Tributes Pour In as Conan O’Brien Wraps Up His Late-Night Show

The entertainment industry paid tribute to Conan O’Brien on Thursday as he capped off his 28-year late-night career with a farewell show featuring Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and Homer Simpson.

“It’s hard to believe it’s our final show on TBS,” O’Brien said at the top of the show. “Every night, I always said we had a really great show. I was often lying. But tonight, we really do have a great show. And if we don’t, what are you going to do about it? I’ll be long gone.”

The show included a skit from The Simpsons, which O’Brien wrote on between 1991-1993, with Homer confusing the talk show host for an Impractical Joker. There was also a Zoom call from Ferrell, who had previously said his goodbyes when O’Brien left The Tonight Show in 2010. “It’s f***ing exhausting,” Ferrell joked before pre-taping farewell videos for O’Brien’s upcoming HBO Max show and potential future shows on Al Jazeera, MTV3 and Delta Inflight.

Black appeared as the show’s final in-studio guest, though a planned skit had to be abandoned when the Tenacious D singer injured himself during a pre-tape. “It felt fitting for our show,” said O’Brien. “When Carson and Letterman, all of these legends go off the air, everything is meticulous. Of course, we would think of a bit where Jack pretends to get hurt and when filming it, Jack gets hurt. We’re the only show in the history of the medium that would actually do that.”

As O’Brien bowed out, stars from across comedy, film, television, and music sent their well wishes. “There are few with guaranteed spots in the Comedy Hall of Fame, but @ConanOBrien is one of those folks who has reigned supreme in every single comedic endeavor he has set out to achieve,” actor Josh Gad tweeted.

“Congrats to this funny young man @ConanOBrien on 28 years of his late night programs,” wrote John Cleese. “One of my absolute favourite talk show hosts, looking forward to your next adventure my friend!”

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Meanwhile, comedian and actress Lauren Lapkus talked of how she grew up admiring the Conan host. “As a kid, I loved staying up late to watch Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and I always dreamed of getting to be on the show,” she posted on Instagram. “So cool to have a dream like that come true… It’s the end of an era!”

“I’ve devoted all of my adult life to pursuing this phantom intersection between smart and stupid. There’s a lot of people that believe that the two can’t co-exist but I will tell you that when [they] come together, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world,” O’Brien said as his closing thought. He will next move to HBO Max where he will host a variety show.

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