February 20th, 2009
08:51 PM ET

The last 'Late Night' of Conan

Editor's Note: Tim Farley, an Atlanta software engineer and creator of Whatstheharm.net, requested tickets for a "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" show last month. Much to his surprise, he received two tickets for the February 20 program, O'Brien's very last "Late Night," as the host is moving to the "Tonight" show in a few months. Here is Tim's report.

Warning: The following is light on spoilers, but there are a couple. – Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer

This past January 20 was a great day for many people, but I had an extra reason to celebrate. On that day I received an unusual e-mail from NBC. There had been a special lottery announced to obtain tickets to the final tapings of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." I had sent in a single request to enter my name. I was rewarded with a pair of tickets to tonight's broadcast, his final show in New York.

I made arrangements to fly from Atlanta to New York with my brother. As long-time fans of the program, we were not going to miss it. Others were equally enthusiastic. Hundreds waited on line in the frigid February New York weather for a mere chance at a standby ticket. We talked to several who had actually camped overnight - one of whom got in line so early he had to figure out how he'd watch THURSDAY night's show. (He finally watched on his laptop, tapping into a wi-fi connection.)

Some 31 standby tickets were issued.

Taping began at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. We met others in the audience who had traveled from Minneapolis, Alaska and Canada to see the broadcast. It was a fantastic ending sure to please fans of the show. The White Stripes performed, but the other guests on the program were left as a last-minute surprise. One recognizable gentleman stripped to lime-green short shorts and danced to some music, to Conan's horror. (Those of you who watch the show regularly will know who this is already.)

One thing you won't see on air was the crowd of almost a dozen friends of the show, including current and former writers, gathered by the stage door to watch the taping from up close. This included former head writer Robert Smigel, who was snapping photos of the proceedings with a digital camera.

Conan continued his trend (started on Monday) of demolishing his set and handing out hunks to the audience. Some of the pieces were so large they had to be further chopped up with an axe. And he ended the program with an off-the-cuff and teary "thank you" to everyone who had helped him.

It was all well worth the price of admission (to reference an old Johnny Carson joke) - and well worth the plane ticket, too.

–Tim Farley

Filed under: television

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soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Spencer

    One of the two original Eisenhower mugs that were used on the show is for sale on ebay!

    March 5, 2009 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Photoray

    Conan is a comic genus. One thing that used to bug me some about him is that he upstaged his guests because he was writing so much good stuff in his head that he wanted to get it out. I think it was a struggle for him to shut up, or at least keep it in check. I'm disappointed that Jimmy will be taking over. He'll lose the time slot for me. I like
    Ferguson much more than I used to, but in that slot, Conan was solid, more so than Ferguson. Even with boring guests, he could make it interesting or funny. I like Ferguson's interviews though, but not his comb-over, etc. characters. There is going to be a void in that slot. I'm in the minority; positive of that, but I would have loved to see Norm Macdonald fill Conan's slot. He could just sit there for an hour, and I would be thoroughly entertained. I love that guy. I wish more people "got/get" him. I never liked Conan's intro–too loud, grating, long, or seemed so. I got so I always muted it until Conan started talking Hope he changes it in LA.

    I liked his first months and year, and was surprised to see that he was almost canceled. I don't get it. Humor is relative, I guess. I like Leno, but Letterman always won the time slot. He helped me through grad school. As a part time student, from '82-'86, Letterman was about the only thing I had the time to watch, and I loved him–more then than now. I like Kimmel pretty well, so will be skipping over to him much of the time.

    For me Letterman will likely continue to win the time slot. I "connect" to Dave, somehow. Jimmy Fallon?.....I just don't get it. I wasn't even a fan on SNL; I mean he was ok, but replacing Conan is a whole new gig, which requires him to carry the show. I don't think he can, plus I don't think he's too funny generally.

    Wonder what Jay's show will be like, new format?....same essentially as the current show?.....wonder. I predict I watch it.

    March 4, 2009 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sandy

    The Tonight Show is doomed!!! Conan is a no-talent, egotistical, arrogant pain in the ass who will drive away more viewers than he will every gain. The morons at NBC who came up with this decision should be given the boot – and good!!! O'Brien is truly an idiot, which wont' take much time to prove out.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LauraJ

    MagginsI agree,Rosie tried a live variety show over the summer and it failed big time in the ratings. I tape live Tru TV (court TV) ther are too many court shows too evertone is suing one another–we could use a good variety/comedy show like the smothers brothers and laugh in etc

    February 23, 2009 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lucinda

    Is Triumph going, too?

