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.

Comments (50)
  1. i dunno, i think conan could have used more dancing itos.

  2. I’m with Coco(a Krispies).

  3. His farewell at the end was top-notch class.

  4. I hope Conan can find some time in the interim (of whatever he does next) to pen some quality Simpsons episodes. I don’t know if I could love him anymore than I already do if that happens, though. I’ll need to erect some sort of shrine to the man, I guess. That’s the logical next step, right?

  5. I think everyone in the Videogum Chat that night teared up just a bit. But the ending was some of the best television EVAR!!!

  6. i’m not sure if it is possible to top “free bird” as a way to end the show. it was awesome and random and strange and perfect.

    • So awesome and you could tell he was having a blast playing it. It was just that – perfect.

    • I’m not going to lie. I didn’t get this reference at all. (I’m only twenty-one!) I knew I was missing something, but I didn’t know what. Thanks for the clarification.

  7. And too large to post here:

  8. This week NBC are going to run repeat episodes of the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Anyone else think that there is no way that they will repeat shows from the last two weeks?

  9. The whole time I was thinking More cowbell, and then BAM Ferrell delivered ultimate style.

  10. Was I the only one who played the Conan O’Brien drinking game that we all got so excited about?

    I mean, I think I played it. The evening’s a little hazy.

  11. i think the fossil of a giant ground sloth spraying barracuda caviar onto an original picasso really summed things up well. see you in september, coco.

  12. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  13. It was sobfest 2010 in my dorm room the last 15 minutes. Also, Free Bird at the end was genius and hilariously poetic, what an incredible way to go out, Coco.

  14. I heart you Videogum

  15. I wasn’t crying. It was just raining. On my face.

  16. As if you all haven’t already seen every piece of internet art…still, I love that Conan has inspired a meme with a great message that’s not in Lolcat.

  17. “Nothing gold can stay.” -Robert Frost

  18. I couldn’t tell if my tears at the end of this episode were genuine or as a result of me watching at 4am after drinking about a dozen glasses of boxed Chablis. Either way, bravo Conan!

  19. *slow clap* Bravo, Conan.

  20. “Long May You Run” was an ironic song choice considering it was written about a car. I liked it anyway. :)

  21. Dear Internet,
    Best ending anyone could have asked for. I’d like to think (in my own dillusional mind) that he was picturing my sign when he said thanks for the signs. See u in 7 months coco!

  22. I did get weepy eyed, and it was perfectly funny and touching, but now I have this hole in my heart. Are late night show supposed to do that?

  23. I love me a good Conan speech. It’s better than therapy in getting this cold, dead heart of stone to feel something.

  24. Joke or not, what Adam Sandler said about him crying made me really wonder if and when it would happen. Then the thing that got him to that point was talking about the fans enthusiasm and creativity. Guys, he’s the best.

    Side-story, I grew up in Chicagoland and our weather can be PUNISHING, and ALL OF A SUDDEN. This can turn jr. high gym class syllabi into “let’s just sit in the smelly weight room and see if this clears up.” When I was in 7th grade, my bff and I got stuck in this for 4 out 5 days of a certain week. We used the time to jointly write my one and only fan letter (this was ’93, ’94, right after Late Night with C-O’B started) and we worked SO HARD ON IT. I don’t even remember if we actually sent it, but that experience totally cemented a so-far 17-year friendship – based largely on having someone to be totally goofy and ridiculous with. Conan may be a millionaire who will so completely bounce back, but I was completely teary-eyed and touched by that speech..

  25. I’ll admit it, when he started to get choked up, I was definitely crying all over my couch. It feels weird that he isn’t on late night anymore. He’s been there for pretty much my whole life. Fingers crossed for a new show!

  26. “We’re going to have fun on television tonight!”>>>”They will never take… our freedom!!!”

  27. I had to watch it all alone in my bedroom as all my roommates were in the living room watching Mortal Combat. Luckily, that meant no one saw me cry like a little girl during his speech.

    I thought the whole episode was pitch-perfect and wonderful. That Conan, such a class act. September, please come soon!

  28. This was Conan & staff’s version of the homecoming parade in Animal House. Unlimited money/resources, the attention of the entire nation, and nothing to lose: the freedom to do whatever the fuck they wanted, and goddamn did they do it right.

    I can only imagine how amazing writing that show must have been – someone yells “we should play freebird” and then everyone else yells their favorite musicians and, like magic, it happened. They were asked the superficial equivalent of “what would you do if you had one day left to live?”, and Conan’s answer was to have fun. And the kicker is, as cheesy as that sounds, it wasn’t.

    I would love to blame this schmaltz on watching the show baked, but an ironic twist, emotions clouded my high.

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