Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Farewell Late Night with Conan O'Brien

On Friday the sixteen glorious years of Late Night with Conan O'Brien came to an end. I remember watching the first episode of Late Night in September 1993 and seeing this unknown and nervous pale, red-headed Irish Catholic host who was taking over from David Letterman. Conan and sidekick Andy Richter had a very rough first year but the comedy was always brave, intelligent and inspired. They took chances and even though not everything hit the mark you had to admire their originality.

The last couple weeks have been filled with highlights from throughout the years. The final show included some great old clips (yay for the snippet of Ken Burns' Conan) and Andy stopped by one last time. Will Ferrell made an appearance as George W. Bush and The White Stripes played a lovely version of "We're Going To Be Friends." The show ended with Conan giving an emotional and heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked on the show, helped his career, and his friends, family and fans. He did good to hold it together for the most part.

Throughout the years my favorite bits on Late Night have always been the remote segments as it's where Conan really shines. One of my favorite remote pieces was the 1864 Old Time Baseball:

Conan was recently a guest on Inside the Actor's Studio and gave a very insightful and funny interview to James Lipton, who was a frequent visitor to Late Night over the past few years. You can watch it here. It will be interesting to see how Conan goes as host of The Tonight Show, but I have great faith that he will succeed at the 11:30 pm hour.

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