    February 23, 2009 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lorrin

    I don't understands all the haters out their. Conan is fantastic, he got be through several low parts of my life. He also wrote for SNL in the good years as well as The Simpson's. His show has been on the Air for 16 years, He must be doing something right. He's is going to be the best thing for the tonight show since Carson Jay Leno is un creative and boring. Conan gets so much better guest then Leno does. I cant wait to see him on the Tonight Show.

    February 23, 2009 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Maggins

    never liked the guy and his wave of hairstyle to begin with and those beady little eyes are unnerving. HE still has a job unlike a lot of us. In my opinion there are way too many talk shows. bring back the comedy without all the talk.

    February 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Atharva R. Deshmukh

    Aai baba I love slum dog

    February 22, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LauraJ

    If Conan made it for 16 years in NY he will be just fine inCA–any comments about how Jimmy Fallon will do ?? I only remember him from SNL

    February 22, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. julie

    Tim, thanks for sharing, you lucky dog!! I had the pleasure of seeing Conan taped twice over the last few years, and fell madly in love with him after he feigned a come-on to me.
    I had hoped to make it to a final taping, but with the economy, and my location in the mid-west, it just wasn't happening.
    But it's nice that fans such as yourself were still invited, and the audience wasn't made up of big-wigs and names, as I had feared.
    As for the morons here who dislike Conan and yet still took the time to waste your time (and mine) by posting their hateful opinions and smart-alec remarks, y'all can kiss my pale ass.

    February 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris

    Anyone who doesn't find Conan HILARIOUS has NO SENSE of humor and shouldn't be watching comedy shows to begin with.
    Jay Leno is the least funniest human being on television.
    Craig ferguson isnt even in the same LEAGUE as Conan. HENCE conan getting the tonight show slot.
    Good God there are a lot of stupid people on here.

    February 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. qingpeng

    I am a graduate student from China.
    i can't understand all Conan said in his show. But I am really excited by his humor . thank you , conan!

    February 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Renee McLean, Labrador City, NL,,Canada

    I would rather watch SESAME STREET at 12:35am, (that's our broadcast time here in Labrador City), instead of Conan O'Brien, and I dont even have kids young enough that watches it. Atleast those stupid little puppets whose mouths doesn't even move will generate more laughs than Conan ever could. Conan O'brien would be ALOT funnier if his mouth didn't move.....

    February 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    It is good that Leno is retiring from the Tonight Show. Although he was entertaining at times, there were plenty of times he was just irritating and obnoxious. He was a poor replacement for Carson and was only the "best" because everyone else was so inferior. Late Night-Dave was a more suitable replacement, but he became Late Show-Dave with his silly and lazy imitation of humor that Conan seemed to copy.

    Hopefully, Conan will reinvent himself on his new show. I believe he can because he wasn't always so infantile.

    February 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nichi

    As a California girl growning up listening to my parents laugh their a....es off at Johnny Carson, and then laughing my a...s off to Jay it will be sad to see him go. However, I absolutely LOVE Conan, and I'm so looking forward to him coming to LA. The BEST eventually all come make their way here.....Gotta love LA!!!

    February 22, 2009 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  16. Haider Bilgrami

    Conan, you'd b surprised to kno that people in Pakistan. Afghanistan and even Iran watched yur show. specially the initial part when u were funny. The guest part they cud not relate to was not so popular, keep it up and make fun of dumb american presidents, people enjoy that a lot
    Haider Bilgrami Pakistan

    February 22, 2009 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  17. FrankyS

    Anybody who says Conan is not Leno, that's a good thing, if not a great thing. I skipped Leno all the time, now I won't have to do that anymore. Why did Leno spend 30 minutes a night on his shtick that maybe 5 minutes was funny of. Jay doesn't know how to deliver a joke even if he rehearsed one all day long it seems, kinda funny for a so-called stand-up comedian. Geez's 16 yrs wasted fron 10:30 to 11:30 CST, at least I didn't watch it. BTW Conan's last shows this week were awesome (see bit of him playing with old time baseball league, hilarious) more or less, except for the White Stripings (who the heck were they, but I take heart, if they are considered good, then I'm frieken Billy Joe and Elton John rolled into one, and they're Beethoven, Bach and Mozart rolled up into 2l) ....... I'll tune in occasionally to his new show to be sure, should be fresh, should be good, and it won't be Leno, oh thank heaven

