A little more than 15 years ago, Conan O'Brien took over NBC's Late Show desk, filling the seat once occupied by David Letterman. Tonight, he'll say his farewell to studio 6A and start preparing to take over for yet another comedy icon.
O'Brien will start hosting The Tonight Show in June (while Jay Leno moves to primetime), while Jimmy Fallon will take over Late Night on March 2. Tonight, though, is one last chance to celebrate O'Brien, who brought his signature brand of humor (not to mention memorable props like Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog) to the post-midnight time slot for more than a decade.
Details of O'Brien's last show are mostly under wraps, but at the TCA press tour in January, he said he didn't want "a big salute to me":
If this were my last show ever and I were getting into a space ship and going to Mars and you were never going to see me again, I'd probably really load up the "Look at all I've done and aren't I something" clips, but I'm departing for a brief period of time and then re-appearing in this terrific, fantastic dream job . . . We have a lot of hard-core fans that can recite to me bits that we've done 13, 14, 15 years ago. I want to make sure that I don't let them down, but I also want to make sure I don't overdo it.
That sounds like a good approach to me — though I personally wouldn't mind one last "In the Year 2000" bit. What are some of your favorite Late Night with Conan O'Brien memories, and will you be tuning in for tonight's final episode? You can relive one of my favorite bits, from back when Conan visited San Francisco in 2007, if you read more.
Photo courtesy of NBC