Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Conan O’Brien is leaving his old show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and taking over as the host of the Tonight Show. Jay Leno is leaving Tonight at the end of May and O’Brien will begin hosting on June 1st from Los Angeles.
O’Brien has been the host of Late Night since September 13, 1993 when he took over from David Letterman (who moved to an earlier timeslot on CBS). The tall, red-haired host was a veritable unknown comedy writer when he landed the job and few expected him to last. He not only survived but ended up becoming so popular that NBC execs offered him the prestigious Tonight Show job in 2004, largely out of fear that he might leave.
O’Brien’s last Late Night aired on Friday night (Saturday morning, actually). It marked his 2,725th broadcast and lasted five minutes longer than usual. The episode features the return of former sidekick Andy Richtor (Andy Barker, PI) and musical guest The White Stripes, reuniting for the first time since 2007. As you might expect there are also plenty of clips and reminiscences. The night is capped by a visibly emotional O’Brien giving a farewell speech and then he and his crew giving each audience member a piece of the Late Night set.
Jimmy Fallon’s new late night show debuts on March 2nd but, before it does, take a moment to say goodbye to Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Image courtesy NBC.