    February 22, 2009 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  18. TMT

    Ummm, I'm not hating on Conan... where did I "hate" on Conan. I happen to be recently laid-off from the entertainment business, and still have friends in the business, (some at NBC, who tried to get me on the show, but since most of the staff is moving...), and anyone not going to Universal City (most everyone but the "crew" are going, if they want), and others left behind are being reassigned by NBC. So, there will not be a dearth of unemployment from his moving.
    And I never said it's all about the money, but they are WELL PAID. I know, I have worked in the business for over a decade.

    February 21, 2009 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Mark Y

    Conan will do very well in the new time slot and will bring a new younger audience to the Tonight Show. I know that it has been a while but I bet people made some of these same type of comments about Jay Leno replacing Johnny Carson. Please know that you can't replace these long time fixtures and Jay will be missed until he lands on another show perhaps on another network. I wasn't a fan of Leno when he replaced Carson and I wasn't a fan of Conan either but I watch both shows whenever I get the chance. Welcome to the Tonight Show Conan.

    February 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Mus

    Having arrived at the Unites States as a graduate student in 1995, he immediately became the first US TV personality I genuinely liked. I admired his and shows' writers' brilliance. He may not be the best late night pitchman, the honors go to Craig Ferguson, however the show as a whole has been so much better than Leno's or Letterman's. Lately Craig Ferguson's show, thanks to his brilliant monologues, came close to the quality of Conan's. The side-shows in Conan's show were so good, each of them deserved and sometimes got their own gig (e.g. Triumph the Insult-Comic Dog and the Master Bating Bear, I hope to see new gigs in his new show, since the former may not make the cut due to less allowed profanity at the 11:35 pm slot).
    Leno, Letterman, and their shows' writers, have very limited capabilities when compared to Conan and his writers. For example I cannot stand seeing the same blunt Leno every night, while Letterman's inane stupidity is more tolerable. On the other hand, Conan and his sideshows used to bring a new varsity every night. Most likely, the people who do not like Conan either have not seriously watched his shows more than a few nights or do not enjoy comic genius but instead like the everyday banal.
    Conan's education background (at Harvard) and nerdiness have always been a handicap for him, yet he turned this to his advantage very cleverly. I think he captivated most of the American youth.
    I have not watched him continuously since 2000, since I graduated from the graduate school, got married, moved out of country and come back. Yet, I am sure that the fan base he created among the American youth, who have now turned into their 20's, 30's and 40's will be a solid rating booster in his new slot. If he does not lower the quality of his show for the sake of captivating the average Joe, in the long run he will be very successful.
    Good luck for this TV genius in his new job.

    February 21, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Bobbo

    I am a fan of ALL the late night hosts....they're ALL funny....if they weren't they wouldn't be on the air. You may prefer one over the others, but to say that a single one of them isn't funny is, well, ignorant. Many of you have never even SEEN a Johnny Carson bit, and if you did, you probably wouldn't think that was funny either.

    If you wish to categorize them by personal opinion, so be it. I enjoy Craig Ferguson's monologue the best. I enjoy Jay's act 2 segments like Headlines the most. I enjoy Letterman's interviews the best. And I always enjoyed Conan's musical guests and stand up guests the most, and many of them will tell interviewers that they owe Conan their careers.

    Admittedly, I stopped watching Conan regularly when Craig Ferguson took over the Late Late Show, but I always flip over to Conan during commercials. Some of the funniest comedy bits I've ever seen stem from Conan's tenure on late night, from Triumph to the Walker Texas Ranger Lever to Conan and Tiger Woods playing a golf video game (which made me cry I laughed so hard) to Conan kissing Rebecca Romaijn (google it if you haven't seen it).

    And you know what? I am also a fan of Jimmy Fallon, and I can't wait to see his new show.

    Bottom line is that they're all employed for a reason. They are funny and they do their jobs well. And I'm looking forward to seeing Conan host The Tonight Show. And one of the last things he said last night was that whether he was expected to "grow up" with the move, he most certainly will not!!! And for that we can all be grateful!!

    February 21, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Mr. Melancholy

    I saw last nights show and I am very happy for Conan. He is such a great person who really deserves the Tonight Show. Other than the music the show was fantastic.

