television, he is heading off to stream an HBO Max weekly variety show. He is also exploring other platforms. With his Team Coco production company, O’Brien has recently been working on his long-form interview podcast called Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend

Sources:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/4-368-episodes-later-conan-obriens-late-night-run-ends-11624527002

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/05/04/media/conan-obrien-last-show-june/index.html

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/24/1009587267/conan-obrien-ends-tbs-show-leaves-late-night

Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith has lived all his life in San Francisco and is currently a Senior Reporter. He has outstanding journalistic background. For the past 10 years, he has been breaking news stories and creating engaging content. He has been a leader in setting San Francisco's news agenda and reporting on the state for national audiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.