By now, you have probably watched the final episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, which aired on Friday night, or at least you have seen clips of it on-line. What is there to say? Conan O’Brien is still very young, incredibly famous, and a multi-millionaire. He is going to be fine, no duh. But the show was genuinely bittersweet (and genuinely a huge success, with approximately 7 million viewers on a Friday night) and Conan’s farewell speech (above) is a demonstration of why the outcome of the Late Night Wars is so disheartening. One imagines that if it was Jay Leno’s final episode, he would thank himself for entertaining us, thank Monica Lewinsky one last time, and then wave regally from the driver’s “basket” of one of his manure-fueled 15th century “corn-and-mud” jalopies as he drove to the bank to pick up that day’s residual check. Or maybe he would just trot out a thousand children and take credit for their lives. It’s all speculation. But we do know how Conan ended his tenure at the famous desk, and that was with grace, humility, and good humor. And “Freebird.”
Conan O’Brien: American Hero.