    February 21, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  23. phillyguy

    The Conan that we know and love is no more. The things he did and got away with will disappear, not only because of the time slot, but because it is the Tonight Show, which is held to higher standards. We are talking about Jack Parr, Johnny Carson and well I guess Jay Leno.

    Conan is more of a NYC/late night guy. That is how i feel.

    Jimmy Fallon? I m not buying that either...

    February 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  24. 10sprofessional

    Im just glad he has the White Stripes closing him out! Excellent way to blow it out Conan!

    February 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  25. db

    you people are nuts

    February 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jim

    People were saying the same thing about Conan when he took over for Letterman. They said that Leno wasn't worthy of the Tonight Show and Conan would fail in a few weeks. Those people were wrong. Conan tailors to a different crowd, mostly young people. Leno pleases an older crowd. Their comedy is totally different. Leno is alot more scripted and prewritten. Conan is a lot more improvised and off-the-cuff. Give him a chance at least before you say you will never watch his show.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Cindy

    Never was a big fan of Conan. I'll be happier to see Jimmy Fallon instead. And I guess I'll be able to go to sleep a little earlier in the future....

    Not sad to see Jay go either. He relies too much on pranks,

    February 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  28. The Midwest

    It sounds like most of you don't know that Jay Leno will be moving to a time slot an hour and thirty minutes earlier than the Tonight Show.

    Basically, mid-western time, Jay Leno is moving from 10:30PM to 9PM and Conan is moving from 11:30PM to 10:30PM. So Jay isn't going away or retiring like people think.

    Also, I think you will find that Conan will be doing the SAME type of comedy and will not be toning down anything. He can do the exact same things 1 hour earlier.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Henry

    Gimme a break. Conan laughs at his own jokes before he starts the punch line. It is an travesty that the Tonight Show legacy of Johnny Carson and Jay Leno is left to such a pompous person like Conan. I know I will never watch the tonight show ever again, until they get rid of him.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Frank

    For those wondering why Conan might be teary-eyed, you have to remember that he almost got canceled after his first season, and managed to stick around due to one or two people at NBC, he managed to hang around for 15 more years, during which he met his wife on a remote shoot for the show, and he now has two children. This show has now earned him the right to take over the tonight show, he pinnacle of talk shows. Of course he is going to be excitied, but also very nostalgic. He knows how hard it can be to succeed in a new show, he knows he will have pressure to change in ways he will have to fight, and he has spent 2,600 some nights on this show, connecting with people in a way only he can.

    I thank Conan for 16 great years, with some funny bits, and some not so funny ones, but some of the BEST interviews I've seen, and the best improve and off the cuff moments I've witnessed. That is where Conan truly shines: Doing remotes about authentic 1864 baseball and seeing a plane, exclaiming: "What is this new devilry!" Having a bit stop working when a piece of equipment breaks, and jumping on his desk and starting to preform a striptease. Trying to trick Rebecca Rojmian into kissing him, she doesn't fall for it, then kisses him anyway, leading to his throwing his chair, and falling over on the floor screaming "YEESSSS!!!!" Taking an audience member on a strool through the city in his desk, and calling the person out for not acting the part well enough.

    I'm THRILLED to have Conan on earlier, except it will make a DVR a must finally, as I cannot choose between Colbert and Conan. And for those who did NOT watch, he said that while there is a lot of talk about how "conan is going to have to grow up, and mature for the earlier time slot", he will not, be cause he can't. He is the person we have seen for the last 16 years, and the guy who on his 3rd day gave the simpson's one of their best episodes of all time, the monorail episode.

    Rock on Conan, and keep being you.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Alex

    Thanks for all the memories Conan! Your show is the voice of a generation. Just like my parents grew up on Carson, my friends and I grew up watching your show. From the Andy Richter days to the present, your show has brought laughter to millions of people.

    We love you Conan!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Martok

    Boy, after reading some of the comments it just reaffirms my belief that
    90% of the people online are idiots.

    Good luck Conan. As for all you haters, "F" off!

    February 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Franky

    You know, we were watching his show, that's for sure(ohh yeah, we also watch local channels too, we're everywhere! LOL!). It was a good show, it was. A good ending to it as well...poor Carson, I wonder how much money they lost of the hold up, LOL!! Even the ladies over here were asking for him, we gotta stop showing the ladies everything...

