After 16 years (2,725 episodes) Late Night With Conan O’Brien ended on Friday 20th February 2009. The final week saw some of Conan’s favourite guests booked on the show – Bob Saget, Stephen Colbert, Nathan Lane, Martha Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld and even an appearance from Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg. The final show saw The White Stripes perform. The final week was full of trips down memory lane with Conan looking back at some of the memorable moments from the past 16 years.
Other guests on the final show were former Late Night sidekick Andy Richter (saying “I told you you’d never last without me”), Will Ferrell with an impression of George W. Bush and John Mayer performing a song with the lyrics “LA’s gonna eat you alive” – a tongue-in-cheek lyric for Conan’s move to The Tonight Show.
In Conan’s final farewall speech at the end of Friday’s show he said he’d “never grow up” – a reference to how some people fear he may tame down his act for The Tonight Show. He said “it’s an incredible, amazing honor to do this show for you people… we’re going on to this next gig, and sometimes I read that it’s time for Conan to grow up because he’s going to 11:30… and I assure you, that’s just not going to happen. I can’t. This is who I am, for better or for worse”.
During his farewell speech his voice cracked a little as he must have felt very emotional leaving Late Night after so many years. Conan thanked David Letterman, who hosted Late Night on NBC before he moved to the Late Show on CBS after famously losing out to host The Tonight Show to Jay Leno. He also thanked Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live producer), the Late Night crew and band.
Ratings-wise, the final Late Night saw audiences “up a whopping 44 percent over the show’s season average, NBC said today” according to E! Online.
Conan now moves to LA to host The Tonight Show, which begins at the start of June. Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (which stays in New York) begins on Monday 2nd March.
E! Online – ” Conan O’Brien Takes a Bow on Last Late Night”
The Insider – “Conan O’Brien’s Last Late Night”
TV Squad – “How was Conan’s last show in New York?”
E! Online – “Conan Goes Out on Top; Dollhouse Shrinks”
Click here to watch a video tribute for Late Night With Conan O’Brien found on YouTube