Conan O’Brien said goodbye in the last episode of his TBS series last night, thanking his family, his staff, and the fans who have joined him on a “crazy and seemingly pointless pursuit” over the past 11 years. He also had an exit interview by his old friend Homer Simpson in an animated segment. Conan wrote for The Simpsons in what many consider to be the shows’ creative peak. Homer referenced his short-lived career as a monorail conductor, calling it a “stupid idea,” a reference to the Season 4 episode of The Simpsons Marge vs. the Monorail, which Conan famously wrote.
Jack Black appeared as Conan’s last guest, singing a modified version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Black showed up wearing a foot brace after injuring himself recording a segment for th episode in which he is supposed to get hurt.
Conan will be moving to HBO Max in a new variety series. After a successful career as a television writer on shows like The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live, Conan was tapped to replace David Letterman as the host of NBC’s Late Night after Letterman moved to CBS after being passed over to replace Johnny Carson as the host of The Tonight Show in favor of Jay Leno. Conan was eventually asked to replace Leno as host of The Tonight Show, but his run as host was tarnished by bad ratings thanks to NBC’s bizarre decision to put Leno on his own show every night at 10:00pm, resulting in horrible ratings for both shows. NBC offered to move Leno to The Tonight Show’s 11:30 pm time slot and push The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien to midnight, but Conan felt that was disrespectful to the show’s legacy, and chose to leave.
Eventually landing at TBS at an 11:00 pm slot, Conan found moderate success, but eventually stripped down to a half hour, focusing more on longer single guest interviews and digital content and forgoing late night staples like music and stand up comedy . Conan’s series Conan without Borders, on which Conan is chronicled traveling to various destinations around the world, will still continue to air on TBS after leaves the network.
Conan’s Team Coco production company is also producing several stand-up specials for HBO Max. We can assume Conan will continue to host his wildly popular podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.