    Ohh and one last thing...can someone tell Letterman that we wanna bid 10 million on his show? Hey, is about time! LOL!!

    February 21, 2009 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  34. Scott

    Jay Leno will leave big shoes to fill. But if anyone
    can do the job, Conan can...
    I ve loved Conan since the beginning back in the 90s.
    He has come a long way but has deserved every bit of it.
    He is a talented writer, performer, and showhost.

    February 21, 2009 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  35. Allan Hunt

    TMT... do something for 16 years with people that you love, then leave it. If you don't get teary-eyed, then you don't have a heart, because right now it looks like you don't have a brain.

    February 21, 2009 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  36. Doug

    I was in tears. It is the end of an era, and the beginning of another.

    I started watching Conan when I was in 8th grade and I've been a fan ever since he wanted to get serious and respect by not stooping to stupid characters. Immediately after he said that he said, "Isn't that right, Shotgun Wielding Jesus?" And a Shotgun Wielding Jesus was pulled across the stage cackling and shooting a shotgun. It was the first time in my life that I fell on the ground from laughing so hard. There would be many many many more occasions.

    February 21, 2009 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  37. Amanda

    I almost became a little teary-eyed myself. Yeah he's going to a new show in a new city but it was NYC and THAT studio and THAT crowd that was his home. I remember sneaking to stay up late to watch Conan when I had school the next day as a pre-teen, always had a crush on him. It was always a dream of mine to make it to one of his showings but the timing never came. It's a new start for him but I will sure miss his home. I hope he never changes!!

    February 21, 2009 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  38. BC

    I'm not a Conan fan (I have a hard time looking at him) but I wish him luck. He has Leno's big shoes to fill and a big competition from Letterman. I wonder if NBC knows what it is doing.

    February 21, 2009 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  39. austindude

    Very solid run, Conan! I loved the show for almost half of my life and look to the future. Why the tears? I'm sure when you put your heart and soul and countless hours and 16 years into trying to make people laugh 5 times a week it can get emotional when you realize the entire thing is disbanding. It is a major life change for him and others he has been involved with.

    I'm sure he will not be working with many of the folks from the show, the energy and vibe will be different. I can understand him getting emotional completely.

    He made me laugh for 16 years. I owe him for that. Thank you, Conan.


    February 21, 2009 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  40. DOT J.


    February 21, 2009 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  41. The Biggest Fan

    Conan O'Brien has been my favorite talk show host and celeb for as long as I can remember! I love watching his show and he truly makes some of my worst days a little easier and my best days a little funnier.

    Over the years I have found that his audience and Jay Leno's audience is divided. I like Jay Leno don't get my wrong, but I see those who perfer Conan and those who perfer Jay have different sense of humor. Tonight Conan really put it well when he said he would never grow up! He is like the Lost Boy (Peter Pan) of Late Night. His youthful sense of humor is what I truly enjoy and believe that is what many of his fans enjoy the most about each nightly performance. You are a reminder of the importance on laughing everyday, apprciating what you have and where you came from and never losing sight of who you really are.

    Cheers to moving on to bigger successes, many more laughs and never growing up!

    February 21, 2009 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  42. Tim

    I don't understand the whole "goodbye" routine for a show switching time slots.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  43. Oliver

    Conan rocks. the last show was fun, but the White Stripes are just terrible. I thought it was some kind of joke...but the band is for real. The male singer is actually very good and excellent lyrics...but the chick is just horrible. And of course, in show business, you're only as good as the worst player that shares the stage with you.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  44. muneera

    conan is crazy, i used to love his cat like moves. and he's got a funny looking appearance to him. i am sure he was sad about moving on. comedians worked hard. even my dad repeated a couple of his jokes to me, so that means, he was funny. i hope the new stint doesn't water him down. i remember some crazy moments on his show like the time some actor was demonstrating how he acts with his baby and had his mouth open and they did a close up together and one would think it wouldn't work, but it worked so well and was hilarious. to this day i think of that moment sometimes and laugh out. here's to more laughs. sorry i didn't watch you more.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  45. Todd Randall

    I used to watch late night TV. Letterman was my favorite. Carson was great, I watched that show growing up. I watched O'Brien a few times just 9 years ago. Loved it. Haven't watched it in a long time. I would have if I would have known that it was the last show.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  46. SC

    I'm so glad that he's gone. He is so annoying. I would much rather prefer to see a homeless on a street.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  47. Justme8811

    Conan's not bad, but nothing can compare to Killborn! He is the BEST late night show by far!

    February 21, 2009 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  48. Richelle

    I'm just upset that he'll be coming on at the same time as Letterman now. I'm so confused as to which one to watch, I love them both. I never could stand to watch Leno and still don't understood why they put him on the Tonight Show in the first place.

    Looking forward to tonight's show here in Hawaii, not for a few hours yet. 🙂

    February 21, 2009 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  49. Geoff

    Hey Tim, thanks for sharing. Great story!

    February 21, 2009 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  50. Brett

    Geez he is annoying. I only hope he gets fired

    February 21, 2009 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  51. Klown

    Another thing to TMT his version of the Tonight Show won't be identical to what he was doing on Late Night so just because he's employed and happy about it doesn't mean that he isn't sad to say goodbye to a certain chapter of his life.

    February 21, 2009 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  52. zoltar

    Conan is a hack. Carson will roll in his grave. Letterman deserves the spot. Who is next after Conan, Jimmy Kimmel?

    February 21, 2009 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  53. Fred

    I remember the first time I flicked on the TV and saw this strange young tall red headed guy making a fool of himself on this silly show. His ridiculous antics and self deprecating humor made his show so refreshing.

    Even as his show made it "big time", he continued to impress me with the way he never took himself too seriously. I hope the new time slot and big west coast move doesn't take away Conan's original vibe.

    February 21, 2009 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  54. Davey T.

    I remember watching the very first Conan show, and thought if his unique sense of humor would catch on, he would have a long lasting show with many loyal followers. Reading this article and seeing how people flew in from all around the country just to watch the final taping speaks volumes at how the eccentric wing of America has fully embrased him.

    For various reasons I haven't watched much during recent years, but it is always nice to know he is there when you need him...and will hopefully continue to be for years to come.

    February 21, 2009 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |

    Please tell me why I should care? Entertainers. that is all they are. One goes, and ten new ones come. They can make us laugh, but so does my dog. My neighbor's little girl is pure comic genius! Do not hold these entertainers in higher regard than your local teacher, policeman, fireman, or librarian. the people around you should mean much more than someone seen on TV. Our society has lost its way.

    February 21, 2009 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  56. ticd

    Conan I'm sad your show won't be around any longer .... for me to poop on!

    oh, I keeeeed!

    February 21, 2009 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  57. Leno Fan

    Didn't usually watch him as he seem so juvenile, just like Letterman..

    I'm sure glad I'll still be able to watch Jay Leno !!

    February 21, 2009 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  58. alex

    ummm...how were the white stripes?

    February 21, 2009 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  59. DL

    I saw Conan's very first show, and not many thereafter. His brand of "humor" is often disgusting, and certainly not humorous. It'll be a sad, sad day when Jay leaves and Conan takes over.

    February 21, 2009 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  60. Cece

    You mean he's just MOVING? I was hoping he was gone for good.
    Over the years I have tuned in to his show just to see if OBrien has gotten even a little bit funny in any shape, form or fashion.

    Each time, I have been disappointed. In my opinion, this show is another example of meaningless, irrevelant programming on TV.

    Or perhaps that is the point?

    February 21, 2009 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  61. life time Conan Fan

    Not everyone is making the move to LA with Conan. Master bating Bear will not get to perform on the Tonight Show. I believe the earlier time slot has tighter rules for television. Something to do with the FCC.

    February 21, 2009 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  62. Ray Spicer from Wisconsin

    Off and on over time you (Conan) used to allude to your first days/weeks on the show and how, well, "so-so", so to speak, you were. I was surprised and a bit stunned to hear that you felt that way. I have no idea if the ratings showed it or not. Point? I liked you A LOT, from day 1. You had the slot for me that night, and from that point on. Richard Lewis once referred to you as a genius, and then who ever he was talking to, maybe Leno or Letterman laughed as if to hint, "Really, yer serious...." or thoughts to that affect, and then Richard backpeddled from his comment. I know he meant it though because he was sincere when he said it. For me? I always agreed with Richard. No one writes on their feet like do–ok, maybe Robin Williams, no one on talk shows, though they all do it very well. Letterman has always won his time slot for me. He probably still will,......OR WILL HE??? chuckle.

    Love ya,

    February 21, 2009 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  63. Jason

    He will fail at 11:35 that's why he's crying.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Pimpbot 5000

    The Conan O show will not be the same in the new time slot a lot of the sketches that could be done on the late show cannot be done in the new time slot. The Conan O show was not the Conan O show from the early years as it gained popularity so one could say that the show was not the show of old. Maybe that's the tear, a tell (poker term) than this is the end of the golden years.

    I will miss above all others my kindred spirit friend with whom I hare many interests and past times. I will miss you dearly Masturbating Bear.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Matt

    vroom vroom party starter!

    February 20, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  66. sam123

    conan is the most unfunny person to ever get an airwave. Good-bye and thanks for leaving. Please don't come back. The best writers in the world will never be able to help.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Brian Dillan

    I watched the show when it first started. But he has gotten so stupid, and skits was stupid, and same oldl skits over and over its boring.
    Jay Leno is much better and I will watch Jay. I hate to watch David
    Letterman and the others I do not like. I won't ever watch O'Brien

    February 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  68. shirley

    We love Conan. What a great guy and it will be great to see him
    earlier. I'm glad that he will be around earlier!

    February 20, 2009 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  69. DaveT

    I like Conan. He's a talented writer. Funny guy. But now he faces a time slot where, like Leno, will have to tone down so-called "adult" content. I think that Conan can still succeed and continue to be funny. He DID write for the Simpsons, and that was prime time. But frankly, the 11:30pm (10:30 Central) has always seemed to water down comedy. Letterman was at his peak when he was on later in the night. Leno had much more punch when he was just a standup. He's lost his edge. He'll lose more of it when he starts in prime time (Leno, time to retire, man.) It's hard to replace Carson. But then again, from a personal standpoint, he borrowed everything from Ernie Kovacs, Steve Allen, Jackie Gleason, Johanthan Winters and Jack Parr, and I never found Johnny all that clever. Good luck, Conan. I'll be watching the Daily Show and Colbert.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  70. HawaiiWahine

    Conan may be a nice guy, but I've just never cared for him. I thought he was a bit self centered and often indifferent to the guests. But then again, I always felt Johnny Carson was the best late night talk show host ever, so I'm a little biased. I like Jay Leno better than David Letterman but will admit Letterman grew on me over the years. But my favorite late-late night guy for now is Craig Ferguson. The guy is a nut and doesn't hesitate to make fun of himself.
    Again, Conan may be a nice guy and may appeal to a lot of folks, but when he takes over the Tonight Show, I imagine I'll be turning it off from now on out. I will at least give him a look-see the first week or two just to be fair & see if his format might have changed, but I'm really not holding my breath. So I suspect Letterman will pick me up as a viewer once Conan takes over Leno's spot.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Heath C

    They're not crying because they lost their jobs, they are crying because a chapter in their lives is coming to an end. They're crying because a new chapter is beginning.

    They're crying because, it's not as easy to catch a cab in LA, so they'll probably have to drive to work. They're crying because, moving to LA means the women in the supporting cast will probably have to have plastic surgery now.

    I am certain that everyone that is willing to follow the show to the new coast will receive an appreciable increase in pay, but that doesn't mean it will be an easy transition. Try to show some empathy.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  72. David S

    Conan –
    I've enjoyed watching your show since I was 10 years old, and you are BY FAR the most entertaining and genuine late night show host out there! Keep it up in LA, we love you!!

    February 20, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Mary Allen

    He can't match Jay Leno. Not in a million years.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Ken

    So the tears were rolling....the only tears I will shed is for the down-grade from Leno to Conan. Leno is such a hard-working talent, and a class act. I guess I am missing something with Conan, after all of these years he still looks like it is his first week in the business. I actually feel embarassed for him – the entire show makes me uncomfortable. But, that's why there are lots of colors in the world – one for everyone.....

    February 20, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  75. dailyshowfan

    Seriously Mr. O'Brien sir – take Jon Stewart's words to heart.

    You gonna burn out here.

    The weather in SoCal is much like a perky best friend that just won't go away. No matter how much you wish it would. You will sizzle like egg white on a hot tin roof.

    So wear lots of sunblock, maybe get one of those funky visors for your face, and you will never lose that luminous glow of the undead.

    Please don't be disappointed in Burbank. It's not their fault. Just spend your free time in Pasadena or La Canada. (Pronounced Lah Cahn-yah-dah. You'll be beaten if you say it like "Canada").

    February 20, 2009 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  76. industry guy


    Do you honestly believe that all of the Conan staff have jobs waiting for them? Conan's got one, likely the band and probably his core group of writers. His set guys, camera and sound crew and other are more than likely being left behind. Studios don't need to move crews around like that – they've already got people in place to run the show and do any pre- and post-production.

    That's quite a group of people that are without jobs now.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Bonnie

    I am perplexed as to the "teary eyed" sentiment people are expressing over conan's move. I personally feel NBC is crazy to be offering thism position to this narcistic jerk. He is and has never been that funny. I perceive him so stuck on himself that there is no room for guests. I hope he gets new writers as i have not found any humour in his commentaries since coming on air. I was shocked NBC offered him the coveted position that johny Carson once immortalized. I am sure Johny is rolling in his grave at the thought of this self centred dull idiot taking his place. What was NBC thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Zach

    Wow, been a fan of the guy since 2004, and watched him every night I could. Can't wait to see him on the tonight show.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Jay Leno

    I like Conan – but what's the big deal? why crying? glad he and his team has a job unike many who are his loyal fans...

    February 20, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Darryl

    Ok, I have watched Conan a few times and always wondered how in the world he was able to stay on the air. And now he is moving to the Tonight Show? Don't thik he will stay there long, poor ratings will run him off.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  81. L

    They still have a job, but different city. I am sure that many of the people who they work with, cannot relocate with them. Also, they will be moving from NYC to LA (Burbank). They need to leave their old friends from the community and go into a new stage.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  82. C-Man

    Craig Ferguson is better

    February 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Kenneth

    Who cares.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  84. kit

    The Conan O'Brien show has been so good for so long, with more random gags (the Masturbating Bear, for example) and side splitting segments (Triumph the Insult Comedy Dog etc.) than any late night talk show. I really hope his new role at the Tonight Show doesn't compromise or tailor the material for a more "mature" audience.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Sean S.

    I fear this may be the end of the hilarious Conan that we all love, but I'm sure he'll do a good job in the earlier time slot. This show has a lot of loyal fans, and its really sad to see it go. Thanks for the memories Conan!

    February 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Jen

    Conan has come a long way. His tears were deserved and earned. He started not knowing if his show would last a month. Now he is taking over the Johnny Carson slot. That would bring me to tears also.

    TMT i understand times are tough but not everything is about money.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  87. for4rest

    To TMT:

    First, I'm not so sure every single person will be around for the new show. Even if they will be, I've been pretty bummed myself when I have had to move from one city to another to take a different job. It's not always joyous when you give up something you know and love to move on to something new.

    Second, there is no need to hate on Conan and crew because they have jobs. Be happy that they do. I, for one, am currently employed but I will no longer have a job in 4 months. For people like me who see, read, and hear so much bad news it's nice to have someone to laugh at. Congrats to Conan for being the stud he is. I just hope his new show is as good or better than the old.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  88. TommyR

    We will miss you greatly here. Good luck to you! Hope you come BACK to NY some day. Thank you for all the laughs!

    Tom Randall

    February 20, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Tony Bui

    Dear Conan,
    I used to watch & laugh with you all the time until I felt.....in love with a lady. Since then, I forgot all about you and other favorite shows. Did I miss you? Not really until tonight when I read that your late night ...wil be no longer soon. This is my true love after many many years and I would like to tell the world about that. We talked, we met, and we chatted about 15,000 pages of loving words. Hihi, we never mentioned you once. What a fan huh! I hope I don't have to ...watch you for another 10 years and we'll see at that time if our love outrun your laugh. Love you Conan! Keep it up.

    Used to be ... faithful fan.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    We are waiting with open arms here on the West Coast Conan! I hope Max will come too!

    February 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  91. TMT

    Why all the tears? Conan and his staff all still have jobs, (and right now, that's pretty big) on the new show. They're just moving to a different city and a better time slot, but still making a damn fine living.

    February 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Catherine C.

    As a fan of Conan since the beginning, I tried my best to get tickets to one of the final shows. Needless to say I am sure, I was not successful. Thank you, Mr. Farley, for giving those of us who weren't able to attend a small glimpse of the last-show experience. I am sure it is one you will never forget.

    February 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |

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